Kansas repairs crashed driver license server - KCTV5

Kansas repairs crashed driver license server

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Driver's license exam stations throughout Kansas will resume issuing and renewing driver's licenses and identification cards Thursday morning. 

"We realize this outage has been a great source of inconvenience and frustration for many people," said Director of Vehicles Donna Shelite. "The vendor responsible for the 8-year-old server is continuing work to ensure we do not have an unplanned outage like this again."

We've probably all done it - standing in a long line at the DMV, waiting to get a license. But people stopping by any Kansas driver's license office on Tuesday had something even more frustrating to deal with.

Normally, 500 customers wait on a typical day at the DMV in Mission. Not on Wednesday. All the seats were empty.

Many drivers showed up not knowing about the snafu and had to turn around and leave.

Like any good new driver, Makelle Gipson is cautious behind the wheel, checking behind her when she backs up and switching on her turn signal.

"She's been working on it real hard the last few months," said her husband, Jordan Gipson.

But she's still waiting to show off her chops in a driving test.

"I was just wanting to get my license so that I could be free," Makelle Gipson said.

That freedom was denied Tuesday for Makelle Gipson and wannabe drivers all across Kansas. They were turned away because the license-issuing computer system was down.

"They've just been kind of saying, 'Oh, it's going to be 15 minutes to two hours' all day long, so four hours later, here we are," said one waiting driver, Kenneth Rasmussen.

He and dozens of other folks spent the time however they could.

"Chain smoking and listening to music," said Rasmussen of what he was doing to pass the time.

A fellow waiter, David Williamson, added, "I've been passing the time studying advanced security practices for IT, so to stop things like large outages."

It's a funny position for an IT guy to be in.

"I really want to go in and try to fix this problem, really!" said Williamson.

The problem is part of a three-year, $40 million upgrade to the DMV's computer system. The outside contractors running that upgrade said one of their old servers crashed.

"If I were to have these kinds of outages, my boss wouldn't be exactly happy with me," Williamson said.

As with so much in today's day and age, without computers to run the place, the road into any DMV office is just a dead end.

While officials were working to resolve the problem, if a person's license was set to expire Tuesday or Wednesday, they could get a brief extension at any Kansas driver's license office.

Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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