According to a press release issued late yesterday, the Virginia Information Technologies Agency [VITA] has finally managed to restore the state’s failed computer systems sufficiently that the Department of Motor Vehicles [DMV] was able to again issue and renew driving licenses and state ID cards today, after a week-long outage. From anecdotal evidence, things seem to be working OK, although the DMV offices are a bit of a zoo, as might be expected.
The DMV has announced some steps that should make life considerably easier for citizens directly affected by this problem. For those whose licenses expired during the period of the outage (August 25 till today). the DMV is automatically extending the validity of the license by 20 days, in order to provide the holders an opportunity to renew. Because this means the licenses did not expire, they also will not have to satisfy the requirement for proof of legal residence, as noted in the press release:
… the validity periods of most licenses and ID cards that expired during the service disruptions are extended by 20 days. For example, licenses that expired August 25, 2010 will be valid until September 14, 2010, allowing customers added time to renew prior to the new expiration date. In addition, customers who renew licenses prior to the revised expiration date will not be required to provide documentation of their U. S. citizenship or legal presence in the country.
The DMV has also announced extended hours this Saturday at 14 of its bigger offices.
I hope the media will be able to get the message out to the affected people, who have been understandably annoyed and anxious. Although they might, perhaps, have thought of it sooner, the DMV deserves credit for doing the right thing.