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DMV able to process driver's licenses again
With computer problems fixed, DMV expects to resume processing driver's licenses today

Date published: 9/2/2010



--State officials say DMV offices will be able to process driver's licenses again today after being down for a week because of a computer failure.

DMV also is extending hours at some offices, fully staffing customer-service windows and extending the expiration date on some licenses that technically expired during the outage.

Ever since the state's computer system suffered a server failure a week ago, DMV has been unable to process new or renewed licenses or IDs in its 74 service centers. The failure stalled licenses that required photos to be taken, as the servers the agency used to store photos were among those affected.

Now, the Virginia Information Technologies Agency says the server issues--which affected 26 of 89 state agencies--have been fixed.

As of yesterday morning, all agencies had access to their data again. Access to Department of Taxation services also is expected to resume today.

According to information posted on the DMV website yesterday afternoon, all customer-service offices will be open until 6 p.m. today and tomorrow. DMV will extend Saturday hours until 6 p.m. at 14 locations in the state, including its offices on Broad Street in Richmond and in Woodbridge.

"Everybody at DMV is preparing for how we [can] make this easier for our customers," DMV spokeswoman Melanie Stokes said.

The extra hours are intended to help clear an estimated backlog of 35,000 to 45,000 customers who were unable to receive or renew licenses, IDs and learner's permits while the system was down.

Still, long waits are expected, and driver's licenses will get top priority. Customers with other DMV business are encouraged to do it online or over the phone if possible.

DMV officials initially believed that people whose licenses expired during the outage would be required by state law to prove their legal presence, which means bringing extra documents to DMV. That's state law for any expired license.

Yesterday, however, Stokes said DMV has the authority to extend the validity periods on those licenses, and will do so for a period of 20 days. So drivers whose licenses expired in the past week have until Sept. 14 to renew it without having to prove legal status.

That affects 12,226 people, Stokes said, including more than 4,000 whose licenses or IDs expired on the last day of August.

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