TOPEKA — A driver’s license computer program rife with delays and complications is on track for launch in early 2018, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Revenue said Thursday.
Rachel Whitten said the second phase of KDOR’s computer system replacement should go live Jan. 2 and replace the second part of a 30-year old system used to issue driver’s licenses, identification cards and commercial licenses and process motor vehicle titles and registrations.
The project should have replaced the old systems in two phases in 2011 and 2012, but the first portion replacing title and registration system launched 10 months late in May 2012 and spurred long lines at county treasurers’ offices. The second phase of the system, which will issue licenses, still isn’t online nearly six years after its initial targeted launch date, January 2012, but it should go live next month.
“It’s looking like it’s ready to go live on that date,” Whitten said.
Auditors placed the project on caution status in July and October reports because of changes to the scope of the project and missed deadlines by the project’s contractor, MorphoTrust. The Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit will release another review of the program next week. The office has been monitoring the program because of its challenges.
Whitten said there were no apparent issues at this time that might delay the rollout.
“With any project there’s challenges that are presented and you work on those challenges, and (Revenue Secretary Sam Williams) has been very involved in this project — overseeing and making sure the people working on the project have the resources they need and the support to ensure the success of the project,” Whitten said.
Whitten said Department of Motor Vehicles employees who will be dealing with the new system are undergoing training. She said Williams has said the system will not go live if something goes wrong and it won’t be “successful.”
“Whether it’s two days or two weeks, it will only go live when it is ready,” Whitten said.
Some legislators and auditors expressed concern over the rollout earlier this year. Rep. Blake Carpenter, a Derby Republican and member of a joint committee on information technology, said he wasn’t concerned at this time after Revenue Secretary Sam Williams appeared before the committee in September.
“Basically, the committee wanted to make sure the rollout wasn’t a cluster,” Carpenter said.