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How will the new system of vehicle registration and license plates be an improvement over what we have now? - Rapid City Journal

The Division of Motor Vehicles appreciates the opportunity to discuss our new computer system (SDcars) as well as the new license plate with owner system that starts July 1, 2008.

SDcars is a web-based system that is replacing our 20-year-old mainframe system.  This change presents many challenges including converting the Division’s more than four million records, training the entities who will use SDcars, and ensuring that everyone involved…from customers to system
users…is aware of and ready for the plate with owner concept.

Here are a few of the benefits to moving to a plate with owner concept, and implementing the SDcars system:

We currently receive many complaints involving out-of-state parking violations and tickets. When a purchaser doesn’t transfer the vehicle’s title, the license plates are still registered to the seller. If the new owner is ticketed for parking illegally and law enforcement runs the plate through their system, the record doesn’t reflect the new owner, and the seller gets the ticket. While in most cases, the seller isn’t made to pay the fine, they are unjustly inconvenienced. Under the new plate with owner system, when the vehicle is sold, the seller removes the plate and completes a report of sale, making the detached plate eligible for attachment to their newly acquired vehicle. If the plate is run by law enforcement, the record will accurately show the owner of the vehicle.

When the new system takes effect July 1, plate owners will receive credit for any remaining months on the license plate when it’s attached to their new vehicle. Currently when a vehicle is sold, since the license plate stays with the vehicle, the new owner reaps that benefit, and the previous owner loses their investment for the remaining months left on the plate.

Switching from the current mainframe system to the SDcars system offers benefits for both customers and system users.

With SDcars, all of a person’s vehicles will be tied to the vehicle owner(s) (vehicle, boat, permit, etc) and will be contained in one system. In the future, bar codes will be used for easy records retrieval, making license renewal quicker and more efficient. The system will also eventually allow customers to renew their vehicle registrations and complete transactions on-line.

The new system will report and track vehicle sales, providing for more timely collection of fees and taxes, and assessment of interest and penalties on late transactions. All licensed vehicle dealers will soon be able to enter sales information on-line to the state’s computer system, providing an immediate record of the sale. This will help save data entry time and allow for further action to be taken if the purchaser doesn’t complete the transaction with the county within the required timeframe.

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