November 15, 2017 06:42 PM
As lawmakers continue to address issues with the state's new vehicle licensing and registration system (MNLARS), many are demanding to know why the program had such a rocky rollout.
Gov. Mark Dayton also apologized for the issues during a press briefing Wednesday.
How would you like to see state lawmakers address ongoing problems with MNLARS? You can send your thoughts to Gov. Mark Dayton, House Speaker Kurt Daudt, and Sen. Paul Gazelka below.
"Somebody in the department said it was a glitch, and my response was it's not a glitch, it just doesn't work," Dayton said. "I've been assured the last couple months that things are basically working."
Dayton told reporters that while he is pleased 1.7 million vehicle registrations and more than 600,000 title transfers were completed in the system, MNLARS is "far from where it needs to be" to serve the people of Minnesota.
Around the same time the governor made his comments, the Senate Transportation Policy and Finance Committee met to hear testimony from industry professionals who use MNLARS - including auto dealers and deputy registrars.
"We no longer think it's a bad launch," said Scott Lambert of the Minnesota Auto Dealers Association. "We think it's a bad program. It's a tapestry of work-arounds, temporary fixes and patches.
"And our problems, frankly, seem to be getting worse not better."
Several deputy registrars testified before the committee that their staff are working overtime to submit titles and tabs to the state's system, and often encounter slow software and long lines at their offices.
Donny Vosen is a private deputy registrar in Brainerd.
"We don't call it MNLARS anymore, we call it MN-Liars," Vosen said. "Sadly, it's become a joke to the taxpayers in Minnesota. They've been patient for the first four months of this, but they are reaching the end of their roll."
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Lawmakers report receiving nearly 600 consumer complaints about MNLARS since the system launched in July.
Thomas Baten is commissioner of MN.IT, the state agency that oversees MNLARS software infrastructure.
"Hindsight being 20/20, I would have spent more time reviewing the testing to make sure the system was in much better shape before the rollout," Baten told senators. "I concede that."
Republican Senator Scott Newman chairs the committee. He asked Baten several times when the problems would be ultimately resolved, and how much time it's going to take.
Baten responded that fixes are ongoing, explaining his staff is constantly rolling out updates and upgrades. He said a big update that should help the functionality of the system is coming the first week of December.
Updated: November 15, 2017 06:42 PM
Created: November 15, 2017 04:21 PM
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