Continued DMV delays are inexcusable
The Kansas City Star
Registering vehicles in Kansas has been a joke for more than a month. But no one’s laughing.
The state’s attempt to bring the Division of Motor Vehicles into the modern ages has come with some glitches that have frustrated customers, wasting their time and money.
A $40 million computer update, which was turned on many months behind schedule, still is not working as advertised. These problems are affecting plenty of people, including in Johnson and Wyandotte counties, because thousands each day need to navigate the often-tedious process of taking care of the paperwork that goes with owning a vehicle.
Making things worse, Kansas motorists had to shell out extra for what the state hailed as a “modernization project” over the last few years.
Kansas owes it to DMV customers to make sure the $25 million spent on 3M Co. software wasn’t wasted. And if the company contributed to the problems, the state should look for a break on those costs. At this point, it’s apparent some of the $15 million invested in equipment and training wasn’t well spent, either.
The contract was signed in 2009 by former Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson’s administration. Gov. Sam Brownback’s staff last year agreed with 3M to delay the launch until 2012, giving everyone time to make sure the system would work as intended.
That hasn’t happened, however.
Officials from the state and various counties say they are continuing to work to resolve computer-related problems and to reduce waiting times. It’s unfortunate that it’s taking so long to get the waiting times down to reasonable levels.
Given all of these concerns, the decision to extend expiration dates for registrations with April and May deadlines was a correct one.
Once the bugs are worked out, officials say Kansas will be able to keep better track of all the vehicles in the state, who owns them and who drives them. That, in turn, will make it easier for motorists to get titles for their vehicles, license them and register new ones.
At least, those are the promises being made now.