A New DMV Commish, A New Approach.

February 24, 2016

By Sen. Toni Boucher, Ranking member on the Transportation Committee

Just four days into his new job, DMV Acting Commissioner Dennis Murphy came to an informational meeting with the transportation committee to report on his progress.

He was able to offer something I have been seeking for months, some answers.

His answer on long wait times to schedule driver’s license tests: the Commissioner explained that scheduling resources used for license only and license ID appointments are now being redeployed. The DMV originally planned for 18,000 undocumented license seekers when in fact 3-4 times that number showed up at their offices. The DMV is now filling driver’s license appointments for March instead of the 6 month scheduling times young people faced not long ago. This is a great improvement.

Another hot topic has been vehicle registration errors that have led to headaches for citizens and town tax collectors.

According to the new Commissioner, some of these issues have been resolved; however many are still causing issues for residents that expect a car once registered; to stay registered; and that car property tax payments are recorded correctly. There have been too many cases where coding errors have people recorded as paying their property taxes in towns they did not reside in.

A positive development is that the new DMV computer system is able to offer more online services to customers without having them to go into a DMV office.

The online DMV portal, ct.gov/dmv offers:

  • Registration renewal;
  • Registration cancelations;
  • Printing of vehicle registration;
  • Ordering of special plates;
  • Checking compliance issues;

Verification of whether your registration is current or expired.

Although the wait times are still unacceptable and commitments have been made to shorten them, these improvements to online accessibility will help to reduce wait times at DMV facilities and cut down on overtime costs to the tax payer.

In closing, Commissioner Murphy explained that he is consistently in contact with 3M, the vendor responsible for the DMV software upgrade. He assured the committee that 3M is on the hook until all of the bugs are worked out of the system and that they will continue to be on the hook a year afterwards in the event that new problems occur.

Although some progress has been made on the long list of DMV issues, the new leadership seems to grasp the problem and is able to communicate effectively. I will continue to push for more transparency on wait times, system performance, staff training, data integrity, financial accountability and other issues surrounding this agency until people tell me, “A new day has come,” as far as their interactions at the DMV are concerned.

Sen. Boucher can be contacted at 800-842-1421 or at [email protected] .