DMV Computers Fail Statewide, Police Can't Access Database

The DMV said an upgrade performed by its IT department on Sunday appeared to be causing the slowdown

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    State officials say a glitch substantially disabled New York's Department of Motor Vehicles computer system, slowing transactions to a crawl in local offices statewide and online. Pei-Sze Cheng reports. (Published Monday, July 29, 2013)

    DMV computers throughout New York went down for hours Monday, leaving state troopers without access to the driver's license database and causing delays even longer than usual at its offices, driving motorists mad.

    The DMV said an upgrade performed by its IT department on Sunday appeared to be causing the slowdown. The system was tested after the upgrade, a spokesman said, but Monday morning's heavy use unearthed an issue that had not been apparent in tests.

    State police also had trouble accessing the DMV database, according to a sergeant. He told NBC 4 New York the slowness was affecting state troopers' ability to run identity searches and was impacting traffic stops. 

    There was no word on when service would be restored, spokesman Pete Bucci said. Later in the day, some users reported branches had computers that worked, but were extremely slow.

    At the Huntington DMV office on Long Island, many customers waited for hours only to leave with a piece of paper guaranteeing them a place at the front of the line the next day. For those who had already committed one day to getting things done at the DMV, it wasn't enough. 

    "I'm taking off from work to do this, so now I have to take another day off of work," said Jeff Bogo of Jericho. 

    Roger Chan of the Bronx wanted better communication from the agency.

    "They should tell people. All they're saying is, 'Eh, maybe half an hour,'" he said.

    Other New Yorkers seeking to register their cars or renew their licenses took to social media to vent their frustrations.

    "As if the DMV isn't bad enough, their computers are down statewide. Groan," tweeted one upstate resident.

    "HURRAY! The DMV computers are down! I waited in line for nothing, and have to wait another day to get my records," tweeted Joe Dash.

    "Yay. Just blew a morning at the DMV for them to announce the computers are down with no idea if they'll be up again today," Stefanie DeLeo tweeted.

    -- Pei-Sze Cheng contributed to this report.