The State of Minnesota signed a $33.9 million deal with Fast Enterprises to replace the state’s chronically troubled MNLARS (Minnesota License and Registration System). Despite the expense, and despite kissing goodbye the more than $100 million the state spent trying to develop MNLARS, it looks like a good deal.
MNLARS was supposed to replace the state’s antiquated computer system for processing and issuing vehicle licenses and registrations. It took ten years to develop, but when it debuted in 2017, it just didn’t work. It still doesn’t work that well, despite more spending to keep it working. It’s never going to work.
Fast Enterprises was the only company to bid on replacing it. Fast Enterprises was the firm that revamped the state’s driver’s license system to bring it in line with the national Real ID system. It has a track record of taking commercially available software and adapting it to each state’s needs.
If they can give Minnesota’s registrars a fast, reliable system for handling vehicle registration and licensing needs, the $33.9 million will be money well spent.