Republicans’ decision to block MNLARS customer service improvements a total disaster

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One month ago, DFL senators introduced a plan to help Minnesotans get timely answers to their questions about the new Licensing and Registration System (MNLARS). Republicans blocked the DFL plan on a party-line vote. As a result, Minnesotans are waiting weeks to get their questions answered.

Were it not for Republicans’ extreme lack of foresight, DFLers could have made serious improvements to customer service by now. Minnesotans deserve to know who is responsible for this mess. Republicans have only themselves to blame.

According to public testimony from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, hundreds of thousands of calls are met with a busy signal each month, and some emails take weeks to get a reply. In February and March of this year alone, more than 500,000 calls were met with a busy signal.

Approximately 73% of calls are dropped or get a busy signal because there just aren’t enough people to answer the phone. That’s unacceptable. If you divide the average of 332,287 calls per month by the 43 customer service employees, it comes out to 7,740 calls per employee. Assuming a 40-hour week, employees would have to answer approximately 48 calls an hour, meaning each Minnesotan gets just over a minute to get their question answered. That’s not reasonable.

Minnesotans are paying the price of Republicans’ political games. Hiring more driver and vehicle service customer service staff to answer Minnesotans’ questions in a timely manner is the right thing to do.