TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas is pushing back the launch of a new computer system for issuing driver’s licenses so that the long-delayed project can undergo more work.
The state Department of Revenue on Wednesday announced a “slight” delay for the KanLicense system, which was supposed to launch Jan. 2. The announcement came less than two weeks after a state audit raised questions about whether the system would be ready.
The new system would replace a decades-old system for issuing driver’s licenses, identification cards and commercial licenses. It is the second phase of work that previously modernized the processing of motor vehicle titles and registrations. The modernization began in 2007, and the second phase was supposed to be finished in January 2012.
The department said it anticipates the delay being “only a matter of days or weeks” and driver’s license offices will remain open.
“My position from the beginning has been that this computer system will not go live until it is ready, and our testing indicated it needs a little more work to get it there,” Revenue Secretary Sam Williams said in a statement.
Williams also said county officials and hundreds of state employees would have had to work New Year’s Day to prep for the rollout.
The first phase of the modernization, for vehicle titles and registrations, launched 10 months late in 2012 after the state had spent about $36 million, and problems caused long lines at county treasurers’ offices.
The state canceled its contract with its original vendor in 2014 and said it planned to complete the remaining work for $2.1 million, though the figure has grown to $8.6 million. The last three quarterly audits of the project, including one issued Dec. 15, noted changes in the project’s scope and missed deadlines.