The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Minnesota IT Services (MNIT) released a project roadmap this past week for the State of Minnesota License and Registration System (MNLARS).

The roadmap is a complete strategy to aggressively address system shortcomings in MNLARS and build out system features that will support a modernized delivery method for driver and vehicle services in the future. Its full execution will require additional funding and legislative support.

“This roadmap reflects the top priorities and conversations that our technical team had with stakeholders, as well as a core understanding of underlying structural fixes necessary to be fully functional,” said Joan Redwing, MNIT chief enterprise architect. “We will continue to work on the back end to stabilize MNLARS, but we’re focused on addressing the issues that directly impact Minnesotans first.”

DPS and MNIT launched MNLARS in July 2017 to replace a 30-year-old legacy system to process vehicle title and registration transactions, but the system has encountered technical complications since that time.

“The Department of Public Safety is committed to continuing work with our technical and business partners in order to make MNLARS a system that works reliably for everyone,” said Mona Dohman, DPS commissioner. 

The MNLARS project roadmap is the direct result of more than eight meetings across the state of Minnesota, covering over 1,600 miles, based on suggestions from more than 100 stakeholders.

The roadmap was produced in partnership with deputy registrars, auto dealers, financial institutions, legislators and other stakeholders who use this system for their work each day.

Top priorities put forth in the roadmap include:

• Fixing bugs/glitches.

• Filling gaps in functionality.

• Empowering users.

• Delivering faster title turnaround.

• Modernizing business processes.

• Improving customer service.

• Stabilizing and optimizing performance.

• Improving user experience.

The roadmap will cost an additional $43 million which the legislature is being asked to appropriate to complete MNLARS defect fixes and add necessary features by December 2019.

An estimated $37 million in additional funding is needed to make system improvements, and $6 million is needed for customer service upgrades.

“I’m very disappointed to hear the administration is asking for another $43 million to prop up MNLARS,” District 16A Rep. Chris Swedzinski said. “We’ve heard over and over from auto dealers, individuals, farmers and business owners what a complete and utter failure this program has been as far as getting titles and licensure for vehicles. We’ve already spent $100 million and $150 million in total is what the general ask is now. I’m very disappointed in this and don’t know what the department has been doing, but we need to get to the bottom of this. This is completely unacceptable to taxpayers, and the administration really needs to answer for this.”