Wait times at Department of Motor Vehicles branches in Connecticut have reached up to seven hours as the agency debuts new software that prompted a week-long closure.
Lines wrapped around DMV offices from the time they opened their doors Tuesday morning. According to DMV spokesman William Seymour, average wait times ranged from five to seven hours by mid-afternoon.
Customers waiting in line at the Wethersfield DMV branch earlier said officials told them the computer system had crashed.
All branches will remain open to serve customers who are standing in line at normal closing time Tuesday, according to Seymour.
Despite the delays, DMV officials said no serious issues arose during Tuesday's rollout. Long waits have been routine in other states where DMV offices upgraded computer systems.
"We knew that the lines would be long. It happened as occurred in other states. We ask the public for patience as everyone adjusts to the new system. It will improve services and wait times at DMV as it breaks in," DMV Commissioner Andres Ayala said in a statement Tuesday.
According to Seymour, about 1,000 DMV customers who visited branches Tuesday could have completed their transactions online and saved themselves the in-person wait.
New services are now available on the DMV website as a result of the upgrade, including the ability to check for property tax payment status, insurance and delinquent parking violations; track wait times online, reprint registration certificates, cancel registrations, order special plates and replace damaged plates.
The $25 million project to modernize the DMV's 50-year-old computer system was scheduled to be finished Tuesday, but was completed early and offices reopened Aug. 18. The modernization project, which began in 2009, involves 14 million vehicle and customer records and the rewriting of more than 40-million lines of computer code.
For more information about the DMV’s computer upgrade, see the fact sheet online.