The Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services Office plans to spend 1.3-million dollars to hire 26 more staff members to handle the fallout from the launch of the Licensing and Registration system.

House Representative Clark Johnson (D-North Mankato) says it will cost some money to be responsive to Minnesotan’s questions.

Rep. Clark Johnson

“The call center is not that easy work, because each one is distinct. What they’re finding is that if they work to respond to the calls and have supervisors there to hopefully immediately answer, but if not, get back to the folks. That communication is critical. Citizens appropriately have questions.”

The office received an onslaught of complaints when the system launched in July. It received 30-thousand emails and 700-thousand calls in February and March. Around 500-thousand calls were lost because there weren’t enough operators. The office had about 40 people responding to calls and emails.

“We’ve gotta improve our business practices so that we can develop IT systems that can handle those business practices. Too often there’s too much complexity in Minnesota. We’ve gotta find ways to simplify. Our IT challenge might be an avenue to drive that.”

Officials will use money from the Highway User Tax Distribution Fund to make the hires.

The state has already spent at least 93-million dollars on the system.