DMV system roll-out affecting rural communities

It’s no secret that the roll-out of new DMV licensing software has been rough. A system designed to reduce wait-times has been seeing waits of several hours.

This new system is a major upgrade for the decades-old system that was in place. Fox 9 took a look at how rural license bureaus are experiencing stress from the switch.

Jill Solmonson has owned and operated the license bureau of Pope County since 1991. She told Fox 9 that the last few weeks have been so stressful, she has left work in tears for the first time since she started.

“We’ve been doing this a long time,” said Solmonson. “It is always fun to go to work, but now you dread it.”

The Minnesota License and Registration Software (MN-LARS) went online July 24. The multi-million dollar replacement intended to reduce turnaround times by putting all the data entry in the individual bureaus. Before, the software sent the info to the state.

Though this may speed things up on the state’s end, it slows down the customers’ process.

Many problems in rolling out the new system have been documented, showing lines as long as two hours at license bureaus in the Twin Cities. In part, this is due to a learning curve, but other issues are the fault of glitches.

“There’s a lot of glitches, it’s not working,” said Solmonson.

Much of her work consists of specialty titles and registrations, which has been very glitch-heavy, often reaching a point where it doesn’t work at all.

A few days after the roll-out, Solmonson simply closed up shop in frustration, waiting for the system to work better.

“They say it’s getting better,” she said. “Honestly, since last week or two weeks ago it has gotten better.”

Minnesota is aware of these problems, and insists it’s getting better, saying the system is actually turning things around quicker.