UPDATE: Police giving break to computer outage victims

By Melissa Correa - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Frustrations continue across the state today as key agencies continue to grapple with computer problems. We have new details on how the services you depend on are being impacted.

The repairs have been made, but three state agencies are still trying to get up and running: DMV, Social Services and the Virginia Tax Department.

And Governor Bob McDonnell is weighing in, saying he's not pleased with what's been going on.

About an hour ago, he ordered a review of the situation so the state can determine the proper course of action that will best protect the interests of the Commonwealth.

If your driver's license expired between last Wednesday and tomorrow, state police will cut you a break if you're stopped -- you won't be cited for an invalid license.

So far, this is the only good news for people who've been waiting five days for this computer glitch to be fixed.

Tiffany Linari thought a new week would bring good news: but she still can't get her driver's license.

"I'm kind of upset because I have a job and I'm working and I can't drive right now," she said.

Her expiration date has passed -- state law says she now must bring a birth certificate or passport to re-new.

"I have my birth certificate, my social security card, passport," Linari said.

Nikia Hopkins doesn't have the required paperwork and her license is now expired.

Melissa Correa: "Right now there's nothing saying that you are Nikia Hopkins?
Hopkins: "No. Other than [paperwork], but that's not going to work because it doesn't have my picture on it.  You could be Nikia Hopkins."

The software to take photos has been down since Thursday.

The DMV has brought in extra security to monitor the crowds until this computer glitch is fixed.  Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads are also seeing tighter security.

"We're hoping that we might be able to issue them tomorrow," said Melanie Stokes, spokesperson for DMV. "Unfortunately we know this isn't the customers fault, but however DMV doesn't have the authority to waive the laws."

State police however, are easing the pain. They won't write tickets for licenses that expired between August 25-31. They're also working with prosecutors to make sure anyone who was ticketed during the glitch, doesn't face penalties.

This is good news for the thousands of drivers who are now victims of this computer outage.

"I will be back here tomorrow.  I need my license," Linari said.

VITA, the state agency responsible for the faulty storage system, says all repairs have been made. It's now a matter of restoring the data.

Before heading to DMV Tuesday, call first for an update: 804-497-7100 www.dmvnow.com

Statement released by Sgt. Thomas J. Molnar:

The Virginia State Police is aware that the computer system problems have rendered the Division of Motor Vehicles' Driver License Files out of service since Wednesday, August 25, 2010.  Problems have resulted where individuals have not been able to conduct business related to driver's licensing renewal.  Accordingly, no enforcement action will take place on any driver's license that expired from the period of Wednesday, August 25, 2010, through Tuesday, August 31, 2010.  Any summons already issued during this period for an expired driver's license offense will go through the court system.  Troopers have been advised to discuss these matters with the appropriate Commonwealth's Attorney which may be beyond the defendant's control that prevented license renewal.

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