Local News

Computer Problems Bring DMV Offices to a Halt

Posted January 7, 2008 3:40 p.m. EST
Updated February 12, 2008 4:37 p.m. EST

— Problems with a national computer system forced the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles to stop issuing drivers licenses and other identification cards on Monday, agency officials said.

A national computer system became overloaded in the morning and shut down the state computer system by 8:15 a.m., DMV officials said. Employees in DMV branches were able to continue working offline for about six hours.

Top DMV officials then decided to shut down its statewide computer system completely around 2 p.m., halting the issuance of drivers licenses and other identification cards for the rest of the day.

The shutdown was intended to help the national system recover, officials said.

Workers turned away customers from the normally busy DMV office on Avent Ferry Road in Raleigh all day. Customers complained that the glitch disrupted their schedules.

"It's very frustrating," customer Christine Lanning said. "My birthday's tomorrow. I've been out of town, I've been ill. So this was kind of a window in time, and it didn't work out."

"I ended up having to take a day off work," customer Michael Traner said. "I'll just have to come back tomorrow morning, and hopefully, at 8:30, they'll be up and running, and I can get my license and go on about my business."

For 16-year-old Kristen Brumbelow, the computer shutdown caused a glitch on her birthday.

"She was excited, ready to get her license today. And then we get over here, and it's shut down nationwide," Kristen's mother, Joy Brumbelow, said. "She was hoping to drive. We done got insurance and were all set and ready."

"(I'm) a little depressed," Kristen said. "I just gotta do it tomorrow."

State troopers and Raleigh police should take into consideration the predicament that the computer glitch might have created for drivers whose licenses expired on Monday or Tuesday, Lt. Everett Clendenin, spokesman for the state Highway Patrol, said.

If a driver does receive a ticket for an expired license, he should explain the situation in court.

DMV officials said they hope that shutting down the state's computer system will help the national system get back online by Tuesday morning. They advised customers call ahead before coming in to their local branch offices.