Why you won’t be able to get a new driver’s license this weekend

Anyone hoping to apply for a driver’s license or get a new one this weekend is out of luck, because of a Verizon outage scheduled for Saturday.

Verizon network maintenance will impact access to the “National Driver Register,” a system that motor vehicle offices around the country need to check before handing out a license.

Motor vehicle officials in both Maryland and Virginia issued statements about the outage in an effort to get the word out.

“By law, we have to access that database to issue driver’s licenses,” said Jessica Cowardin, a spokesperson with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

That means people who need any driver’s license services will likely need to wait until Monday.

The outage will not impact other services, such as vehicle registration applications or renewals.

“If you’re planning to do something related to your driver’s license, you will need to plan around that outage,” Cowardin said.

All 50 states and D.C. participate in the National Driver Register, a database maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

It was created as a way to improve road safety by ensuring that dangerous drivers could not evade penalties by simply moving to another state.

The register contains information about drivers who have had their driving privileges revoked, suspended or denied due to serious traffic violations, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, reckless driving or excessive speeding.

The database includes records of individuals who have been convicted of vehicular manslaughter or homicide, and those who have failed to appear in court for a traffic violation.

In addition to state motor vehicle agencies, law enforcement agencies use the National Driver Register to identify potentially dangerous drivers.

When an officer stops a driver for a traffic violation, they can access the database to see if the driver has any records of past violations or license suspensions or revocations.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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