Indiana computer glitches: Worst is over

Bureau of Motor Vehicles upgrade of 70s-era system caused long waits, other problems.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor

Indiana's new computer system for its Bureau of Motor Vehicles is online after a rough start, and state legislators held a hearing this week to find out why the transition was quite so rough. BMV Commissioner Joel Silverman took the heat, saying the problems were his fault pushing launch before processes were properly nailed down, the Indianapolis Star reported.

[Silverman] apologized to the panel for the numerous problems that followed the agency's switch to a new $32 million computer system in July, including several tasks that could not be performed for days, and other glitches that resulted in hourslong waits at some branches. The switch also raised concerns about the accuracy of driving records accessed by police and prosecutors. Officers in Hamilton County stopped using the BMV's records as a sole basis for detaining drivers because of the problems.

The upgraded system is designed to be more secure, meet new federal ID requirements and enable the agency to verify data in a way a 1970s-era mainframe system would not allow. The BMV says it is one of the largest _ if not the largest _ data conversions in state history and involved more than 250 million files.

"We went from horse-and-buggy to a Ferrari and sometimes it's hard to drive," Silverman said. "We know the future will be brighter because of this change."

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