DMV's computer taking its toll on title service firms (computer problems - domino effect)greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Today: October 26, 1999 at 10:59:52 PDT
DMV's computer taking its toll on title service firms
By Cy Ryan
SUN CAPITAL BUREAU
CARSON CITY -- Owners of two small businesses complained Monday that they are being hurt financially by new DMV rules aimed at reducing complaints about the new $25 million Genesis computer.
The small businesses cater to dealerships or individuals who pay to have them register cars or process titles at the Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety.
The department's new computer system has been slowing transactions in recent weeks, causing long delays for consumers.
To speed things up the department is limiting the number of transactions title dealers can complete at any one time.
"This new system is going to put me out of business," said JoAnne Buonamano, who has operated A-Vehicle Registration Service for 10 years in Las Vegas.
Sonja Pack, who owns Motor Vehicle Title Services in Carson City, said the department is engaging in "a restraint of services" with its restrictions.
But the department said the new rules are to help other customers in line, rather than allowing registration and title services to tie up the technicians in the department. Ginny Lewis, deputy director of the department, said these businesses spend two hours and more at a window.
"It's not fair to the customers standing behind them," Lewis said.
And service is getting better, Lewis said. Lines in Las Vegas Monday were down to two hours at the longest, she said.
"We're not experiencing a surge of customers at 6 a.m. We're getting back to normal," Lewis said.
Buonamano works with car dealers in Las Vegas, many of whom advertise they will take care of the registration and license plates of customers who purchase vehicles. In the past, she said, she was able to register 35 to 40 cars a day.
After the arrival of Genesis, she spent 10 hours a day instead of two to three hours getting the vehicles registered. Last Friday, Buonamano said, she was informed that she has to make an appointment and can register only five cars a day.
"I don't understand how a public agency can say I can register only five a day," she said. If she does the work, it saves 40 people from going to the agency when they buy a new car, thus keeping lines down. First-time registration cannot be done through the mail.
So she said she's actually saving the DMV time because she has all the documents ready and knows the procedure.
Lewis countered, "She (Buonamano) was coming in and spending two and three hours with a technician. She works for the dealers. She was taking up so much time." The policy affecting Buonamano is only temporary "until we get through the hump in the office," Lewis said.
"With the customers and all the flak from the long lines, we have one person sitting at the counter for two hours. It's not fair to the customers."
Buonamano said she could go to four offices in Southern Nevada and set up appointments to register five vehicles a day at each location. But she's having trouble getting appointments. She is starting to turn away customers, she said, because she can't get the service.
Pack said a new policy at the DMV's Carson City office will limit her to processing three title transfers a day. In pre-Genesis, she could process up to 15 titles a day.
"You cannot sell a vehicle without this title," she said. The new rules limit her to one 30-minute appointment a day.
Car dealers, if they want expedited service, can send in a batch of titles through express mail with a return envelope. Those will be taken care in a matter of days and the only extra cost is the express mail, Lewis said.
-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), October 26, 1999
Hey, not to worry. The cars are really theirs, so what's the complaining about? You realize that, the same as real estate, they own "your" car. They have the title. You have a certificate of title. Bottom line -- if don't pay the registration and license fees (for your permission to drive their car), you will find out real quick who the real owner is.
-- A (A@AisA.com), October 26, 1999.