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Computer Chaos At Licensing Facilities Nationwide, Including Secretary Of State's Office

CHICAGO (CBS) --  It's still unclear what caused painfully long lines at driver's license facilities across the country.

A nationwide system outage left people in line for over five hours today, including at the Thompson Center in the Loop.

CBS 2's Chris Tye had the story Monday about how the wheels of government that allow people to get behind the wheel crashed.

Specifically, the network of computers that connects Cook County's licensing outfits. Including Illinois' Secretary of State. The often long Secretary of State lines were much longer than normal on Monday.

The hassle was felt from Chicago to Chatanooga. Licensing outlets from Tennessee to Michigan to Massachusetts and Kansas all reporting problems with the network of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.

After five hours offline, a spokesperson for the AAMVA told CBS 2 "the network appears to be operational and stable. AAMVA continues to monitor the network and will conduct a full analysis to determine the root cause of the outage."

An outage of data, and for Elizabeth Arreloa, a four hour outage of communication.

"There's a dilemma here. Why? We don't know. When? We don't know," she said.

What we do know is there was a brief, statewide outage in the office late last year, related to the Social Security system.

And in January of last year, another computer glitch that knocked the system offline for six hours. Both preventing drivers from getting their cards and getting on their way.

Things back online around 1:00 p.m. Monday but the clear cause of the disruption still hasn't been determined.

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