Henderson County Clerk Renesa Abner is cautioning residents who need to take care of vehicle paperwork at the county clerk’s office that the wait may be a bit longer than what it’s been in the past.
The vehicle services section of the county clerk’s office was closed from Dec. 30-Jan. 8 as the local office, as well as every county clerk office in Kentucky, implemented an upgrade in which 350 million records statewide were transferred to a new system.
On Jan. 9, the vehicle section of the local county clerk’s office reopened, and since then, it’s been one glitch or bug after another, Abner said. A team in Frankfort reports daily about different problems county clerk’s offices are encountering, she said.
“There are some bugs they are working out,” Abner said. “It is a learning curve for all who are learning to work the system.”
But she wasn’t downplaying the new system, but only saying that with that many files and transitioning from a 40-year-old system, those problems are to be expected.
Abner estimates that people needing title, transfer or other vehicle services should expect to wait about 10 minutes longer than what they’ve been used to in the past.
“There are longer lines here,” she said. “I think it’s all over (the state).”
Abner also asked vehicle owners who’ve received a renewal due in March to wait until that month, or at least late February, to come in to pay that. Abner said that if March renewal customers were to wait, it would give time for the system to improve and for county clerk office workers to understand it better.
“My advice…is to wait until March, or the end of February, at least,” Abner said. “They’ll have a better experience when they come in.”
Stephanie Hoffman, the vehicle supervisor at the county clerk’s office, said all the merging of data has caused an influx of files on some individual accounts. Some of the information is wrong, possibly because an employee keyed in an incorrect social security number at a different office, among other examples, Hoffman said.
When accounts are pulled up with incorrect or inaccurate information, vehicle employees must spend time to verify and purge that data, Hoffman said.
In six months to a year, a good portion of accounts will be corrected, and the system will be running smoothly, said both Abner and Hoffman.
“I feel like it’s a good product. I feel like it’s a good switch,” Abner said. “It will be better.”
Since the switch went official Jan. 9, customers at the county clerk’s office have been very understanding, Abner told the Henderson County Fiscal Court Tuesday morning. She also commended her staff for providing service in the face of the difficulties.
“It’s been trying,” she said. “Our customers have been stellar.”