DMV service outage Saturday

By Matt Butner - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Anyone who comes in on Saturday looking to renew a driver's license or get one for the first time, will be out of luck. That's because the Federal Social Security Administration will be shutting down part of its system for maintenance. Without access to that system, the DMV can't issue new or renewed licenses.

It happens once a year, always on a Saturday. It's a potential inconvenience for a lot of people.

"We serve about 12,000 customers on a typical Saturday all across the state," said Melanie Stokes, DMV Spokesperson.

Of course, most DMV transactions can be done without coming to an office and taking a number, and that's the way the agency wants it. They've been encouraging customers to reach them in other ways, particularly online. And it's working. The number of online vehicle registration renewals nearly doubled between 2008 and 2009.

"So we can free up time for people who want a first time driver's license or are in that renewal cycle where they have to come in, so maybe they don't have to wait so long," Stokes said.

DMV officials stress that offices will be open as usual tomorrow for people with needs that aren't affected by the outage.

"If you need a title for your car, renew your vehicle registration, if you need to get your driving record for example, you're welcome to come into a DMV on Saturday," said Stokes.

If you do need to visit a DMV office for a driver's license transaction, you'll have to wait until Tuesday. All DMV offices will be closed Monday in observance of Columbus Day.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.