New system at MVD works to streamline the process of getting your license

Motor Vehicle Division Sign.jpg
Posted at 5:58 PM, Nov 13, 2023

HELENA — For many folks, a trip to the Motor Vehicle Division is a dreaded affair due to the threat of long wait times and monotonous paperwork, but that’s all changing here in Montana. Starting this Monday, a new streamlined system is allowing for convenience and speedy visits.

“...when I started running for Attorney General. I was talking about crime. I was talking about drugs. But everywhere I went everyone went, well, yeah, that. But let me tell you about the awful time I had at MVD. And I heard that literally everywhere I went,” says Attorney General Austin Knudsen.

Phase 1 was released in October of 2022 and focused on revamping the online scheduling system.

For phase 2, the state upended the antiquated system known as MERLIN and replaced it with the drivers services system, CARS (Credentialing and Registration System). The new system allows folks to begin the process for such things as license renewals, replacements, and reinstatement fees online from home. Once you get to the MVD the amount of time to finish the transaction has been about cut in half due to the new system. Everything now happens at one desk opposed to the former system in which the process would take both employees and citizens around the room.

“If you don't keep up to date, you become a dinosaur-like what we had prior to today. And if you don't keep up with technology, you can't provide a service that citizens deserve,” says MVD Administrator, Laurie Bakri.

Attorney General Austin Knudsen says that keeping up with changing technology trends is vital to a thriving government agency and its citizens.

“We have to bring us into the 21st century and deliver the kind of customer service that Montanans expect. And they should,” says Knudsen.

Phase 3 will be out in March of 2025 which will deal with titling and registration for vehicles.