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Rhode Island DMV unable to process licenses due to technical issue with national database

A spokesman for the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles told NBC 10 News that the department was unable to process any license transactions on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (WJAR)

A spokesman for the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles told NBC 10 News Wednesday morning that the department is unable to process any license transactions.

By 4 p.m., the spokesman said a telecommunications router failed, severing a connection between the RI DMV and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, which operates the national motor-vehicle registry data center servicing all 50 states.

“The Verizon outage is preventing the DMV from accessing the different national verification systems that are required for the issuance of driver licenses,” the DMV noted in a press release.

Service started to fail Tuesday afternoon. As of late Wednesday morning, service was completely out.

The DMV said other transaction services such as registrations remain available.

The division also apologized for any inconveniences.

“AAMVA is working with Verizon to resolve the issue as quickly as possible,” according to the release. “Verizon has not provided an estimate as to when this issue will be resolved.”

But the spokesman said the state hopes to have the issue fixed sometime Thursday.

Still, it’s little consolation for those who took time off from work and school to go to the DMV.

“Now I can't get my permit for, like, another week because I can't miss school,” Kiera Murphy of East Providence said.

Others shared similar sentiments.

“I came to get a permit for my son, who turned 18 yesterday. He was looking forward to driving,” Luz Johnson of Providence said.

It's the second time in less than a month the DMV has had a connectivity problem with the national database.

The hundreds of people who were turned away just want it fixed.

“I came to get a new ID because I lost my wallet, so I get here, I fill out the paper, and I'm sitting around and they say they're not taking IDs today or license pictures,” Vicki Jones of Providence said. “So, you're telling me I got all cute for nothing?”

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