VIDEO: Some Bay Area DMVs still down after ‘catastrophic’ computer failure


SACRAMENTO (KRON) – Some offices of the California Department of Motor Vehicles are back up and running Wednesday morning, while others are not, after what it calls a “catastrophic” computer failure.

The agency initially said on its website that offices would come online by Wednesday, but later revised the statement to remove estimates for a return to normal.

More than 100 field offices, including Bay Area offices, remain hampered by an unspecified hardware failure that took DMV computers offline.

The DMV has 188 total facilities, including field offices, which serve the public. As of 3 p.m., 87 are fully operational. 122 were impacted by an outage to our servers, and 66 were not impacted by this incident.

Of the 122 impacted, 21 are now fully operational, 17 are partially operational, meaning they can only process driver license and identification card transactions. Staff will continue to work around the clock to get this issue resolved, officials said.

To determine if your local field office is up and running visit the DMV website for the complete list. 

Driver license and vehicle registration services were affected. But offices without computer services were still providing driving tests, making appointments for customers to return, helping with paperwork, and answering customers’ questions.

DMV officials say the computers were not hacked or targeted. They have not explained what went wrong.

DMV staff worked throughout the night to rebuild the processors, according to DMV officials.

Field office staff arrived early Wednesday morning to get each individual office up and running. The department anticipates field offices coming back up throughout the morning.

The department’s online services were not harmed.

Here is a statement from the DMV:

The DMV apologizes for any inconvenience the field office outages have caused our customers. DMV staff has been working around the clock to get all the field office issues resolved. Many offices have been coming back up throughout the day.

The repairs to the system have taken longer than we anticipated. While the IT repairs are nearly complete, work still needs to be done by field office staff to complete the process. We’re working as quickly as possible.

The next steps include conducting a review of our system to ensure this situation won’t happen again. We thank our customers for their patience and remind them that DMV online services are available and to check the DMV website for the operational status of their local field office.

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