By Gene Meyer | Kansas Reporter
MISSION — Kansans facing deadlines for getting new or renewed car tags have an additional 30 days, as the state deals with some hard-to-kill bugs in its new $40 million computer system.
The state Department of Revenue said renewal deadlines for motorists, who’ve been shut out of the system since May 1, would be extended. On Monday, Kansas experienced another “prolonged slowdown” in service, tax collectors said.
Motorists whose tags expired April 30 now have until May 31 to renew; those whose tags will expire May 31 have until June 29.
“We’re glad to see things got extended,” said Jim Hanni, executive vice president of AAA-Kansas in Topeka. “This was really starting to affect a lot of people.”
The problems could have affected as many 275,000 car owners, based on statewide registration totals, Hanni said.
State revenue officials closed all 109 Department of Motor Vehicle stations from May 1 to 7 to move the records from 1980′s vintage mainframe computers to a new system designed by 3M Co. The week-long shutdown created a backlog of license and tag applications, which continues to create long lines and extended waiting times across the state.
DMV offices reopened on schedule Tuesday, and lines formed quickly at two of the state’s busiest offices — in Mission and Olathe. Some 90 minutes after those offices opened, wait times were estimated to be five and a half hours in Mission and more than six hours in Olathe. The two offices, both in Johnson County, together register about 483,000 vehicles annually.