DMV Facilities Nationwide Experience Suspicious Sprawling Outage

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) facilities across the U.S. experienced a major network outage Thursday. The widespread disruption triggered mass notifications for people needing to use their services to call before going to the location.

The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) told Fox Business that the system suffered an outage from roughly 9:50 a.m. EST until 12:30 p.m. EST. 

The organization provides cloud software to the country’s DMV facilities. The AAMVA attributed the blackout to a “loss in cloud connectivity,” though the reason for that loss was unexplained.

Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias cautioned that facilities were inoperable. The official posted on X, formerly Twitter, “We are currently experiencing a nationwide network outage at our DMV facilities. All DMVs across the country are currently down.” 

The exact cause of the country’s outage is currently unknown, though there have been numerous cyberattacks on businesses and public infrastructure in recent years.

Agencies across the country scrambled to contact and redirect those who had appointments. The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles issued an alert around 10:30 a.m.

The agency said it was searching for those scheduled to interact with the DMV on Thursday. It asked that they either seek alternative services or reschedule their appointments due to the outage.

Some services remained intact, including specific tests, hearings, and records searches.

When the system was finally operational again, the AAMVA issued a statement summarizing the day’s events. It noted that during the outage, “there was no ability to process messages that support transactions of drivers licenses and motor vehicle titles.”

The group added motor vehicle agencies across the U.S. were not able to issue driver’s licenses or vehicle titles.

AAMVA said it was attempting to determine what led to the loss of connectivity.

Though no cause has been determined, cyber attacks on critical infrastructure are increasingly common. From energy grids to hospital networks and municipal governments, there are increasingly bad actors seeking to extort money by holding critical systems hostage.

 

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