CRANSTON — The Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles announced late Wednesday afternoon that technicians had identified the source of a service disruption that shut down licensing transactions and were working to restore the system’s capabilities.
A spokesman for the DMV, Paul Grimaldi, said the problem was a telecommunications hardware failure that severed a link with a national data center. A router failed, cutting the DMV’s connection to the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, based in the Washington, D.C., metro area. The association operates the motor-vehicle registry data center serving all the states.
Grimaldi said AAMVA “is experiencing a Verizon network issue” that prevents the agency from accessing national verification systems that are required for the issuance of driver licenses. Verizon has not provided an estimate as to when this issue will be resolved, he said.
A similar national service disruption occurred on April 27. All licensing transactions will remain unavailable until the issue is resolved, but other DMV transaction services were not affected, the agency said.
“Anytime you or I make a change to our address or our licenses, or some entity puts a fine or tickets you or suspends your license for some reason, that information goes in and out of our office through the national clearing house,” Grimaldi told The Providence Journal. “This is a system used to make sure that you are clear to have a license.”