Long waits at Minnesota DVS after computer upgrade

Many customers at Minnesota license bureau locations are waiting in lines — at least one as long as two hours — due to a computer upgrade implemented last week.

The upgrade was replacing a 30-year-old system at the state Driver and Vehicle Services department. It was intended to reduce turnaround time for title transactions and to ensure vehicle records are updated in real time.

According to a representative at the St. Paul Sears license bureau location, however, the system itself is actually slower right now. Additionally, some services such as leased-vehicle transactions and some types of special plates are providing inconsistent responses and proving difficult to process, according to Director of Property Records and Taxpayer Services for Washington County Jennifer Wagenius.

“There’s always the learning curve with a new system, but these problems are more focused with challenges we’re having with the software, and the state is working with us and providing us with resources,” Wagenius said. “Because all centers statewide are in the same situation, we’re just advising customers to hang with us and we’ll just do the best we can.”

Employees underwent several weeks of training, but they are still adjusting to the new system as well.

Last week during the upgrade, a few services were unavailable and many locations reduced hours, so there’s a backlog of customers this week. The end of the month is already a busy time as customers scramble to renew before expiration. By mid-day Tuesday, 1,500 titles and 3,700 registrations had been processed, according to Minnesota Department of Public Safety spokesman Bruce Gordon. 

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