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Privately owned deputy registrar sites hurting financially after MNLARS failure

May 01, 2019 10:21 PM

There are about 75 privately owned motor vehicle registration sites across Minnesota and some of them are struggling financially after the state's vehicle and registration system, MNLARS, experienced software failures over the past two years.

Katy Beaucage told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS her parents hold a deputy registrar appointment and their registration site is located in South St. Paul.

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Beaucage told KSTP the failures of MNLARS have cost her parents a lot of money and they've been forced to dip into their retirement savings to keep it afloat.

"It has really been hard for them and us, to stay open," said Beaucage. "My parents, in just January and February, had to spend $30,000 so we could keep our doors open."

Beaucage said not many people realize there are privately-owned deputy registrar sites and the money they make comes from a cut of vehicle tabs, titles and driver's licenses they issue.

RELATED: MNLARS needs new software, IT experts say

"We were forced to use MNLARS as an agent of the state and had no other options," said Beaucage. "So, when your hands are tied and you cannot make adjustments you struggle financially."

Beaucage said the private deputy registrar sites across the state have all experienced struggles because of MNLARS and they are hoping they get some remuneration from the state.

"We are hopeful lawmakers will see it as a fair thing to do and will reimburse for all, or at least a substantial portion, of our losses," said Beaucage.

Gov. Walz and his MNLARS task force have recommended scuttling MNLARS and opening it up to private vendors to provide software for Minnesota taxpayers to utilize.

The state has spent over $100-million dollars on the development, launch and upgrades to support MNLARS over the past two years, but the system's repeated problems have led to its demise.

It could take up to two years to fully implement a new system to replace MNLARS.

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Jay Kolls

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