A government mainframe has gone down in West Virginia, leading to issues for the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) around processing driver's licenses.

“The mainframe computer at the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is down because of a hardware issue. Currently, no driver’s licenses or IDs, or motor vehicle renewals can be issued at the 26 regional DMV offices, online, or at the West Virginia DMV Now kiosks,” the West Virginia DMV and Department of Transportation said this week.

“Because of the issue, county sheriff’s offices are also unable to process vehicle renewals.”

The department said the problem was discovered on Thursday, April 18. There is currently no estimated time as to when services will be restored.

“The regional DMV offices remain open, but customers should be aware that all services could be disrupted. Customers should continue to monitor the DMV website and social media for updates,” the DMV said.

Neither the DMV nor the transport department hasn’t said where the mainframe or data center is located; the department is based in Charleston, as is the West Virginia Office of Technology (WVOT).

In July 2022, the state’s mainframes suffered what was described as an extended outage after equipment failed at the WVOT’s primary data center.

At the time the government said services for multiple state agencies requiring the mainframe, including the DMV and the Department of Health and Human Resources, were impacted.

“The state’s third-party vendor, Park Place Technologies, worked around the clock to repair the mainframe hardware,” the state said at the time. “IBM and Ensono also joined Park Place Technologies to support the state in resolving issues related to the software necessary to process and store data.”

In the wake of that incident, WVOT was set to “immediately” begin working on contingency plans to migrate to a “safer, more resilient system” to prevent future outages.

On its site, WVOT says there are currently two Office of Technology-controlled data centers and one colocated data center.

West Virginia’s Department of Health and Human Resources hasn’t posted about being impacted by this latest mainframe outage.

Update: The issue was fixed on April 18th and services were back online.

"All services at the 26 regional DMV offices and county sheriff’s offices are being offered," the DMV said. "Online services and DMV Now kiosk services have also been restored. All regional offices are open today, Friday, April 19, 2024, at their normal operating times."

"The mainframe computer outage was discovered late Wednesday, April 17, 2024. It affected driver’s licenses, IDs, and motor vehicle registration renewals. Services at the regional DMV offices, online, and the DMV Now kiosks were down for approximately 24 hours. The mainframe issue was fixed at around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, 2024."