ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Minnesota state officials said Thursday they can’t predict when the state’s troubled motor vehicle registration system will be fixed.
Computer glitches continue for drivers trying to buy and register vehicles. And at the State Capitol, frustrated lawmakers called for state officials involved in the new system to be fired.
We’ve been hearing about the problems for months. Is it getting any better?
State officials say the new vehicle registration system is getting better, but progress is so slow it’s hard to tell the difference. And lawmakers have run out of patience.
The motor vehicle registration center at the St Paul Sears store appeared to run smoothly during the Thursday noon hour. Even though the manager says it still has trouble with about 25 percent of simple vehicle transactions.
“Many of the issues that we have reported previously are still occurring and have not changed,” Jeff Lenarz with the St. Paul Sears License Center said.
It’s because of a $93 million computer upgrade that went on line in July, that’s been trouble ever since. Car dealers say they still cannot process some titles, specialty plates or even print documents.
“This is a core function of government that is simply not working and it is not getting better, and it’s not getting better fast enough,” Scott Lambert with the Minnesota Auto Dealer’s Association said.
State computer officials could not tell lawmakers when the many glitches will be fixed, or the cost. The Department of Public Safety is estimating 23,600 vehicle titles cannot be processed for drivers.
“While we can report progress, we cannot report perfection. And as I started previously, it’s the system not performing how we expected and we have much work ahead of us,” Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman said.
“They should lose their jobs,” Sen. Scott Newman said.
The Republican Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee says he’s had enough. Calling for the Governor to fire every state official who botched the rollout.
“What are we going to do about the people who over-paid fees? What are we going to do about the folks who are stopped by the cops because they are driving with expired plates?” Newman said.
The vehicle registration website has cost $93 million so far, which is twice the original budget 10 years ago. Lawmakers on Thursday said one of their greatest concerns:– it could take tens of millions of dollars more to fix it.