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DVS: Shutdown, Old Tech To Blame For Car Title Waits

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – We all know buying a new car can be stressful with all the cost and paperwork. Now, we found out some of that anxiety is stretching out for months.

Some people aren’t getting their titles for 90 days, and we’re told the only way to speed things up is to pay $20.

The Department of Vehicle Services says part of the hold-up goes back to the state government shutdown from last summer, the other reason dates back to the ‘80s.

David Lloyd bought his truck back on Oct. 6, and he still doesn’t have his title.

“They told me due to the government shutdown that they have not processed past Sept. 26,” he said.

That’s just one problem. Pat McCormack, the director of the Department of Vehicle Services, says there are two other factors. One is the technology the department uses.

“It is an old system that was developed in the 1980s, so it certainly isn’t conducive to how business is run today,” McCormack said.

Some skilled staff are also retiring; the office currently has nine open positions.

“The learning curve for the new staff is steep,” McCormack said. “We produce over a million titles a year.”

Is there a way to fast-track the process? Yes, but it costs $20.

“If you come in and pay $20 more, then you’re able to get your title produced within three days. And if it’s put in the mail, you get it within a 10-day span,” McCormack said.

But that process gets people like Lloyd revving in the wrong way.

“Fast track and $20 don’t really line up,” he said. “You’ve already had my paperwork for three months.”

The department is in the process of upgrading its technology, which from start to finish will cost $90 million. A consultant has also been hired to see if there are other ways to streamline services.

All money used for the upgrade comes from service fees, not tax dollars.

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