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Computer Glitch Forces Longer Delays At DMV Offices Across California

(KPIX 5) -- Computer problems saddled a number of Department of Motor Vehicles offices across the state with even longer delays Tuesday.

The department's new automated queuing system went down for an hour or so Tuesday morning in nearly a dozen DMV offices. In Santa Clara, the outage forced clerks to go the old-fashioned route: shouting the customers' names out loud.

The DMV said the problem was intermittent and was fixed well before lunchtime. The outage also did not affect the actual processing of transactions, which is on a completely separate system.

The new queuing system has been rolled out to 42 DMV offices out of more than 170 statewide. But today's outage raises concerns, especially since the department began issuing the new Read ID cards and driver licenses, increasing foot traffic and wait times at already crowded offices.

The agency issued a statement about today's outage, saying, "Our staff has been manually handling this while our IT addresses the issue ... We apologize for any inconvenience."

The DMV also said the problems were caused by a high number of attempts to access the central database at the same time.

At the office in Los Gatos Tuesday there was a completely separate problem. It still has the old queuing system, but it's been down since Friday. People with no appointment waited more than four hours before they were even let inside the building.

"I would say [I'm] frustrated, but things happen," said DMV customer Gayle Williams. "So, try to make the best of it."

Customer Emily Reubush did not have an appointment and was told the wait would be five hours. After today, she does not have a lot of confidence the DMV can reduce wait times for the Real ID, which people have to apply for in person.

"They can't handle their daily load, it seems," said Reubush. "So I guess I'll, either I'll leave the state by then, or fly on a passport."

According to the DMV, beginning October 1, 2020, the federal government will require driver licenses or identification cards to be Real ID compliant in order to use it to board an airplane or enter military bases and most federal facilities.


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