An unexpected computer-system outage for vehicle inspections has slowed vehicle registration in Waco and across the state, officials confirmed Wednesday.

The outage, affecting all inspection sites statewide, was discovered Monday, and it is unknown how long the outage may last, according to a Texas Department of Public Safety inspections customer-service employee.

McLennan County Tax Assessor-Collector Randy Riggs said the outage has caused difficulties locally.

“The state requires an individual to get their vehicle inspected before it can be registered, so we have people who want to get their vehicle registered, but by law, we cannot register that vehicle until it is inspected,” Riggs said. “Now, people are unable to get their vehicle inspected and they are asking us what to do.”

County employees cannot recommend any company to inspect vehicles, and with the entire system unable to generate reports, it is nearly impossible to move forward with new registrations, Riggs said. If residents had their vehicles inspected before the outage, county employees can still process new registrations, he said.

“If residents got their vehicle inspected earlier in the month, then they are probably OK, but Tuesday was the first day that I really realized the issue was starting to happen,” Riggs said.

Technical difficulties have hit the Department of Motor Vehicles in the past, but Riggs said outages have never lasted long.

From the beginning of the year to Nov. 30, the county has handled 253,000 transactions, including registration and car titles, Riggs said. Last year, the county handled 151,000 transactions.

“That is a huge increase,” Riggs said. “The (outage) really hasn’t affect us too much yet, but if it continues to go on for a week, I think it may slow us down.”

It was not known Wednesday whether local and state law enforcement would offer any kind of grace period for recently expired registration stickers because of the outage.

DPS officials suggested residents continue to check with local vehicle inspectors to see when systems are back online.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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