Torkelson against throwing $43M at MNLARS problem

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is seeking $43 million in additional funding for the Minnesota Licensing and Registration System (MNLARS).

The MNLARS program has been in development to the last 10 years and was officially launched in July 2017. MNLARS was designed to replace a 30-year-old legacy system to process vehicle titles and registration transactions, but the system encountered technical problems and now additional funds are being sought to fix the bugs and glitches in the system.

Minnesota House Representative Paul Torkelson (R-Hanska) said in a statement released Wednesday that this additional $43 million was unrealistic and unacceptable considering the state has already spent nearly $100 million on MNLARS.

Torkelson said MNLARS works for typical licensing issues, but with specialty plate transfers and out-of-state car sales, the system does not function.

Recently the state has hired an outside vendor called Fast System to handle the driver’s license and the Real ID aspect of the system.

Torkelson said the additional $43 million request is not a guarantee. The Legislature must appropriate these additional funds. Torkelson is against solving the MNLARS problem by “throwing money at it.”

“Minnesota taxpayers should not be forced to foot the bill to clean up this mess, and deserve better than the plan that was presented day,” he said.

This $43 million roadmap for fixing MNLARS was developed through the input of 100 deputy registrars, auto dealers, financial institutions, legislators and other stakeholders.

Gov. Mark Dayton has given his full support to the program. In a press release Dayton said, “The people and businesses of Minnesota deserve the quality, timely services this roadmap promises to deliver. We will not rest until we get this done right, and Minnesotans should expect nothing less.”

See page 5A for additional information on this issue.


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