State Extends Grace Period For Tag Renewals

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Continued problems with the state's new motor vehicle computer system have the Dept. of Revenue extending the grace period for tag renewals.

Those with tags expiring June 30 now have until July 13 to renew. The grace period applies to those with last names starting with H or I, or vehicles with 30 day temporary tags expiring June 30.

Revenue officials say the state system saw a widespread slowdown Friday. Counties could process some transactions but fewer than normal. A problem with the statewide computer system Thursday afternoon also caused an outage with the motor vehicle system.

The last day of any month is typically the busiest for counties. The line outside the Shawnee Co. Courthouse numbered around 60 already by 6:30 am Friday.

The Revenue Dept. sent a letter of non-conformance Thursday to its contractor on the system, 3M Co. The state says it will not sign off on the project or pay the final 10 percent on it until performance issues are resolved.

Customers in Shawnee and Johnson counties have had waits of several hours ever since the system went online. Geary, Douglas, Ellsworth and Lyon counties have also reported continued issues.

The state has not always acknowledged issues with the system. Shawnee Co. Motor Vehicle Office Manager Marsha Ralston has said the new computer system repeatedly glitches and doesn't allow workers to complete transactions, adding to the wait times. Revenue officials have said glitches were mostly resolved after the first couple weeks and most counties are not having issues. They had said much of the trouble is due to workers incorrectly entering data in the previous system and not being properly trained on the new program.

But appearing before Shawnee Co. Commissioners on Thursday, State Motor Vehicle Director Donna Shelite as many as 73,000 records did not convert correctly to the new system. In addition, in its letter to 3M, the state cites concerns over system response time and availability, absence of critical bugs and maintenance procedures. Plus, in their news release Friday, the Revenue Dept. said, while the system has made significant progress during its two months of operation, problems such as Friday's slowdown continue to sporadically interrupt counties’ ability to serve their customers.

“I understand and am very sorry for people’s frustration when they are trying to fulfill their responsibility as a vehicle owner and are unable to do so for reasons out of their control,” said Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan. “We are working tirelessly with 3M and won’t settle for anything less than the best system for Kansas for decades to come.”

State Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, has requested a Post Audit review of the Revenue Dept.'s modernization effort.


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