Glitch, tied to new laws, downshifts MVA computers -- Gazette.Net



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A computer glitch created problems for Maryland residents seeking new or renewed driver’s licenses and learner’s permits this week at Motor Vehicle Administration offices across the state.

The glitch was caused by a software update to accommodate new state laws that take effect Monday, MVA spokesman Buel Young said.

Each time a new law is enacted, a table has to be created in the software used for vehicle licenses, he said. At least three of the new laws directly impact drivers licenses; one law extends the period that licenses and state identification cards remain valid from five years to eight years.

The software was tested, and it worked after being updated during the weekend, but when normal computer traffic resumed Monday morning, the system ran sluggishly, Young said.

“The load did not work the way it did in the test environment,” he said.

All 24 MVA branches were taken down Tuesday so a new version of the software could be installed. The state brought the branches back online gradually.

Normal operations resumed at all the branches by Wednesday afternoon.

People who went to the MVA to renew their licenses could obtain a 15-day extension to avoid getting charged for an expired license, Young said.

cford@gazette.net