Oklahoma DPS says technical issues being fixed to improve backlog

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – For months, many Oklahomans have been struggling to get the help they need at the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety.

Officials with DPS have said that they have been struggling with a backlog of Oklahomans who are unable to get an appointment.

“This is not necessarily a new problem. We did have backlogs even before the pandemic. It makes a problem that was maybe just slightly annoying before a serious problem now,” said Sarah Stewart, with DPS.

Stewart says there are three main problems causing the slow downs.  

Because of the pandemic, fewer people are allowed inside in order to maintain social distancing measures.  

Budget cuts mean fewer staff is available to fill vacant driver’s license examiner positions and the rollout of the ‘Real ID’ is also backing up appointments.  

Recently, DPS extended hours at certain Oklahoma locations to help more customers.

On Friday, the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety announced that technical issues causing slowdowns in the state’s new driver license software have been identified and are improving.

“DPS has introduced several new monitoring capabilities into the platform that will allow us to proactively respond to any future issues,” said John Scully, Commissioner of DPS. “But because REAL ID requires several new rigorous identification certifications, it’s understandable that the process for obtaining an identity card takes longer.”

Officials say they recently learned that increased traffic exposed two critical errors within their current operating system

“According to our analysis, one contributor to the system’s sustained drag occurred when a high volume of reports were run. Every time this occurred, it put a strain on the system resulting in other programs backing up behind them,” said Matthew Thompson, Senior Vice President, Civil Identity for North America at IDEMIA. “IDEMIA and OMES were able to migrate the reports to a secondary database, resulting in a marked improvement in the processing times. In addition to this processing blockage, the teams have been able to optimize a processing step to improve performance by up to 90 percent.”

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