JoCo DMV faces million-dollar budget gap from upgrade, needs state approval to fix it

MISSION, Kan. - Another growing pain of upgrades at the Johnson County DMV seems to be a larger-than-expected budget shortfall, and county officials need state approval to fix it.

The upgrade to the computer system that caused customers to wait several hours in line is also costing more than county leaders expected. The system does take in more information, but with it, the county also got a bigger share of the workload they previously shared with the state. 

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That meant adding 15 full-time employees to keep the new system running smoothly so that people are waiting a reasonable amount of time. The additional staff comes at a cost of an additional $700,000 per year, according to the Johnson County Treasurer.

The DMV typically runs a $500,000 deficit, but now that budget gap is looking more like $1 million. 

To fix it, county officials plan to ask state officials for ways to increase fees. A $2 fee per transaction would fix the shortfall, according to the treasurer.

Currently, the money from a $4 "modernization fee" goes to the Department of Revenue. The fee has been in place since 2008. Starting next year, the money will be diverted to the highway fund. Keeping part of that fee in the Department of Revenue is one of the possible solutions county officials will propose to officials at the statehouse.

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