The city says all hands are on deck and crews are working around the clock to resolve a computer issue affecting driver licensing services across the state.
For a third straight day, driver licensing offices were able to perform scheduled road tests and walk-ins, but could not provide other services, such as driver’s license renewals and duplicates.
“What happens is it starts to process the information of the user when you come online, and then it times out,” explained Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “It shuts down before you can get all the way through.”
Keith Ho, deputy director for the city’s Department of Information Technology, said the problem was likely caused by “a security software that our existing software uses to let people in and to do transactions.”
Driver licensing centers will continue to operate on a limited basis until the issue is resolved. Oahu’s nine satellite city halls will remain open and provide all services, except driver licensing transactions.
Officials hope to resume normal operations by the end of the week at the latest.
“The customer service front line people are working very hard to ensure that residents’ needs are being met,” said Sheri Kajiwara, director of the city Department of Customer Services. “If something changes and it looks like we are back online overnight or first thing in the morning, we’ll be the first ones to let you know.”
The city offered some good news: previous issues with motor vehicle registrations have been resolved. Drivers have an extra week to register their vehicles, either in person at a satellite city hall or by mail postmarked by July 7.
Expired driver’s licenses won’t receive any extra grace period, because there’s already one in place. You have 90 days past the expiration date to get it renewed without a penalty fee. Keep in mind, if you are caught driving with an expired license, you will be cited.
In order to assist affected drivers, the Kapalama Driver Licensing Office will open on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. so long as the computer issues are resolved. However, no road tests will be offered.
Neighbor islands were also affected.
Maui County officials say it takes several minutes just to log in and get connected to the system. It’s just as slow to process anything related to vehicle registrations and driver’s licenses.
Hawaii and Kauai county officials say they’ve suspended those services altogether.
Why are the other counties affected by Oahu’s problem? The state pays the City and County of Honolulu to service all the other counties and maintain one big DMV database.
“The only real thing we can do at this point is assure people we will not charge any late fee type of things because of this violation caused by the computer glitch,” said Hawaii Island Mayor Harry Kim. “I think all of us are very apologetic as to what’s happening. It’s one of those things that no one is to blame except a system.”
Just like Oahu, all neighbor islands are extending their motor vehicle registration renewal deadlines from June 30 to July 7.
County officials tell us they’ve been in contact with the police departments, asking officers to cut drivers some slack over the next week if their registration tags expire at the end of June.