CHARLESTON (AP) – The state of West Virginia continues to work to resolve a computer system outage Thursday that affected residents’ access to the services of several state agencies, including the Division of Motor Vehicles.
Officials with the West Virginia Department of Administration announced Wednesday afternoon that it was experiencing a mainframe outage due to equipment failure in its data center. Officials said the state Office of Technology ordered the parts needed to repair the hardware, but they did not know how long the breakdown would take.
Division of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Everett Frazier said Thursday that the outage affected the ability of the Division of Motor Vehicles to provide many of its services such as title work and driver record updates. But he said that the agency’s offices are still open to the public.
“We are answering questions, reviewing documents and helping customers as much as we can until the mainframe is fixed,” he said.
Frazier said customers can still use the agency’s online portal to renew vehicle registrations and driver’s licenses.
“Additionally, these two services are available at all of our kiosk locations across the state,” Frazier said in a statement.
Department of Health and Human Resources officials said the outage prevented it from processing applications for government programs through its public assistance portal, WV PATH. Residents use the portal to apply for programs such as Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and SNAP benefits.
During the outage, residents can still submit applications and renewals, but requests will not be processed until the outage is resolved.
The House Technology and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Del. Daniel Linville said the state has been working for years to move all of the state’s mainframe systems to external servers that can provide more network backup — and recover from outages faster. The state now owns and installs all the hardware for its mainframe operation, the Republican lawmaker said.
“A fix to prevent this from happening again is in the works,” he said.