It was designed to be a super-easy service — but a computer glitch over Labor Day weekend means dozens of vehicle registrations — renewed at Safeway stores around the islands — have to be re-issued.

It was all a matter of timing — and computer programming.

The glitch caused a sort of ‘reverse sticker shock’ — because it looked like people were getting a two-years-for the price-of-one deal.

You’ve heard the saying — there’s no such thing as a free lunch?

There’s also no such thing as a free year of vehicle registration — no matter how convenient the self-service kiosks at Safeway might be.

Sheri Kajiwara, City Director of Customer Services — explains what happened.

“They did not have to pay it on the 31st, because it was a weekend, they didn’t have to pay it on September 1, because that was a Sunday. Because of a holiday, they did not have to pay it on September 2, but it was due on September 3. So the vendor’s progamming was not able to accommodate that factor and it caused a glitch.”

The kiosks issued dozens of faulty two-year renewals around the state — including 50 in Maui County.

Brian Perry, communications director for Maui Mayor Michael Victorino, says, “Maui County is working with the vendor to re-issue corrected registrations and validation emblems. These will be mailed to customers at the vendor’s expense.”

An unknown number were also issued on Oahu and Kauai — as well as Hawaii County — where Naomi O’Dell, DMV administrator, said, of the kiosks, “They came back on line this morning. they were shut down early yesterday morning as they were issuing 2-year renewals … the vendor will be sending out new registrations at the vendor’s expense.”

Kajiwara has also spoken with the Indiana-based vendor.

The stickers are really only good for one year, because only one year’s worth was paid.

Kajiwara says, “Which is why they will be issued a second sticker and that should replace the one that’s wrong.”

People will be taking a chance if they get pulled over after the first year, she says.

“The stickers reflect that it’s good for two years, but if they are stopped and the officer or whoever stops and looks into their records, it is only a one-year payment.”

The Safeway kiosks are intended to be a convenience — and a way for owners of vehicles and trailers to renew without having to go to the DMV.

However, you can also skip long lines by renewing online via the county websites, at the following links: