Ohio BMV resolves computer tech issues

MARIETTA – The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles has resolved the glitch that forestalled driver license issuances and renewals across the state this week.

A technical issue prevented all but sporadic access to a national database of driver records maintained by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators and kept Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle offices across the state, including the one in Marietta, from issuing driver’s licenses for most of the week, said BMV spokeswoman Lindsey Bohrer.

“They were down most of the day Monday and since then it’s been hit or miss,” she said.

The problem, which began when the BMV attempted to update software for its Commercial Driver License Information System, was officially deemed resolved Friday afternoon, according to a release from the BMV.

However, some residents who tried and failed to renew their license this week were left driving around with an expired license for a couple of days.

Belpre resident Nikki Elliott worked all day Wednesday – her 29th birthday – and went to get her license renewed in Marietta on her time off Thursday.

“They said the system was down and it had been down the previous day as well,” she said.

The BMV’s standard procedure is to issue letters to those unable to obtain their license, which the drivers can in turn show to law enforcement if pulled over.

Driving on a license which has been expired six months or less is a minor misdemeanor offense, punishable by a fine up to $150.

However, Elliott said she was never offered a letter.

“I kind of asked about what to do since my license was going to be two days expired. They basically said ‘Hopefully you don’t get pulled over,'” she said.

Elliot said she returned Friday morning and was able to get her license with no problem. At least 10 other people were in line to do the same thing, she said.

Employees at the Marietta office declined to comment on the situation.