Officials from the state Department of Motor Vehicles said they are making progress after being plagued with long lines in the days following a major computer upgrade. However, they are warning residents not to wait until the last minute to renew licenses, identification cars and registrations that were extended because the work on the system.
DMV Commissioner Andres Ayala Jr. held a news briefing on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the upgrade of registration computer systems and said the transition has gone as "smoothly as something this large could go."
DMV officers were closed from Aug. 11 to Aug. 15 for the upgrades and Gov. Dannel Malloy and Commissioner Ayala ordered all expiration date of all driver’s licenses, ID cards or vehicle registrations to be extended through Oct. 10 with no late fee for renewals until then. With that deadline quickly approaching, the DMV said now is the time to act and you might not have to go to a DMV branch to complete the process.
“Customers need to get it done and now is the time for people to start doing them,” said DMV Commissioner Ayala said in a statement, “We don’t want them waiting in line unnecessarily.”
He said as time goes on, the DMV expects the wait time at DMV branches to go down.
"We expect the wait time in branches to lessen even more in the coming months as the the number of renewals decrease. Indeed, people can and should go online or mail them in, but many still show up to our offices. The number of notices will be decreasing by the thousands during the next few months due to our regular cycles for renewals."
This will pick up again after at the beginning of 2016, he said, and the DMV is preparing a proposal for virtual queuing in DMV offices to reduce lines.
Residents can check the DMV website for tax delinquencies, reports on overdue emissions tests or failure to have state-required vehicle insurance, which often hold up registering a new vehicle or doing a renewal, according to DMV officials.
If you are deliquent on taxes, you might not need to go to the DMV. Towns and municipalities have been linked to DMV computer systems for real-time resolution in DMV computers. Once that is done, a customer can do the renewal from a home computer, smartphone or tablet.
Emissions test stations also have a direct link to DMV. Once the test is passed and completed, a customer can renew a registration online.
The new online services DMV offers are:
- Improved online registration renewal program. Anyone charged a late fee online for a renewal date from Aug. 11 to Oct. 10 will be reimbursed.
- Online checks for items, such as unpaid property taxes, lack of insurance, delinquent parking violations, which can hold up a registration renewal and cause repeat trips to DMV.
- Reprints of registration certificates from home or other computers.
- Registration cancelations online.
- Online ordering of special plates, such as vanity plates.
- Online ordering of replacements for damaged plates.
- Electronic notification by providing customers with an option for DMV to contact them either by mail or e-mail.
- Streamline efficiency of technology in the agency to with services in branch offices.