Ky. Transportation Cabinet notes progress on problematic registration system

Published 3:43 pm Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Officials from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) appeared before a legislative committee on Tuesday to describe progress being made on the Cabinet’s new vehicle and boat registration system, which has been beset by problems since it was rolled out in January.

Transportation Secretary Jim Gray told the Interim Joint Transportation Committee that the changeover to the new Kentucky Automated Vehicle Information System (KAVIS) from the previous system, known as AVIS, was necessary.

“KAVIS replaces a 45-year-old mainframe system used by county clerks for motor vehicle and vessel-related transactions that was difficult to support and maintain,” he testified. “The new system better protects the 250-million vehicle records that we must keep updated in Kentucky, and it better performs the functions a 21st century enterprise needs to work efficiently.”

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However, the system did not perform as expected, resulting in a two-week shutdown of the new system, which led to a massive backlog on transactions such as registering titles, among other things.

Heather Stout, Executive Director of KYTC’s Office of Information Technology, testified, “You’ve heard about the challenges, and there still are challenges and things that we are still working to improve upon and minimize the frustrations that some of the clerks are still having.”

She noted, “Many of them are seeing vast improvements, and there is no comparison to where we were January 30 and where we are today, but there is still room for improvement.”

Gray and Stout admitted there is still about a six-week delay in processing the titles, but that is down from the three-month backlog experienced earlier this year. They said KYTC employees are whittling the numbers down, so that currently they are processing three days’ worth every two days.

Members also heard some good news about the fuel tax for the 2025 fiscal year, which begins July 1. Based on a drop in the wholesale price of gasoline, the Kentucky Department of Revenue says that means the Kentucky gasoline excise tax will decrease from its current 23.7 cents per gallon to 21.4 cents in July. Since there are no corresponding changes in the supplemental highway user motor fuel tax (5 cents), or the petroleum environmental assurance fee (1.4 cents) the total gasoline taxes and fees will decrease from 30.1 cents to 27.8 cents, a drop of 2.3 cents per gallon.