A temporary change is coming to the Blue Earth County License Center Friday.
Director of Taxpayer Services Mike Stahlberger said they will not accept driver’s license or Minnesota I.D. card applications or renewals for just one day so they can get ready for the Monday launch of the new system that will issue REAL ID’s.
“A completely new system that we will be issuing driver’s licenses through,” he explained, “And that comes with new technology, new computers so we need to have time to get that all set up, close down accounts, and then roll over to the new system for Monday morning.”
An extension has been granted to 2020 to comply with the REAL ID requirements but they will be available starting Monday. For those interested, Stahlberger said a list of the documents needed to apply for REAL ID is posted on the county website or a paper copy can be picked up at the county license center.
All other transactions will be available Friday.
Given the recent debacle with the Minnesota Licensing and Registration System, or MNLARS, that was glitch-filled and is still not fully resolved, Stahlberger is hopeful the launch of this new program will go more smoothly.
He said, “We’ve had significantly more training in advance of the rollout, so our staff is more comfortable with the product. There has been more testing; we’ve been involved in testing at the deputy registrar level throughout the state. So, all indications are that it should be a smoother rollout.”
The Department of Public Safety and Minnesota IT Services implemented the MNLARS system last year, and costs to fix glitches in it have topped $90 million. A state audit report earlier this week showed that many people were either overcharged or undercharged to register their vehicles.