MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Complaints continue to pour in about Minnesota’s troubled licensing and registration system.
The $93-million MNLARS program continues to be plagued by long delays and glitches — but this complaint was a new one to us.
Shawn Sheely, who refurbishes motorcycles, got a surprise in the mail this week.
“There was a title for a 2009 Harley Davidson, brand-new bike with one mile on it,” Sheely said. “Clearly not my bike. I don’t own a Harley Davidson.”
He wondered if he is the victim of identity theft.
“There’s a lot of potential messes that could come out of this,” Sheely said.
We ran the VIN number from the title through a number of websites, and on CarFax it came back as a 2009 Husqvarna motorcycle. Sheely did once own this kind of motorcycle, but he sold it three years ago.
He said he has been trying to call the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Drivers and Vehicle Services phone number, but he could not get through — and neither could we.
It went right to voicemail when we called, and this is the message we heard: “We are currently expecting heavy call volume and unable to connect you with an agent at this time.”
Rep. Paul Torkelson, the chair of the Transportation Finance Committee, said he is not surprised.
“We have many examples all the way from somebody who got their driver’s license with the wrong picture on it,” Torkelson said. “Onto titles, onto people who have two sets of license plates for the same vehicle.”
Chair Torkelson and Rep. Dave Baker have set up a complaint site on the House of Representatives’ website to field the thousands of complaints.
Torkelson said the issue of additional funding for MNLARS to fix the glitches will come up before the legislative session ends, which is in just two and a half weeks.
But right now, Torkelson said he is not in favor of putting money into a system that is still clearly broken.
The Dayton administration estimates it will cost an additional $43 million to fix MNLARS’s problems.
WCCO-TV reached out to the Department of Public Safety, and a spokesperson said that what happened with Sheely’s title was the result of human error, not MNLARS.
The spokesperson added that Sheely will be getting a letter saying that the title he received for the Harvey-Davidson was not valid.