DMV testing computers, still unable to process licenses

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Right now, leaders at the DMV are not only working on a recovery plan for when their computers are back online, but they are also testing their computers to see when they can process driver's licenses.

It's the first of the month, but certainly not the first day of frustration for thousands of DMV customers like Tara Hawkins.

"I've been trying to get it done for a week now," says Tara.

She, like the more than 5,000 others, have been trying to renew their license since last Wednesday.

"I'm upset. A little frustrated because I can't get it done now," says Hawkins.

Then, there are the others who are trying to get a new license here in Virginia. Both services are out, for now.

Of course, there is that frustration. But, trust these employees, they feel your pain. "They'd like to get the work done. They are anticipating a lot of folks coming in when it's over. It's hard for them," says DMV Spokeswoman Melanie Stokes.

You'll notice some big changes when the computers are back online. Not only will there be long lines and beefed up security, you'll also see every window filled with employees.

Yesterday, DMV leaders asked anyone who has experience with customer service to help out.
Dozens and dozens are poised to help with the crowds.

"They've all agreed to leave their new jobs for a few days and come back to their old ones," says Stokes.

Also, at all centers statewide, the priority will be driver licenses and renewals. Leaders are asking everyone who can wait to get other services done, to do so.

To ease the pain, State police, along with Richmond, Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico PD are giving you a break if you license expired between August 25 and September 30. That's something employees here at the DMV are grateful for.

In the meantime, Tara is going to check to see if she can renew online. And if not, "I'm going to be the first in line. I'll be here way before they open!"

We are not being told exactly when the computers will be back up and running again at the DMV. We are told that in terms of the security here, you'll see police officers that normally investigate DMV fraud, manning the customer service centers to make sure there are no crowd issues.

Also, we have been told by VITA, the Virginia Information Technologies Agencies behind this computer problem statewide, that the Board of Elections computers are back online and the Tax Department will be back up and running starting on Thursday.

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