The day the DMV went dark

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LOREN BENOIT/Press Due to problems with the state’s Division of Motor Vehicle (DMV) computer system, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) closed driver’s licensing offices across Idaho Tuesday with the exception of Ada and Canyon counties. Offices in Coeur d’Alene, shown here, and Post Falls will re-open today but services are expected to be slow. Vehicle Licensing offices are unaffected by the computer issue.

Business at most Driver's Licensing offices statewide came to a screeching halt on Tuesday, but local offices will be slowly getting back in gear this morning.

Darned computers.

Idaho Transportation Department officials said late Tuesday afternoon that DMV offices in Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls will be among those to re-open today after a computer problem shut down locations for most of the day. The local offices are open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Offices in Kootenai, Ada, Bannock, Canyon and Twin Falls counties will be open.

“The five county locations will open in order to identify root causes and test solutions to these problems,” and ITD press release states. “Services at these locations are expected to still be slow. The public is urged to plan for delays and postpone a visit if possible.”

All other DMV offices will remain closed until contacted by ITD.

All Vehicle Licensing offices (titles and registration) continue to be open and are unaffected by the computer issues.

Coeur d'Alene's Dan Martin was among those who hoped to take care of business at the DMV in Coeur d'Alene on Tuesday only to read the signs on the door that he couldn't.

“Computers happen,” he said. “It's frustrating to have to come back here, but not much you can do about it. That's technology for you.”

ITD officials said all systems were functioning when business opened on Tuesday, but as more DMV offices came online across the state and the number of transactions increased, the system slowed down dramatically.

"We apologize for the inconvenience and ask for the public's patience as we work toward finding a solution," DMV Administrator Alberto Gonzalez said. "ITD is devoting all available technology resources toward investigating the root of this problem. The department is working hand-in-hand with its driver's license vendor, Gemalto, in this effort."

Vincent Trimboli, ITD spokesman, said the Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls DMV offices closed around 8 a.m. shortly after they opened on Tuesday. By mid-morning, the offices were dark and signs notifying patrons of the situation were posted on the doors.

The only offices that remained open on Tuesday were in Ada and Canyon counties so computer testing could be conducted.

Idaho and Nebraska are the only two states in which the county sheriff's offices staff Drivers License offices. State transportation departments run them in other states.

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