Here are a few suggestions to fix the DMV. Look at privatization of the offices. In Johnson County the taxpayers subsidize the cost of running these offices Just do not allow it to be by political appointment. Add Saturday and evening hours. Fix the insurance database so more online registration can be completed successfully. It needs to be updated more frequently. Require insurance companies offering policies in KS to report. Today it is voluntary. Permanently eliminate online fees. Eliminate or change the process to verify the VIN of vehicles from out state being titled in KS for the first time. In Johnson County you now have to go to a different location outside of the county to have it verified. This is confusing. Look at a two year registration period. Most of these suggestions are targeted at the county DMV offices handling titles and registrations. The offices issuing driver licenses are run by the state and never did convert to the new systems. They need to add hours (currently closed on Mondays) and more staff to reduce wait times. Good thing we do not have to renew our licenses all that often. Finally, do we really need both state and county run offices to handle DMV functions? I have heard from customers that they went to wrong offices as they do not understand the system KS has in place. Oh, one last suggestion. New leadership might be what is really needed to implement real and lasting change for the better. If done right, this model could be used in other public facing government run operations.
The Governor announced the creation of a task force to improve the operations of the DMV or as I call the customer experience of interfacing with the government. Most comments I have seen since the announcement reflect distrust and are negative towards the task force. I question how a task force created October 5 can delever solid recommendations by Nov. 4th, expecially with 21 people on the committee. My thoughts are this is for show and the fact Brownback praised the work of Nick Jordan just show how out of touch he is. There is no typical DMV customer represented on the task force. So how are they gathering the voice of the customer? Beats me.
Tom Franzen, JOCO County Treasurer reported at a hearing in Topeka yesterday that wait times in his offices are down and so are the number of people appearing at the offices. This is due to more people going online, as fees have been eliminated and mailing in registration. I feel good about my efforts to get the online fees eliminated and to promote these options to the public.
The way to fix the problems with the Kansas DMV is by replacing Nick Jordan and Donna Shelite so we can install leaders with the knowhow and tenacity to fix the issues including appropriate fines against 3M as allowed by contract. It has been four months now and the costs continue to escalate. We already pay $4 dollars per registration to modernize the DMV, which is set to expire in 12/31/12 and become a funding source (a tax you did not know you were paying) for highways. We need to look beyond the software issues and realize the shifting of responsibilities from the State on processing titles to the counties is to blame for much of the additional cost. The State reduced personnel and the counties had to hire. It is only fair for the counties to expect a larger subsidy.
We Must Keep the Pressure on the State Division of Vehicles and its Leadership to Obtain Accountability
Ryan Kath has my applause for his efforts at uncovering the truth and reporting the details about the Kansas DMV software conversion (DMV Modernization Project). He, by far, has conducted the most exhaustive investigation of any reporter in the state and has worked to obtain accountability. My accidental involvement in this matter started with wanting to understand the impact of the conversion mess on Johnson County taxpayers. What I found was the no one had answers to my questions. This is when I decided I needed to get deeply involved. Because of my direct efforts, the Johnson County Commissioners wrote a letter to Governor Brownback requesting the waiver of online service fees and other changes made to the way the insurance database is managed allowing greater usage of the online system. The good news is fees have been waived. There is still much to be done to improve and modernize the State and County run offices. We need the $4 modernization fee to be discontinued as now it is going to be used to fund the DOT and not the DMV. We need to add night and weekend hours to our offices to make in more convenient for many us that cannot go during normal business hours. 3M as the vendor needs to pay penalties spelled out in the contract. We need our legislators to change reimbursement formulas so Johnson County taxpayers do not have to subsidize the $1.2 million cost to fund the two County DMV offices. We also need new leadership and a promise not to let this type of fiasco happen again. I will not rest until Nick Jordan and Donna Shelite are gone. Now that will demonstrate accountability. Visit http://fixksdmv.webnode.com/ for more details. The link to the story on Action 41 News can be found in the Links tab.
Good news. I just went out on the renewal website and found the fees are waived now. Not sure why the article said next year and if that was wrong or the State changed their mind. This is a win for everyone.
Once again the State of Kansas can find a way to screw up a good thing. After substantial effort on my part to get the State to drop or waive online fees to register your vehicle, they made the decision to do starting in 2013. Why not know? The only reason is they hope it blows over by next year and they cannot afford the loss of revenue in 2012. Once again only Nick Jordan and Donna Shelite can screw up a good thing. Fire them both and this will be even a better thing to have happen. Also, have you noticed recently purchased KS vehicles a sporting a new 60 day temporary tag. Must be that 30 days is no longer enough time for people to title their vehicle. I never saw anything posted on this change. Why should the DMV start communicating now. Silence is golden when it comes to the taxpayers.
Here is a link to a KC Star article: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/08/01/3737972/kansas-waives-fees-for-online.html
Nick Jordan is the Revenue Secretary of the State of Kansas. His area is responsible for the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and ultimately oversees the DMV Modernization Project, also known now as the 3M software conversion. Donna Shelite is the Director of Motor Vehicles under Nick Jordan and is the primary sponsor of the project.
Background on the project
The projected started in 2008 with a request to bid was issued. The State also approved adding a modernization fee of $4 to all annual registration renewals. In 2009 3M was approved as the contractor and only bidder on this project. The contract is fixed priced set at $25 million. Additionally, the project budgeted another $15 million for hardware and other costs associated with the conversion from the old mainframe disparate systems to single database and software for the County DMV offices to use for titling and registrations and for State DMV Drivers Licenses offices to use for new and renewal licenses.
Here is good link to read on the back ground and problems: http://computersoftwareyo.com/dmv-computer-system-is-still-making-kansans-wait-kansas-city-star/
Now why do Nick and Donna need to go? They failed us the taxpayers and customers of the DMV. They need to be held accountable for their actions or inactions. No excuses are permitted. If this occurred in a project you or me was leading for a private company we would be looking for a job. So should they. Modernization of the systems was needed, but the expectation was to for the new system to work and to increase efficiency (their words, not mine). Neither has happened. It took Nick almost 2 months for a public apology all the while Donna continued her PR campaign on how well the system was working for most counties. The project failed so badly Senator Laura Kelly called for an audit that was approved only to be stalled by Nick Jordan. All you have to do is go to one of the larger county DMV run offices and talk to any customer and you will have further proof as to why they need to resign or be fired.
As you state legislator and your county commissions to help champion this cause and go online to http://www.causes.com/profiles/182916727 to sign an online petition. Thank you.
July is my month to renew my vehicle registrations on the four cars we own. I used to go into the County DMV office to do it, however the last few years I opted to do the by mail process. Normally, I receive the new registration and stickers within days of mailing it in. This year that all changed. I mailed my registrations in along with a check on Tuesday, July 10, 2012. I received two separate envelopes on Saturday, July 21, 2012 and not four as I expected. OK, my first thought is since I mailed them all together I would receive one mailing with all four returned at the same time. With that not the case I expected to receive the other to registrations the following Monday. Well, that did not happen so I called the Johnson County DMV office to check on them since the registrations expire at the end of the month. I waited n hold for 58 minutes to speak with a person. She was rude to the point I could tell she just wanted to get me off the phone and on to the next caller. She did indicate the vehicles were registered and I should expect them any day. When asked why they did not come together she said it must be the new system they are using. Oh, well just another example of how an efficient process has suffered because of the DMV Modernization Project upgrading software and hardware statewide in May. I plan to bring this to the attention of the Johnson County Treasurer. You can thank Nick Jordan and Donna Shelite for "fix'in what ain't broke".
Update: I did receive the other two registrattion in the mail today. Both came in seperate envelopes. OK, here is what JOCO spent on my registrations; 4 envelopes with postage at $.40/envelope to mail the renewals ($1.60), 4 renewal letters (they used to be on one statement, cost not known), 4 return envelopes (I used only one, cost unknown), four registrations (this is OK, cost unknown), 4 envelopes (cost unknown) and postage for the four at $.40/envelope. Total known cost is $3.20 for postage. My guess is at leat $.60 per mailing or $4.80 to send me my renewals and registrations. Householding of these mailings coud have saved at least half. Efficient and cost? I think not. Timely? No.