There's another plan to upgrade the state's 30-year-old vehicle registration system.
It's called MNLARS, and was initially launched in July of last year, but it's had problems from the get-go.
Now, Minnesota IT Services and the Department of Public Safety say they have a "roadmap" to fix MNLARS and want $43-million from the legislature to complete the project.
Governor Mark Dayton is hopeful the plan will work saying, “I thank the more than 100 deputy registrars, auto dealers, financial institutions, legislators, and other stakeholders, who worked with Minnesota IT Services and the Department of Public Safety to develop this comprehensive roadmap to fix MNLARS. I fully support these recommendations, and urge Legislative Leaders to work with my Administration to ensure we have the funding and support necessary to make urgently-needed improvements. The people and businesses of Minnesota deserve the quality, timely services this roadmap promises to deliver. We will not rest until we get this done right, and Minnesotans should expect nothing less.”
The plan from DPS and MNIT includes:
Fixing Bugs and Glitches. Resolving system defects and time-consuming workarounds that are leading to delays and inconveniences for Minnesotans.
• Example: Building automated tools to ensure the consistent calculation of complex or seasonally-used transactions.
Filling Gaps in Functionality. Completing partially delivered features.
• Ability to transfer specialty plates, impounded plates, inventory management, and allow deputy registrars to edit transactions. Ability to bulk-update addresses for fleet vehicles.
Empowering Users. Adding features that will allow system users to make changes and fix mistakes without starting over or having to contact DPS. Adding the ability to print in-process work, transactions, and duplicate titles.
• Adding functionality to MNLARS that existed in the old system, like transferring specialty plates. Adding the ability to edit the cart, scan, and see specific details of all transactions.
Delivering Faster Title Turnaround. Providing the technology tools needed to speed up processing of vehicle titles.
• Continuing to decrease the number of backlogged titles. Managing title processing system errors more efficiently.
Modernizing Business Processes. Working collaboratively with local deputy registrar offices to build new features in the system that support a more modern mode of business operations for driver and vehicle services.
• Building ability to add or delete multiple transactions in the cart, without checking out.
Improving Customer Service. Adding 63 DVS call center staff and five training positions in FY19. The additional call center staff will help DVS improve customer service by responding to emails promptly, reducing wait times and answering the 65,000+ calls it receives each week. It will also ensure the state is ready to answer questions from Minnesotans leading up to REAL ID availability in October 2018. The five trainers will work with Driver License Agents on the new driver’s license system and REAL ID requirements.
• Phone calls from the public and stakeholders increased during the MNLARS rollout, peaking at 110,000 during the week of September 10. Email response times were as high as six weeks due to the influx of consumer questions and issues.
Stabilizing and Optimizing System Performance. Ensuring that each piece of the system is operating efficiently and working optimally to support heavy use.
• System slowdowns during daytime when system is under heavy use.
Improving User Experience. Making the system more user friendly and tailored to the needs of local deputy registrar offices.
• Modifying the way the system looks and feels to more closely align with deputy registrar needs. Enhancing screen colors and formatting based on user feedback.