DMV may be feeling the relief

Headaches at the Carson City Department of Motor Vehicles are getting relief with streamlined mail-in registration, shorter lines and Internet services on the horizon, officials said Thursday.

For procrastinators, though, the break is over: A 30-day grace period has ended.

Statewide, a backlog in mail-in registration has plagued drivers since the inception of the controversial Project Genesis computer system three months ago. But now registration is back on track, once again allowing a 10- to 12-day turnaround.

Agency spokeswoman Kim Evans said Deloittle and Touche Technology, the department's computer vendor, enhanced the Genesis system with a faster mail registration program.

"We also had about 20 additional temporary staff playing catchup," she said.

With the improvements, it is improbable that the agency will have a backlog for awhile, but Evans warns drivers to be aware of their registration expiration.

"This doesn't mean that people can wait until the day before their registration expires to mail it in," she said. "It still takes 10 to 12 days."

Because the agency has caught up with overdue registrations, the 30-day grace period enacted by Gov. Kenny Guinn in October is no longer necessary and has been discontinued.

In smaller towns and rural areas, using local DMV branches is as easy as ever, Evans said. In Carson City, the wait probably will not exceed 30 minutes.

"Avoid a Monday or Friday because those are the busiest days of the week," she said. "In the metropolitan areas like Reno and Las Vegas the wait will still be a couple of hours."

Officials hope to further ease the process with Internet registration.

The program, slated to be operating by April 2000, will allow people to renew registration from home and from smog stations.

Evans said the Department of Motor Vehicles will provide computer training on the new system to smog technicians.

The agency switched to the $35 million Genesis system in September, but it was plagued with problems from the beginning.

The processing of mail-in renewals weren't the only delays. Because of computer problems, many motorists were forced to line up for as long as eight hours to conduct routine business.


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