Statewide DMV outage still having an impact on California drivers

NAPA, Calif. (KGO) -- A statewide computer outage left tens of thousands of Californians without DMV services in October. Several months later, that outage is still having an impact.

A Napa woman was trying to surprise her mother with a new car, but the snafu put a snag in her plans.

Jaquie Hathaway drove the car home for her daughter, Renea. "I thought they were buying the car and we had two cars and she just took me along to drive the other car home," Jacquie said.

Little did she know, her daughter planned to surprise her with the car. "Because I love her," Renea said.

Unfortunately, someone forgot to let the DMV in on the secret. A computer outage effectively shut down more than half of the state's DMV offices. That means Renea and others like her were unable to promptly register their vehicles.

The DMV estimates the registration of 33,000 vehicles was delayed.

"There were thousands of people involved, so it may take a while for all the registration to go through," Renea said.

Little did she know how long the process would take. "So October is when we registered the vehicle. November, December, January, still not registered," she said.

The pressure was mounting, from both the bank and the previous owner who didn't want his old car still in his name.

On top of that, the surprise had been ruined. So much time had passed, mom had figured out the car was really for her.

Renea decided it was time to contact 7 On Your Side, and we contacted the DMV.

"DMV called me that afternoon and told me they felt I had waited a very long time for this to have been taken care of and they would take care of it for me that day," Renea said.

It didn't happen that quickly, but a few weeks later the registration was finally complete.

She immediately called her mom. "She said we got it, it's all done," Jacquie said.

"I just don't know how we would have done it if we didn't have 7 On Your Side," Renea said.

In a statement, the DMV said it takes "very seriously the problems the outage might have caused to some of our customers and has been working on the affected transactions including the one you brought to our attention."
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