Christine Stuart photo
DMV Commissioner Michael Bzdyra (Christine Stuart photo)

Department of Vehicles Commissioner Michael Bzdyra demanded the contractor it used to upgrade its computer system provide more resources to resolve the ongoing issues.

The performance problem with the computers started on Tuesday and caused long delays at DMV offices across the state.

Officials thought they had resolved the issue earlier this week, but DMV issued a statement late Thursday explaining “the 3M Company cannot identify the root cause of the problem.”

Bzdyra contacted 3M executives and told them he wanted more resources on the ground to help resolve the issues.

“We are assisting the Connecticut DMV and the Department of Administrative Services to address their intermittent computer outages,” Fanna Haile-Selassie, a spokeswoman for 3M, said Friday.

At least one 3M employee was in Connecticut and it’s expected more are on their way, William Seymour, a DMV spokesman said Friday.

In February, Connecticut opted out of its contract with 3M to develop its licensing system following eight months of trouble with the registration system. The state is currently bound by various contractual obligations for 3M to participate in fixing the issues with the system, which will be under warranty for a year after all the bugs are fixed.

As far as performance on Friday, Seymour said “things are working fine, but some of the issues here are unpredictable.” He said that’s why they needed 3M employees in Connecticut working on the issue.

3M employees are currently the only employees authorized to touch the computer code used to build the system, Seymour said. They’ve been working on it remotely, but haven’t been able to resolve all of the issues.

Working on it remotely wasn’t resolving the issues and that’s why Bzdyra called 3M officials Thursday afternoon to demand they come to Connecticut to fix the problem.

The DMV has experienced computer problems since last August when it shut down for a week to switch to the new electronic vehicle registration system, which is part of a $26 million upgrade. The problems with the system began to come to light earlier this year when former DMV Commissioner Andres Ayala Jr. apologized to motorists who erroneously had their registration revoked. Ayala resigned a few weeks later.

Meanwhile, the DMV made a decision several weeks ago to delay sending out late fee notices to about 200,000 motorists for failing to get have emissions tests done on time. The $20 fine adds up to about $4 million in revenue for the state at a time it’s faced with continuing budget deficits.

Seymour said Friday that they plan to send the notices out on May 16.