TxDMV system experiences fourth outage in less than 3 months

FILE - Vehicle registration sticker (KXAN Photo)
FILE - Vehicle registration sticker (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Nobody wants to stand in line at their local tax office to take care of vehicle registrations or titles, but when you wait in line and get turned away because the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles system is down, it’s even more frustrating.

In the past three months, the TxDMV system has experienced four outages, Wednesday being the most recent case. A spokesperson for TxDMV says the most recent outage involved a problem with their registration and titling system. Around lunchtime, the system locked up and required a forced close. “As the state data center brought it back up, the system had to clear out pending transactions which can take several hours,” explained Adam Shaivitz.

The Travis County Tax Office tweeted at 3 p.m. indicating their parking lot and lobby were full of customers waiting for the system to reboot, which never happened before close of business. The state apologized for the inconvenience to county tax office staff and customers and said operations won’t be impacted Thursday.

On Sept. 7, the same registration and tilting system was offline for approximately one hour due to a database communication issue at the state data center. Another outage was reported on Aug. 12 and once again on Aug. 15.

Over the summer, the DMV voted to reduce fees paid to counties for processing vehicle registrations and titles. While county officials weren’t happy about losing a cut of the fees, the state said customers would benefit from the new fees because the state would fulfill the renewals rather than having each county do it. The new state processing center is operated by Xerox, the same company that manages the Texas Department of Transportation’s TxTag billing system—which has been plagued with problems. Shaivitz says Xerox prints and mails registration renewal notices but does not manage the system infrastructure.

Customers may renew their vehicle registration online at www.Texas.gov, in person at their county tax assessor-collector’s office, at county substation locations such as HEB, or by mail.

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