To really f— things up requires an IT contractor

Connecticut DMV switched to a new computer system last year, so don’t be surprised if you get arrested. Hartford Courant reports.

The computer revokes registration quickly and efficiently on its own, while humans have to wade through paperwork and argue with the computer to reinstate registrations.

To add to the trouble, the new system didn’t mail out notices for registrations suspended by the old system. Thousands of drivers no way to know they were breaking the law.

The problematic registrations were suspended for lack of insurance. You used to be able to show insurance paperwork, but no more.

In 2016 the purpose of an insurance card or registration is to allow police to ticket you if you forgot to keep it in your car. It no longer proves you have insurance or registration. The computer is always right.

Getting insurance, registration, and so on is a manual process. Losing insurance, registration, and so on is a computerized process. It’s not a fair fight.

There’s a straightforward way around this problem. If you have satisfactory ID and the car appears road legal, police should accept your word that the computer is wrong instead of holding your car hostage. You get a “fix-it” ticket (to borrow a California term). If the computer was wrong, the problem is cleared up at leisure. If you were wrong, then you are found guilty. If you blow it off, next time they take your car away.

The main reason I haven’t switched car insurance companies is fear of computer error. Massachusetts has the same law about registration suspension for lack of insurance. If you switch insurance companies the old company tells the RMV you no longer have insurance. If you’re lucky the new company tells the RMV you do have insurance. Not everybody is lucky.

The opinions expressed in belong to the author and do not necessarily represent those of the National Motorists Association or the NMA Foundation. This content is for informational purposes and is not intended as legal advice. No representations are made regarding the accuracy of this post or the included links.

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