RALEIGH, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — North Carolina DMV Commissioner Wayne Goodwin is blaming 19,000 errors to driver records in the Raleigh area on the new eCourts system about to roll out in Mecklenburg County, which is the busiest courthouse in the state.
“It’s upsetting because the public expects their driver license record to be accurate,” said Goodwin.
Goodwin says the mistakes his office has had to manually correct from the eCourts pilot counties — Harnett, Wake, Johnston and Lee — include situations where a driver’s record is falsely showing that they were involved in a deadly accident or a driving under the influence arrest, but there’s a big problem: They were not, or they were, and the records don’t reflect that.
“It is a public safety risk when you have people who are on the road who should’ve had their licenses suspended, people who have DUIs who shouldn’t have the privilege of driving,” Goodwin explained. “It greatly heightens the public safety risk.”
The state’s Administrative Office of the Courts, which decides which counties are the next to implement eCourts and when, disputes that it’s giving erroneous data to the DMV and instead says agency’s system is too old.
The AOC sent Queen City News the following statement, through the N.C. Judicial Branch, regarding Goodwin’s claims:
NCAOC is not providing erroneous data to NCDMV. NCAOC and NCDMV began work on a new data integration in October 2019 and have held regular meetings in preparation for the eCourts transformation. NCAOC has long forecasted an early fall 2023 Mecklenburg go-live date to NCDMV and other partners. NCDMV’s State Automated Drivers License System (SADLS) is a functionally obsolete mainframe system that NCDMV has been attempting to replace for nearly a decade. SADLS is limited in what data it can automatically process and has required remediative efforts (such as manually keying in portions of some records) for many years. An instance of SADLS not being able to automatically ingest a data element from NCAOC is not an “error.”
NCDMV claims that eCourts is causing an additional 1-2 hours of daily manual entry. At NCDMV’s request, NCAOC has developed and installed several modifications to the shared data integration to reduce instances of manual entry. In contrast, NCDMV has not made corresponding updates to SADLS despite NCAOC’s offer to provide additional data elements and crosswalks. NCAOC also offered to provide NCDMV with a full-time temporary employee during the transition period to absorb the alleged 5-10 weekly hours of additional manual entry. NCDMV has not accepted this offer. NCAOC continues to assist NCDMV throughout the eCourts project to mitigate the limitations inherent in the SADLS system.
Goodwin says the state needs to stop and make sure the mistakes are fixed before rolling out the system in new counties, putting drivers at risk.
“It’s maddening, it’s frustrating that despite months of sharing our concerns from DMV, that we are not being heard.”
The DMV says the errors are caused by missing data or incorrect data entry coming from the AOC and eCourts.
“The DMV’s SADLS system is not causing these errors. SADLS is processing the other 96 counties with minimal errors. The errors that we are encountering are not due to SADLS limitations but are due to missing data elements and incorrect data entry from AOC. The SADLS system can only process the data it receives from the sender. “NC DMV
Mecklenburg County doesn’t seem to want to get involved in this back and forth between state agencies.
The Trial Court Administrator’s Office at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse declined comment Wednesday.