Long lines plague the Maplewood DMV

Over the summer, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division upgraded and replaced its 30-year-old vehicle services computer system. 

During the upgrade, only limited services were available at local Department of Motor Vehicles offices, such as the one in Maplewood. 

However, even months later, residents are experiencing long lines and other snares at the Maplewood DMV.

Kris Weaver, Maplewood DMV manager, was unable to be reached before press time, but Chad Bergo, Maplewood’s communications coordinator, explained that the long lines and occasionally unavailable services are due to the new computer system

“DNR and motor vehicle information is very time consuming for staff and it has been going down frequently,” he said, referring to some instances where the computer system has been inoperable, such as Sept. 27 when motor vehicle transactions were unable to be completed. 

Bruce Gordon, director of communications for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, admitted that there have been several instances where the system was slower than usual, but he said, “... it has been online and available for local deputy registrars to process transactions 99.93 percent of the time since the launch.”

“Certainly, the transition to a new computer system is challenging. The state’s new system is working, but not perfectly, and we’re working with deputy registrars to make it better,” Gordon added.

In addition to the challenges with the new computer system, many factors can affect customer experiences including staffing levels as well as the type of transaction an individual is seeking to make. 

Gordon noted that even the day of the month can affect the lines at the DMV, since many people wait until the deadline to renew tabs or conduct other business. Sometimes residents also forget to bring all of the documentation needed to complete their transactions.

The part of the computer system that was replaced over the summer is used for motor vehicle and driver’s license transactions and record information. 

Minnesota Licensing and Registration System replaces a 30-year-old antiquated mainframe that was not sustainable, according to Gordon. 

“MNLARS automates business functions for the uniformity, security and the integrity of the data and system,” Gordon said, adding, “Turnaround time for title transactions will be reduced and customers will leave the office knowing their vehicle record has been updated in real time.”

DVS has processed more than 1.1 million registration renewals and more than 358,000 title transactions through the new system since July 25.

“We realize that some customers may experience issues with their transaction, and the Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DVS) wants to hear from those people right away,” Gordon said, adding that most issues can be resolved quickly if the customer reaches out to DVS or to a deputy registrar.

A customer can call DVS Vehicle Services at 651-297-2126 or email dvs.motor.vehicles@state.mn.us.


—Aundrea Kinney


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