A new software system that promised to improve efficiency and security at Minnesota DVS licensing centers is falling far short in its first two weeks.
Several license branches in Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington Counties tell KARE 11 they continue to have wait times that are twice the normal length, or longer.
"I waited about a good hour and 45 minutes, went and got some coffee, came back and my number still hasn't been called," said Ola Betiku, who waited nearly two hours at the Ridgedale branch on Tuesday.
The Department of Public Safety just installed new software that promised something different.
"It's gotten slower?" said Mari Verbeten, who waited about an hour and 15 minutes to renew her license at the Ridgedale branch. "That seems backwards."
Registrars and other administrators who spoke to KARE 11 say some of the slowdown is due to employees still getting comfortable with the new software, but they also say there is a bigger issue they are all trying to work through.
"The computerized process is a little bit more cumbersome," said Ellie Paulseth, Finance Director in Maplewood. "There's a lot of screens you have to move through for each transaction, so the processing takes a little bit longer… but we're also experiencing a lot of error codes and glitches."
Paulseth says wait times have generally gone from less than 10 minutes to well over 30. Though the branch has traditionally taken customers all the way until closing time, the added delays and overtime in the last week caused her office to cut off lines an hour earlier.
"It was kind of a last resort," Paulseth said. “It’s starting to take its toll.”
The Department of Public Safety issued a statement to KARE 11 about the software delays:
"DVS is working with deputy registrars regarding any questions or concerns they have. DVS is also holding daily phone calls with deputy registrars to keep them informed."
The registrars that spoke to KARE 11 say the times seem to have improved slightly this week, but that there is a long way to go before reaching the goal of improved efficiency.