74ºF

Leave extra time when going to renew your driver's license

Aging computers at state agency have become unpredictable

photo

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – If you are going to be renewing your driver’s license or vehicles' tags in the near future, you might want to budget some extra time because aging computers at the state agency have become unpredictable.

Taking a number at a tax collector's office doesn’t guarantee you speedy service, leaving motorists and clerks like Andrea Daughtry waiting.

"It come can come back on in a minute, it can come back on in an hour, it can come back on in five hours," Daughtry said.

When it works, it works, but tax collector Doris Malloy said the crashes are happening with more frequency.

"We’ve know for years that they have an outdated system. They are very sorry, of course, that this is happening. It couldn’t happen at a worse time," Malloy said. 

And the tax collectors, many of whom are running for re-election, are quick to point out that this is the state’s problem, not theirs.

The problem has been ongoing, but got worse back in April. That’s when the state decided to move its computer center out to this bat-infested office complex.

"I think that’s what initiated the, you know, pretty quick or consistent outages for awhile." Terry Rhodes, executive director of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said. 

Lawmakers have already given the agency $6.5 million to upgrade its computers, but replacement is taking time.

"I’m constantly on it and so they systems are working now, but we just confident that we can keep everything going," Rhodes said. 

The new equipment isn’t expected to be to be up and running until next June, making this system questionable.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, the DHSMV communications director, Beth Frady said: "The number of department customers continues to grow each day and, on average, the department and its partners process more than six million inquiries and 2.5 million driver license, registration and title transactions each month. We are working as fast as we can to get the system replaced with a newer, more stable environment"