Glitch Preventing Drivers from Getting Licenses

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A glitch in a national database of problem drivers is creating headaches across Ohio and every other state for drivers needing to renew their licenses.

The problem began on Monday and continued throughout the day on Thursday, although more sporadic.

Drivers at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles office on Wolf Ledges Parkway in Akron had to be turned away on Thursday as the computer system went down.

Melvin Cook of Akron was turned away on Wednesday trying to get his son's temporary license renewed and stopped in the Akron office again on Thursday to see if the problem was fixed, only to be turned away again.

"It's up and down. It's on and off, so they gave me a card to call and if they are on when I call by the time I get down here it could be off again," said Cook.

In Cuyahoga Falls Mary Mims had been trying unsuccessfully for three days to get her temporary license replaced.

"Every time I try to come in they tell me it's not working, and then I try to get my cigarettes and I can't. I get I.D.'d and I don't have an ID right now," said Mims, who was having a friend driver her around in her car.

The glitch is also creating problems for commercial drivers.

Bunny Banks, a truck driver from Akron, was waiting patiently for the problem to resolve itself, if only temporarily, so he could work.

"It's putting a big damper in my plans you know, it's putting a big damper in me getting behind the wheel, you know, slowing me down," said Banks.

The BMV was issuing letters to people who were turned away apologizing that they were not able to issue a license and assuring them "that the BMV is working diligently to resolve the problem."

The letter was also written so that it could be presented to an officer if the driver was stopped.

'The Ohio BMV hereby confirms that the individual attempted to obtain a driver license,' reads the letter adding 'The BMV respectfully requests that you consider all factors, including the BMV driver license system outage, before issuing any citation or taking any other law enforcement action.'

It also apologizes to 'our customers, all law enforcement officers, all prosecuting authorities, and the courts for any inconvenience this has caused.'

Cuyahoga Falls acting Police Chief, Captain Jack Davis, was given a copy of the letter on Thursday and intended to distribute it to all of his patrol officers.

"If an officer ran across somewhere, somebody's birthday was in the last day or two, and we have notice that they could not get their driver's license we would be reasonable with the people," said Davis.

But Davis also said even with the letter, if someone breaks the law it is not a 'get out of jail free' card.

"The state law is what the state law is and you can obviously renew your license ahead of time to avoid a situation like this but I think, again, we would take the reasonableness into consideration," said Davis.

"If it expired like a month ago and you are like, hey I went to go get my license and I wasn't able to, well, that's a different story because you obviously had time before this outage to do so," he added.

The same glitch is reportedly creating headaches for license bureaus in every state, not just Ohio.

8 comments

  • jeannie

    I was at the one in Elyria today, they were all nice and tried their best, but I am worried about not carrying mine. I lost it and have nothing for identity or proof I can drive. I feel lost!

  • Lois

    I’ve tried all week but they’ve been down. I did get a letter stating I tried if I got stopped. Government at its finest.

  • Cecilia

    I was in Elyria yesterday and sat there for 1 hr. before I was told the system was down and that was only because I went up and asked…initially I was told I would be called up in a couple minutes. I was really surprised at the number of workers behind the counter…was sitting there trying to figure out what their job was….

  • panda

    All these glitches ….. could it be hackers stealing peoples identity? I trust none of these computer “glitches”!!!!

    • Deborah

      Look what happened to Target and the problems they are having?? A hacker and computer did the damage it did. This State can’t figure who is scratching who’s back!!

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