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DVS to mail verification letters to use in place of tabs during backlog of renewals

Thousands of mailed-in renewal applications piled up during the pandemic

The Minnesota Department of Vehicle Services says it’s adding extra staff to catch up on a backlog of several thousand mailed-in registration renewals since mid-May.

During the stay-at-home order, DVS said in a statement, workers couldn’t process mailed-in renewals that required additional attention for reasons such as including incorrect payment, requiring an address change or missing information. Since May 11, about 7,700 mailed-in registration renewals have piled up.

After a Star Tribune story published Thursday detailing several customers’ accounts, the department issued a statement Friday that Minnesotans waiting for tabs will soon receive a verification letter to use as proof of registration in the meantime.

“We know this delay has caused anxiety for some, and we hope that this letter and law enforcement notification will ease the worries of those affected,” Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services Director Emma Corrie said. 

"Processing these renewals and getting tabs to customers is a priority, and we’ve dedicated additional staff to process these as quickly as possible. In the meantime, this letter will provide peace of mind to many who are worried about driving without their updated tabs."

A DVS spokesperson told the Star Tribune that the normal turnaround time is about 14 days. Since January, two or three employees have processed 94,000 mailed-in registrations on a monthly basis, she said. Now, the department is enlisting 21 employees to help catch up. 

Online registration renewal is available at drive.mn.gov. 

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