Acting DMV Commissioner faces bi-partisan buzz-saw at Capitol

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The new acting Commissioner of the DMV ran into a bi-partisan buzz-saw at the State Capitol today. After less than a week on the job, Dennis Murphy says there is no end in sight just yet for the DMV’s computer glitches. The good news is that many, many more people are doing their DMV business online, but there is no estimate on when the $25 million project will actually bring services at DMV offices back to the way they used to be.

“We know this is unacceptable.” Despite that opening statement, acting DMV Commissioner Dennis Murphy, who has only been on the job for four days, was subjected to a bi-partisan buzz-saw from lawmakers that have been swamped with complaints and experienced the DMV torture themselves.

“Frustration, anger, they, you know, are getting suspension notices,” said Sen. Joan Hartley (D-Waterbury).

“As of a month ago, my husband stood in line to get a number for an hour and a half on January 19th,” said Rep. Noreen Kokoruda (R-Madison).

“There were a lot of aggravated folks in that line, I probably was 120th getting there an hour early that day,” said Sen. Beth Bye (D-West Hartford) about her recent visit to a DMV office.

And Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-Wilton) noted what constituents tell her they want from the DMV.

“They want somewhere that they can use easily, quickly, and not have to plan a whole day of their life around going there,” said Lavielle.

But the DMV says they still cannot give any estimate on when things will get back to the point where they were before the new computer system was first placed online this summer, only that things are slowly improving.

“The ‘average wait time’ across the system in August was 2 hours and 43 minutes. This is after the new system went ‘live.’ The ‘average wait time’ in January was 43 minutes.”

The DMV is telling lawmakers that the agency does have a long list of ‘glitches’ that the vendor; ‘3M’ has promised to address and that the system will not be accepted until that happens, but there is no guarantee that even after those have been addressed, there won’t be even more glitches.

“Once we accept the system then a one year warranty period begins and if anything breaks during that period they’re still on the hook to fix it,” said Murphy.

There could be another big glitch coming that will likely hit Connecticut shoreline residents the hardest. Acting Commissioner Murphy noted that we will soon start the boating season and that is likely to cause another problem for the new system.

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