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Backlog has police ticket car despite its new safety sticker

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Question: I updated my car’s safety check in July. On Sept. 9 I found a citation for "Fraudulent Use of Safety Check" on my car. Apparently the police officer for some reason ran a computer check on my parked vehicle, which showed that my safety check had expired, although I had a current safety sticker good until July 2011. I found out that the service station’s copy of the safety inspection that is submitted to the state is actually outsourced to the mainland. Because of this, records are not being updated in a timely manner, and there is a backlog. This has cost me time and money. I had to write a letter with a self-addressed, stamped envelope, including my copy of the safety check, to the traffic court. What’s going on?

Answer: Vehicle owners beware: It’s true that the updating of safety inspection expiration dates is being delayed three to four weeks "due to timing of the station forms being submitted by the inspection stations and delay in key-punching the data," said Dennis Kamimura, administrator of the city Motor Vehicle and Licensing Division.

The data-entry contract was awarded to the lowest bidder, a mainland firm.

"There were problems with the contractor, and a letter of warning was issued," Kamimura said.

The name of the firm, the amount of the contract and other details were not readily available, he said.

We’ll do a follow-up when we get the information, but wanted to alert readers, especially those renewing their vehicle registrations. (See next question.)

In the meantime, to resolve the delay, the state Department of Transportation will be advertising a "request for proposals" for a new electronic safety inspection program "in the very near future," Kamimura said.

"The RFP will require all inspection stations to computerize the inspection program and allow for electronic updating of the completed inspections," he said. "The electronic updating of the motor vehicle files will reduce the current lag to possibly 24 hours."

There are other reasons the computer file is slow in being updated, Kamimura said, including keyboard error, lost forms, unreadable handwriting, an inspector indicating the wrong new expiration year, and transposition of license plate numbers.

Question: I no longer am able to renew my vehicle registration online at, because it states that my safety check has expired. But my license plate registration is in October, and I always have my safety check done in August. Now I have to take time off and stand in line at a satellite hall. What do I need to do to gain access to the online services again?

Answer: To ensure that your safety expiration date is updated in the city’s computer system, you are advised to send the goldenrod-colored registration copy of the safety inspection form to Motor Vehicle Registration Branch, P.O. Box 30330, Honolulu, HI 96820-0330.

Include a short note requesting that the safety inspection be updated. Or you may take the safety inspection form to any satellite city hall and ask that your file be updated.

On the Net:

» Facebook | Peter Carlisle

Question: Does Mayor-elect Peter Carlisle have a transition office at City Hall? If so, what is his e-mail address there?

Answer: For now at least, you can write to him the old-fashioned way, at Honolulu Hale, 530 S. King St., Honolulu 96813.
In answer to a question at a news conference this week, he said he wasn’t giving out an e-mail address. His "transition office," at last check, was in transition and not yet set.

Write to "Kokua Line" at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail
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