State addresses concerns for cosmetology board, launching new software for licenses

ATLANTA — A new issue is giving business owners across Georgia a headache when trying to renew their licenses.

From hairdressers to funeral directors, all Georgia businesses are affected by problems with the Georgia Secretary of State’s new license renewal program online.

“You put in your e-mail address and then you put in a pin that they supplied you. They e-mail you a pin,” said cosmetologist Michael Lemay.

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Lemay said the process is normally pretty simple. For years, he has always renewed his license on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website but since the program update, he has been unable to renew due to that part of the site being down.

“We need our licenses to work. We can be fined,” Lemay explained to Channel 2′s Larry Spruill. “We can also be charged a late fee if we don’t get it done on time.”

When he went to the website to renew his license, Lemay was met with a message that said, “No account with that information found,” which he says is impossible since he has been a licensed cosmetologist in the state of Georgia for 30 years and has always had an account.

“All of the hairstylists are trying to renew their licenses,” Lemay said. “There’s one who went to Macon. He spent five hours to get his license.”

Other occupations affected include vets, athlete agents and architects, just to name a few.

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Lemay said he reached out to the state for help, “I e-mailed, and when I e-mailed, they sent back an e-mail telling me to do what didn’t work. So it became very frustrating. When I came to work, everyone was having the same problem.”

The state confirmed to Channel 2 Action News, they are having issues with the site. They released a statement that read,

“Georgia is currently piloting new software to phase out 20-year-old software known as MLO. We are excited to roll out new software and do thank those for their patience as we update dying software. So far, the majority of licenses have gone through without issue and we addressing unique cases on an individual basis.”

Meanwhile, Lemay is hoping the problem is fixed soon, “I would like for them to get it operational and get it up and going. It should have been going before they released it.”

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