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By Allan Holmes September 1, 2010

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Virginia computers that support issuing new or updated drivers licenses in the commonwealth have been down for a week. Commonwealth officials issued a statement today trying to play down how much inconvenience this caused drivers:

This outage, while significant and particularly so for those attempting to secure a driver's license, was not as widespread as some think. Of the 89 state agencies, 26 were impacted. Of those 26, three had core business functions impacted. State government functions and computer systems continued to operate. Mainframes, networks, PCs, e-mail and phone systems continued to be available. The outage affected 13 percent of the commonwealth's file servers.

OK, but we shouldn't forget the upwards of 45,000 people, according to the Virginian-Pilot in Richmond, who couldn't get a drivers license.

Gov. Bob McDonnell has directed DMV to extend hours at its customer services around the state because the outage impacted an estimated 35,000-45,000 people seeking to obtain or renew their identification. All 74 DMV locations will stay open later Thursday and Friday, and select service centers will offer extended hours Saturday.

McDonnell has called for an investigation into why the computers crashed.

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