February 4, 2011
Contact: Charles E. Summers, Jr.

Secretary of State Summers Announces the Successful Conversion of 2 Million Vehicle Registration Files

Deployment of registration system completes computer migration project

AUGUSTA – As many people were observing the President’s Day holiday last month, employees at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles were busy converting more than 2 million vehicle registration records to a new computer system.

Working in coordination with the Executive Branch Office of Information Technology, the Department of Public Safety, and the Information Resource of Maine (InforME), the state’s provider of online services, the Bureau’s testing of the interfaces went as smoothly as the data conversion. All systems were operating as planned when the Bureau of Motor Vehicle offices opened for business on Wednesday morning, February 23, 2011.

?This phase of the migration was by far the largest and most complex,? stated Secretary of State Charles Summers. ?I am amazed and very appreciative of the talented employees who put their heart and soul into this project. Their dedication and commitment ensured its success.?

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles began the migration project in 2001 after a Functional Point Analysis was performed and the Bureau reorganized according to functional processes. The Bureau was one of only a few agencies still utilizing the State’s 30 year old BULL mainframe computer for operations. When the Office of Information Technology announced its plans to discontinue operation of the mainframe, it became imperative that the Bureau take action to migrate the database to a new environment.

The first phase of the project began with the development and conversion of internal data systems common to the Bureau. The next phase was the conversion of all driver license and driver history records on file. When this phase was deployed in July of 2005, it resulted in long lines at the motor vehicle offices, frustrated customers, and overwhelmed employees. The project was reevaluated and a decision made to continue development using in-house staff and contractors.

Since 2005, the Secretary of State’s Office of Information Services has developed, tested and launched eight data systems that include files relating to municipalities, vehicle dealers, long term trailer plates, titles, fuel use decals, overlimit permits, operating authority for commercial vehicles, and vehicle registrations. Each system was developed in partnership with the business users and underwent extensive user testing before deployment, resulting in no adverse impact on the public or the employees who use the systems.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles continues its work with municipalities and their vendors to update file formats and software, and is on target to have most municipalities online with the new system this summer.