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Connecticut Lawmakers Question DMV Officials Following Computer Overhaul

Chion Wolf
The overhaul led to lengthy wait times at DMV offices.

Connecticut lawmakers met with Department of Motor Vehicles officials on Friday after a year of backlogs, long lines, and other problems developed following a major computer overhaul at the state agency. 

The legislature's Appropriations Committee invited DMV representatives to an informational hearing at the State Capitol. 

The hearing came after the implementation of a new computer system was found to have multiple glitches causing chaos for motorists across the state. The new online network was put into effect under former DMV Commissioner Andres Ayala, Jr. last August.

The overhaul led to lengthy wait times at DMV offices. DMV operations were temporarily suspended for a week while the new system was being fixed. 

The errors continued for months. The new network was blamed for the wrongful revocation of licenses from motorists who recently switched insurance providers. 

"The problems that have resulted were from the code that 3M designed for the state of Connecticut," said Acting DMV Commissioner Dennis Murphy.

Murphy said other states have experienced similar problems, and creating an effective network is easier said than done.  

"The smartest corporations out there -- the 3Ms of the world, the IBMs of the world -- all of them have difficulties creating systems that work from the get-go," Murphy said.  

But he also touted the progress that the new network has made since August. Despite the glitches that resulted in 86,000 vehicle registration errors, Murphy insisted that wait times at the DMV have significantly declined. 

"The average wait time across the system in August was two hour and 41 minutes. The average wait time in January was 43 minutes and we need to get that down," said Murphy. "That's not acceptable."

Friday marked Murphy's fourth day as acting commissioner since being appointed by Governor Dannel Malloy.

Daniel Keith is an intern at WNPR.

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