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Some state servers offline
State computer has problems

Date published: 8/27/2010

BY CHELYEN DAVIS

If you went to the DMV yesterday to renew your driver's license, you were out of luck.

A problem affecting some of the state's computer servers meant that the Department of Motor Vehicles could not process licenses in any of its locations.

Marcella Williamson, director of communications for the Virginia Information Technologies Agency, said some of the state's computer servers experienced a hardware failure Wednesday afternoon.

Williamson said teams worked overnight to fix the problems and that some agencies were back online yesterday, but not everything is fixed yet.

In all, she said, about 24 agencies were affected, not all equally. The impact depended on where the agency's information was stored in the state servers. VITA's own website was down Thursday.

DMV spokeswoman Melanie Stokes said the DMV outage is the one most likely to affect consumers.

The DMV can still process other transactions, such as vehicle registrations. If a license renewal is possible online or on the phone, the agency can still handle that.

The problem is with new licenses or renewals that require a photo to be taken. Stokes said the server on which DMV keeps its photo images is one of the ones that's down, which is why the agency can't process those license transactions.

Williamson said the state has been working with its technology supplier, Northrop Grumman, to upgrade computer infrastructure, including servers.

"But this kind of thing happens," she said. "We're doing everything we can to get systems back up."

Chelyen Davis: 540/368-5028
Email: cdavis@freelancestar.com