Report: Nationwide System Failure At Driver Services Facilities

Driver's License

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Motorists trying to renew their driver's licenses at Secretary of State's facilities were out of luck Thursday morning, because of what turns out to be a nationwide system failure.

For hours, people who visited Illinois driver's services facilities could not renew their drivers licenses. But, Dave Drucker, spokesman for the Secretary of State’s Office, said Illinois drivers were not alone. This was a nation problem. He said the problem was a failure of the national database of problem drivers run by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators that allows them to check for problem drivers before issuing licenses.

"In order to renew a driver's license in Illinois, we need to check around the country - and this is a national system that electronically allows us to do it very quickly, but in case we have has a breakdown and it appears to be throughout the country," Druker said.

Later Thursday, Drucker said the database was back up and running, and licenses were being issued again.

Jim Reichert—who runs a delivery business—went to the Secretary of State’s facility in Elgin to renew his driver’s license. After two hours in line, he said someone came out to tell the crowd the computers were down. He said he and others waited, and it was another hour before things started moving again.

"Not how I intended to spend half my day," Reichert said.

Hearing that the problem was a nationwide one, and not just an Illinois problem made Reichert feel a little better. And, he said, it was "for the right reasons."

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