On one of its busiest days, the Kansas motor-vehicle system sputtered to a virtual halt.
The last day of any month is typically the busiest for counties as motorists wait as long as possible to renew their tags before they expire.
That meant long lines.
Because of the delays, Kansas officials are asking for law enforcement officers to give motorists a grace period and are refusing to pay the final 10 percent due on its contract for a new $40 million motor vehicle system.
In a statement, Kansas Department of Revenue officials asked officers to give motorists whose tags expire June 30 a two-week grace period. This would be until July 13 especially for those whose temporary tags expire June 20.
Because most Kansas counties do not have a backlog of renewals and have seen their lives return to normal, local law enforcement officers will use their professional discretion in applying the grace period in their counties, according to the statement.
But it's far from normal in the Kansas City area, which has a higher volume than most other counties.
"I understand and am very sorry for people's frustration when they are trying to fulfill their responsibility as a vehicle owner and are unable to do so for reasons out of their control," Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan said. "We are working tirelessly with 3M and won't settle for anything less than the best system for Kansas for decades to come."
Jordan confirmed that the state notified 3M that the company must improve its new software. Glitches and slowdowns have caused long lines and frustration at motor vehicle offices across the state since it was installed seven weeks ago. The company has been ordered to address the system's response times, availability and other issues.
Donna Shelite, the state director of vehicles, told the Shawnee County Commission that as many as 73,000 records didn't convert correctly to the new system.
The state will not make its final payment or sign off on the project "until remaining system performance issues are resolved to the state's satisfaction," Jordan said.
Johnson County's DMV system went down twice. As of 3:15 p.m., there were 330 people in line in Merriam and 310 in Olathe. The county has had to hire 16 additional workers because of the problems.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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