DMVs in DC area hit by service outages linked to nationwide glitch

Motor vehicle agencies in Maryland and Virginia experienced major technical issues Monday linked to what was called a nationwide system outage.

The technical glitches prevented agencies in Maryland and Virginia from providing a host of services, including issuing driver’s licenses and vehicle titles, for several hours Monday.

The issues stemmed from the outage of a third-party system, operated by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, which connects motor vehicles agencies across the U.S. to each other and to various verification services.

In a statement, the Arlington-based group said between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday, the network experienced an outage, which prevented most states from issuing or renewing driver’s licenses and vehicle titles during that time.

As of 2 p.m., the network “appears to be operational and stable,” a spokeswoman for the group said in an email to WTOP.

Claire Jeffrey, the spokeswoman, said the group “continues to monitor the network and will conduct a full analysis to determine the root cause of the outage.”

In Virginia, the Department of Motor Vehicles tweeted shortly after 1:30 p.m. that its systems were up and running again, after being down for several hours, but that “due to the large volume of transactions in the queue,” offices across Virginia “are still experiencing slow processing times.”

Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration, which also experienced issues, tweeted shortly after 2 p.m. that its services were back online. The agency had tweeted earlier in the day that services had been restored before having to alert customers that systems went down again.

D.C.’s Department of Motor Vehicles never alerted customers to any issues, but the agency was also affected by the nationwide glitch.

During the height of the outages, accounts on social media and local news outlets across the U.S. reported DMV outages in New York, Tennessee and Rhode Island, among others.

During the same time as the outage affecting driver’s licenses, the D.C. DMV alerted customers that a system used to schedule road test was also down, but an agency spokesman said it was not related.

WTOP’s Megan Cloherty contributed to this report. 

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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