Colorado DMV power outage comes on heels of software delays and backlogs

Posted at 6:00 PM, Sep 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-12 20:31:39-04

DENVER -- The Colorado DMV has had a rough go of it lately.

Its new software came with more than a few bugs, and a power outage at the main offices Wednesday morning didn't help matters.

The outage near the main offices in Lakewood led to even worse back-ups and delays throughout the system, but Xcel Energy was able to resolve it quickly, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue.

The latest delays for registering your car are all related to a software upgrade.

The upgrade, which happened in early August, is the first in 30 years at the DMV. Believe it or not, the DMV was still using a 1985 DOS-based computer system until last month.

"We've run into some hiccups, but those hiccups are consistent with what you would expect in any new system technology upgrade," said Michael Hartman, executive director of the Department of Revenue.

Hartman said there are three issues.

First, the new system takes about 30 seconds to print each customer's registration. Add that up over thousands of customers a day and it leads to long lines.

Second, the state titling system isn't communicating with the federal system - which has led to a huge backlog of title transfers.

"We started (with a backlog of) 19,000 titles. Now, we've been able to work it down to 13,000," Hartman said. "Making sure that we take the time to prove out that the title is valid."

And third, Hartman says the new system doesn't understand fractional addresses.

"For example, you have a customer on 102nd Ave. In some parts of our state we actually have 102nd-and-a-half Ave., and the new system isn't quite picking up that half," Hartman said.

If you have plans to visit the DMV this week, pack your patience and get there early.