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Headaches, Frustration As Glitches Continue For New DMV Computer System

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) -- Minnesota's new computer system for motor vehicle tabs and licenses was shut down for several hours Thursday morning.

It's another in a series of glitches in the new system, which went online July 24.

Customers, like John Bush, were unable to renew their vehicle tabs or get new plates. Bush drove to Bloomington for new license tabs but found a sign that read:

"The State of Minnesota Motor Vehicle system is down, this is a statewide issue so every office is experiencing this—unfortunately we are unable to process ANY MOTOR VEHICLE transactions at this time."

"We drove all the way from South Minneapolis," Bush said. "I could swear, but I won't. I'm disappointed, because they're due."

The computer glitch is one of many plaguing MNLARS, Minnesota's new $90 million licensing and registration computer update that began in 2007.

The chairman of the House Transportation Committee says he's alarmed.

"I'm very concerned," said Rep. Paul Torkelson (R-Hanska). "We never expected that it would roll out without any glitches, but it seems like there are long lines and other difficulties."

Despite early glitches, state officials say the new system is working more efficiently than the 30-year-old system it's replacing.

In a letter to state legislators, the office of Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton reported the old system processed 27,889 titles in the last week of June, compared to 34,000 with the new system in the first week of July.

Same with registrations: 103,006 in the last week of June, compared with 132,075 in the first week of July.

Janet Lewis, the city clerk of Bloomington, says the computer glitches mean fewer customers, and less revenue for the city.

Even so, she's confident the state is resolving the problems.

"This will have a significant impact on revenues for Bloomington," said Lewis. "Seeing it go a week, or a week and a half, is not unusual for any system. It should be fixed very, very soon though."

The Department of Motor Vehicle Services says it expects the computer problems to be resolved by the end of this week.

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