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Kan. to resume issuing driver's licenses

April 5, 2012
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TOPEKA, Kan.—The Kansas Division of Motor Vehicles will resume issuing and renewing driver's licenses and identification cards Thursday, following a two-day shutdown traced to problems with an outside vendor's computer system.

Division director Donna Shelite, in announcing the resolution late Wednesday afternoon, said the vendor "is continuing work to ensure we do not have an unplanned outage like this again."

The shutdown affected all 111 driver's license offices Tuesday and Wednesday. The offices are open Tuesdays through Fridays and serve about 13,000 people a week.

For people whose licenses or ID cards were set to expire between March 30 and Friday, the division was issuing 15-day extension slips.

The Division of Motor Vehicles, which is part of the Department of Revenue, is in the middle of a $40 million computer system upgrade that will integrate driver's license records with vehicle title and registration data.

Revenue Department spokeswoman Jeannine Koranda said once the upgrade is complete, the outside vendor's 8-year-old server will not be needed.

The computer upgrade became an important issue for legislators in considering a proposal from Secretary of State Kris Kobach to require proof of U.S. citizenship, starting June 15, from people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas.

The state has a proof-of-citizenship rule, but it's not scheduled to take effect until Jan. 1, 2013. Doubts about the computer upgrade being ready have stalled Kobach's push to move up the date.

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