Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Auto registration: “High tech Hawaii” can’t even get the computer to do arithmetic

by Larry Geller

The hottest news in the Star-Advertiser on Wednesday, August 10, 2011 was that a few people have gotten a few bucks off of their automobile registration. The state couldn’t reprogram its computers fast enough to charge the new rates required to be in effect by July 1.

Yes, the paper gave that story almost its entire front page. My take on it was that there we were, preparing to demonstrate to APEC that Hawaii is a great place to do business, and we can’t even change auto registration rates in a government computer.

KHON just reported that the rates are now changed. And they got it wrong.

If your vehicle registration is due in December...don't pay it just yet.

The city says a computer programming error means the notice many owners received has the wrong "total due" amount.

[KHON, Computer error causes incorrect vehicle registration payment totals, 11/22/2011]

Let’s see… time to mock “high-tech” Hawaii again. We’re supposed to have a civilian spaceport here? We are/were considering a stock exchange (those computers better work!)? We expect The Train to run on time?

I just paid my registration. Time to dig the notice out of the shred pile and find out if it was correct.

It seemed very high. But that’s a separate issue. It’s a tax, and we 99% are feeling a big drain on our wallets. I wonder how much the DOT charges the 1% for yacht registrations, and if those don’t exist, they should.

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