The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles experienced a crippling slowdown of services Tuesday, causing deputy registrars across the state to turn away people seeking driver licenses and vehicle registrations.
The cause of the problem is unknown, but the issue jammed up the bureau’s operations for more than six hours when the bureau’s Business Application Service System, or BASS, started to slow down around 8:30 a.m.
A spokeswoman for the bureau said the issues were fixed around 3 p.m.
Spokeswoman Lindsey Bohrer said the system “never went down,” but was running slow. She said the system was processing about 500-600 transactions per hour, compared to the typical 1,500 transactions per hour.
The problem required a restart of BMV computer servers.
Workers at the Montgomery County deputy registrar’s office in downtown Dayton had said the system was inoperable by around 11 a.m., prohibiting them from taking the pictures necessary for new driver’s licenses and renewals.
Then, the employees at the deputy registrar’s office informed this newsroom around 1 p.m. that the licensing services were back up, but their vehicle registration system started acting up.
Bohrer couldn’t confirm the problems with the vehicle registration system, but news reports from elsewhere in Ohio suggest the problems weren’t limited to Montgomery County.
An Ohio BMV customer in Lake County, west of Cleveland, told News 5 Cleveland she received a letter from the deputy registrar in Willowick after having a problem registering a vehicle.
The news outlet published a copy of the letter, which asked law enforcement officers and prosecuting authorities to “consider all factors, including the BMV vehicle registration system outage, before issuing any citation or taking any other enforcement action.”
Tuesday’s outage is not the first time the BASS platform experienced problems. In March 2016, a technical issue with the platform also caused an outage, the BMV’s Facebook page timeline shows.