COLUMBUS (WCMH) — When Ohio’s Bureau of Motor Vehicle services resumed operations, on Tuesday, long lines began to form outside of many locations.
At the Morse Road location, for example, may customers waited outside in line for two or three hours.
Some said they tried to use the “Get in Line, Online” service, which allows them to reserve a spot in line, but the system crashed early in the day.
“I know there’s a lot of people trying to get in,” said Laura Loya. “I get that, but at the same time it was expected that many people were going to try to get in. They should have been more prepared.”
According to Charlie Norman, Ohio’s Registrar of Motor Vehicles, the system, which is operated by a third party, crashed when approximately 240,000 Ohioans tried to access it.
It had been restored by mid-afternoon.
“We’ve been in discussion with this vendor for the past week sort of letting them know hey, we need to make sure we gear up for this volume and they did, but I don’t think anyone anticipated nearly a quarter of a million hits all at once,” said Norman.
Now that the facilities are reopen, Norman said there is no need to rush for many of their services which can be done online. Those include changing your address, paying fees, and ordering/renewing plates.
Also due to Ohio’s continued state of emergency declaration, expired licenses and ID cards are still valid, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said last week at a press briefing.
“The one thing that we’re trying to prevent is everybody rushing out to the BMV on Tuesday thinking that they have to be there, that they have to renew their license, and then creating the problem of not being able to handle everybody at the BMV, creating crowding, spacing and those issues,” Husted said last week. “That’s the last thing that we want to have happen.”
Many customers were surprised to find the BMV location in Westerville was closed, on Tuesday.
Norman explained that all locations are operated by independent contractors, and those who operated the Westerville facility were one of three across the state not to reopen.
“I can tell you we have another Westerville location ready to go and it should be open under a new deputy registrar within the next couple of weeks,” he said.