Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Truck Driver's Woes Underscore BMV Mess

WTHR-TV had an excellent story yesterday explaining how the BMV computer fiasco adversely affected a local truck driver, Kevin Elliot. Elliot's nightmare began when he was pulled over by police in Arkansas 3 weeks ago and issued a ticket for driving on a suspended license. Elliot told the police officer "that's impossible." He went to the BMV when he returned home. The BMV's computers showed that his license was valid, but when the data was transferred to law enforcement, it showed he had a suspended driver's license. As a consequence of the foul up, Elliot had to go 3 weeks without work while he attempted to get the mess straightened out with the BMV, and he has no money to pay his rent.

The BMV's temporary solution is to issue Elliot a letter he can carry with him in his truck which tell laws enforcement that his license is really valid even though their records show otherwise. There are apologies being sent by the Governor to affected customers, but Elliot isn't one of them. WTHR reports:

Managers are now issuing apologies. Governor Mitch Daniels issued a letter of apology which was sent to some 300 customers. BMV supervisors are doing the same. Spokesman Greg Cook says some BMV supervisers made house calls. "There have been occasions where some directors or managers have taken registrations, for instance, if there's a certain urgent situation, to a customer's home." Kevin Elliott didn't get a house call, nor did he get an apology. As trucker, his BMV problems hurt more than most.

Three weeks of lost wages because the BMV was too anxious to roll out an unproven computer system. AI doubts that's what Gov. Daniels has in mind when he talks about "aiming higher." By the way, the BMV did have time to hand deliver a handwritten note and new registration to the Star's editor Dennis Ryerson after he detailed the problems he encountered attempting to renew his registration on August 6 in the newspaper.

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