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Mainframe Failure Shuts Down DMV, DHHR Computer Systems

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Update, July 21, 2022 1:46 pm

Update, July 22, 2022 1:01 pm

West Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Health and Human Resources were among the state government agencies affected by Tuesday’s computer system outage.

House Technology and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Del. Daniel Linville, R-Cabell, said two mainframe parts failed at the same time.

“Parts aren’t available for both here in town,” Linville said. “Due to that unfortunate set of circumstances, more parts need to be ordered, and will be here as soon as possible.”

Both the DMV and DHHR, which includes the WV PATH family support system, offer alternative ways to receive services.

Linville said the state owns and houses the hardware and power systems for its mainframe operations. He said that if the computer system is transferred to external servers, there will be more backup in the network to quickly restore the damage.

“If you put that in the cloud as opposed to having it on-site, you have great redundancy across the country and the ability to change traffic without anyone noticing any impact,” Linville said.

Linville said lawmakers and state leaders are working to move the state’s computer system to more efficient external servers. According to him even in natural disasters, a problem like this does not eliminate the systems.

“The DMV is actually getting a major upgrade soon to their services that the legislature has already appropriated money for,” Linville said.

Linville said that as of Thursday morning at 10 a.m., the parts were in, but functionality had not been restored and the manufacturer had to recode the system.

The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles released a statement Thursday afternoon saying customers can take advantage of two online services – vehicle registration renewal and driver’s license renewal.

DMV Commissioner Everett Frazier said the services will be available at all kiosk locations across the state.

The statement said while the mainframe outage still affects services such as title work and driver record updates, the DMV continues to do everything possible to help customers.

“Our offices are completely open to the public,” Frazier said. “We’re answering questions, reviewing documents, and helping customers as best we can until the mainframe is fixed.”

In his Friday coronavirus briefing, Gov. Jim Justice said technicians in the Office of Technology are continuing to work to get the mainframe back online.

DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch said the WV PATH app, which allows people to apply for benefits, still has problems. He said people can apply, but DHHR cannot process applications, so there will be a backlog to deal with when all systems are fully back online.

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