Computer outage knocks dozens of California DMV offices offline

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SACRAMENTO — More than a third of California's Department of Motor Vehicles offices were crippled by a computer outage that lasted for several hours Thursday, officials said.

About 70 of 172 DMV offices were unable to process driver's license, identification card and vehicle registration matters, agency spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez said. Driver tests and vehicle inspections were not affected. She blamed the outage on a router issue.

"We apologize for any inconvenience," Gonzalez wrote in an email.

The issue was discovered when offices opened at 7 or 8 a.m., and was resolved by 10:40 a.m., she said.

The DMV has been under scrutiny amid a rapid spike in wait times that's left customers standing in line for hours, prompting an angry response from some lawmakers.

The agency also botched about 23,000 voter registrations under a new state law that allows people to update their voter registration in conjunction with their driving records.

The computer outage came nearly two years after more than 100 DMV offices were knocked offline for several days, inconveniencing thousands of people who were unable to replace stolen licenses or renew vehicle registrations on the verge of expiring.

Officials blamed that outage on hard drive failures.

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