Lag time slows safety check processing

Keith Kobayashi
Keith Kobayashi
Dennis Kamimura
Dennis Kamimura

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - To renew your motor vehicle registration you need a current safety check. But processing the paperwork for a safety inspection takes several weeks when it could be done a lot faster.

After fifteen years doing safety checks at Lex Brodie's on Queen street, mechanic Keith Kobayashi can rattle off the routine.

"We look at lights, windshield, doors, seat belts. It can take half an hour to an hour when done right," he said.

But it takes much longer to process the paperwork that certifies your vehicle is safe.

The information goes to the city's Department of Information Technology then to a mainland company the city hired to enter data.

"After it's sent to the mainland then it's sent back to DIT, who then updates the computer program," said Dennis Kamimura, administrator of the city Motor Vehicle and Licensing Division.

From start to finish it takes an average of four weeks for the city's computer files to register your safety check as current  although the sticker on your car says it is.

Kamimura said it's a 1968 way of doing business in a 2010 world.

"I don't think there's blame," Kamimura said. "we have an antiquated system using paper and not using up-to-date computer programming that would make this a heck of a lot easier."

The State Department of Transportation plans to put out a request for proposals for a computer system that would link inspection stations directly to the city and eliminate outsourcing.

Kamimura said it would rev up the safety check system.

"It should be 24 to 48 hours at the most," he said.

"Everything can be improved. But also we have to adapt to the change and whatever improvement they try to make," Kobayashi said.

If the current four-week lag time scares you, mechanics recommend you get your inspection done a month before your safety check expires.

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