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Department of Public Safety faces ongoing challenges as equipment failure affects license renewals

Posted at 4:39 PM, Aug 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-01 18:06:23-04

TULSA, Okla. -- After his license expired on Tuesday, Brian Bielli is relieved to get behind the wheel again.

A power outage affected the computer system used to issue licenses on Sunday, halting activity for two days.

"Two weeks ago I went to Muskogee to renew. We got there at 10-something. They told us since the lines were so long if you weren't there before 9:00 that morning, you weren't going to be seen," Bielli said.

For many, commercial licenses expired this week, putting their jobs on the line.

"I wouldn't have had a paycheck, I wouldn't have been able to pay my bills, everything probably would have been shut off," Bielli said.

By Wednesday, DPS fixed equipment to renew licenses, but could not issue new ones. Paula Rajaniemi waited at the driver's license bureau with her partner every day this week.

"You come here to get your license renewed, it should be an easy job to be done, but we've been coming back so often we just haven't been able to get anywhere," Rajaniemi said.

But on Wednesday drivers were happy to see lines moving, compared to waiting without answers earlier in the week.

"It was terrible. People were coming in and then leaving. Some of us stayed, just in the hopes that hopefully it would come back up but it never did happen yesterday," Bielli said.

After two trips from the Tahlequah area, Bielli is ready to see this saga end.

"It's a little frustrating. Then spending the money for the gas to come here and then go back home compared to if I had done it in Muskogee it would have only been 30 miles there and 30 miles home but it's just the way it happened," he said.

DPS staff tell us they're working with the vendor to solve this problem, but said it could be as late as next week.

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