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Local lawmaker questions DMV interim Commissioner on software glitches

The interim commissioner of Connecticut's Department of Motor Vehicles says the private vendor that designed the agency's computer upgrade is committed to making sure all the bugs in the system are fixed.  Dennis Murphy appeared Friday before the General Assembly's Transportation Committee. 


Committee member Wilton state Senator Toni Boucher says the DMV has been plagued by long wait times, erroneous vehicle registration cancellations and other problems since the upgrade was launched last summer. She says it's so bad, the Governor feels he has to find ways to offload some of the DMV's work.


Governor Malloy has proposed legislation this session that would allow DMV to enter into contracts with private contractors, such as AAA, to provide vehicle registration services.  Malloy also wants to eliminate the current ban on issuing registrations for motor vehicles and other vehicles, such as snowmobiles, that are subject to unpaid parking tickets or property taxes


Boucher says rather than relinquishing responsibility or getting rid of some regulations, a plan must be made to fix the bugs in the software system.  She says hopefully 3M hasn't been paid all they are owed because they haven't delivered a successful implementation.


Murphy said DMV won't sign off on the second phase of work until all those bugs are fixed. He wouldn't provide a specific date on when that might happen, predicting it could take months. Once the glitches are fixed, Murphy said 3M's one-year warranty of the computer upgrade work begins.


Murphy said it appears more people are using DMV's online services, which could help reduce wait times. In September, 56 percent of transactions that could be conducted online were done online. That percentage increased to 68 percent in January, Murphy said.