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Today: October 05, 1999 at 11:17:02 PDT
DMV overcharges 'computer glitch'
Many motorists can expect refunds
By Cy Ryan
SUN CAPITAL BUREAU
CARSON CITY -- A new glitch has cropped up in the trouble-plagued computer system of the state Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety -- overcharging motorists when they re-register their autos.
Kim Evans, spokeswoman for the department, said Monday the privilege tax has been miscalculated in cases where a person purchased a new car in the 1980s before Jan. 1 of the model year. For instance a motorist may have purchased a 1983 Ford new but bought it in the fall of 1982.
Evans said errors occurred in the depreciation allowance for the car. Typically, she said, the overcharge was $5 to $6 but there are some people who reported their privilege tax doubled because of the error.
The computer bug has been fixed and starting Wednesday the correct privilege tax should be computed on the registration bill.When the system is stabilized in one or two months, Evans said, a computer search will be done to find out who was overcharged. Those motorists will then receive a refund.
She said the department doesn't feel there's a large number of overcharges.
This was the latest bug discovered in the system that went online a month ago. Since then business has slowed to a crawl with customers waiting three to four hours in line for a drivers license or to register their car.
Previously there were errors found in vehicle titles and incorrect information on traffic records. Last month Douglas County Assessor Barbara Byington called the system a "piece of junk." She said her satellite office at Lake Tahoe is able to process only seven transactions a day compared to the normal 45 before the system was started.
Storey County Assessor Kathy Weeks complained it takes an hour to finish the business of one person. And her office has been deluged with complaints. She told county officials last month, "If things don't get better, I'm going to come back and ask you to remove the DMV from my office."
The state agency operates through the county assessor's office in many rural counties.
A legislative subcommittee meets at 3 p.m. today at the Sawyer building in Las Vegas to review the progress made in the last few weeks. The system, nicknamed "Genesis" came on line Sept. 7 and has resulted in problems not only for individuals but for businesses.
The department said it has been improving. But officials concede processing will never be as fast as in the pre-Genesis days.
-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), October 05, 1999
"But officials concede processing will never be as fast as in the pre-Genesis days..."
Ah, progress. And to think, Nevada was one of my prime alternatives to the current location!
-- Mad Monk (email@example.com), October 05, 1999.