Winter is here and in full force. Stay safe on the roads and get ready for Christmas!
This week I wanted to share an update on MNLARS, something that has inconvenienced thousands of Minnesotans and I have heard many frustrating stories from constituents having problems with renewing licenses, tabs, and more.
MNLARS is the new computer system that the state is now using to issue licenses, tabs, and was scheduled to begin distributing driver's licenses in 2018. The situation was set to become even more complicated with the implementation of REAL ID needing to happen in 2018 as Minnesota must be actively distributing REAL IDs by October 10, 2018.
There has been extensive reporting by KSTP and others regarding the struggles of MNLARS. Unfortunately and through no fault of their own, the City, County, and privately owned Deputy Registrars (DR) offices and their employees are really hurting. Many have been unable to issue permits due to computer problems and thus have been unable to receive their fees. Many of the privately owned DR offices may be forced to close and auto dealers are so backed up with title delays they can't get plates to customers, and those customers in many times are blaming the dealers for this delay.
The Minnesota House has been at the forefront of trying to fix this situation and get answers from the Dayton Administration as to how this mess happened. We held multiple hearings and demanded that the Department of Public Safety quickly gets their vehicle services division working quickly, get REAL ID ready for a clean launch, make sure this type of mess does not happen again, and as the 2018 session nears we are working on different ways of compensating our Deputy Registrar offices from current fees collected by DVS.
Then just last month, DPS announced in order to rectify the pending REAL ID situation and meet the need to deliver on all these core functions of government, they have contracted with a private vendor with a track record of delivering functioning licensing services across the country. DPS released a full fact sheet about the relationship here.
While it is disappointing that despite millions of dollars and years working to implement the new system, the Dayton Administration could not deliver a functioning licensing system. This solution should help to make sure Minnesotans have a functioning licensing system. This is especially vital as Minnesota will be implementing REAL ID in 2018. Our licensing system simply has to work and I will continue to monitor the situation and keep you up to date with any updates.
Have a great weekend and God bless!