DMV problems persist

Published 9:24 am Wednesday, September 1, 2010

RICHMOND—A computer outage that has left Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles offices unable to process driver’s licenses or ID cards stretched into Tuesday and officials say it’s likely to persist today.

“As far as Thursday, we don’t know yet,” said DMV spokeswoman Melanie Stokes.

Problems began at about 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 25, when a computer server problem affected 24 of the state’s 89 agencies. The DMV’s 74 customer service centers, including the Courtland location, have been unable to issue licenses or ID cards for days. Other DMV services, including vehicle registration and decal purchases, are not affected.

Stokes said an estimated 5,000 Virginians have had either their driver’s license or ID card expire since the computer issues began Aug. 25.

Under state law, to renew an expired driver’s license or ID card, a person will need to bring a birth certificate, passport or other document that confirms citizenship or legal authorization to be in the country.

“Even though it’s not the customer’s fault, we don’t have the authority to waive that law,” Stokes said.

When service resumes, the DMV anticipates high customer volume. Driver’s license issuance will be a top service priority, according to a news release from the agency.

DMV officials encourage customers with other business, such as renewing vehicle registrations, to use an alternate method, such as, automated telephone service or U.S. mail. Customers using one of the alternate methods will avoid the $5 fee for in-person service.

In addition to the DMV, the State Board of Elections and the Department of Taxation were also still being affected by the outage on Tuesday.

“We understand that this is a great inconvenience for our citizens and we are doing everything in our power to restore service as quickly as possible,” said Virginia Secretary of Technology Jim Duffey in a written statement.