Louisiana Motor Vehicles Offices Can't Process Transactions

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Office of Motor Vehicles locations around Louisiana were unable to process transactions Thursday because of a fire at the state police data center.

         State police spokesman Maj. Doug Cain said the morning fire at the data center shut down all automated systems at the Department of Public Safety, which includes the motor vehicles offices.

         "It appears to be some sort of short that took place because the electrical panel is burned up," Cain said. "It's a significant outage for the Department of Public Safety."

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         Meghan Parrish, spokeswoman for the Division of Administration, described the fire's cause as an electrical malfunction in a power supply.

         The problem disrupted administrative processes and shut down department-wide email and Internet systems. That means the state police can't process handgun permits and fingerprint background checks, and state troopers can't access motor vehicles information at traffic stops, Cain said. Criminal databases also are down, he said.

         The most obvious problem for the public will be at OMV locations.

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         "Virtually every motor vehicles office in the state is unable to process transactions," Cain said. "We're going to continue to be staffed up with the hopes that the system will come back online, but all they can do is turn people away" until then.

         He said technicians at the data center in Baton Rouge estimated it will take four to five hours to restore the systems and get them back up and running.

         Parrish said the fire also disrupted state email and computer networks for other tenants at the public safety complex, including the corrections, revenue and insurance departments, along with the state health insurance office.

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         "We are re-routing systems where possible and expect to have all systems back up today," she said.




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