Statewide Camera Outage Leaves Oregonians Unable to Get ID Photos

Oregon DMV experiences statewide camera outage
Credit: Oregon DMV

A widespread camera system outage in Oregon has rendered residents unable to get new photos for driver’s licenses. The state is unsure when the problem will be resolved.

As reported by Oregon Public Broadcasting, all Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services locations have been unable to take people’s portraits for identification and driver’s licenses since Wednesday afternoon.

“At the moment, we are not performing credential transactions that require a photo to be taken, but we are continuing all other transactions,” says Oregon DMV spokesperson Michelle Godfrey, adding that the DMV does not have an estimated restoration time for the faulty camera system.

Godfrey said early Thursday morning that the third-party vendor in charge of the state’s camera system is working to address the problem.

This is not the first issue that Oregon’s state government has recently experienced. On June 1, the Oregon DMV reported that a third-party vendor was hacked, resulting in the exposure of data records for Oregon’s driver’s licenses, permits, and ID cards.

At the time, the Oregon DMV recommended that anyone with an active Oregon driver’s license, permit, or ID card assume that their personal information was available to malicious actors and take steps to secure their data. The Oregon DMV discovered that about 3.5 million license and ID files were compromised, which comprises around 90% of Oregon’s files.

Godfrey says the new issue with the DMV’s camera system is unrelated to that data breach.

If it is any consolation to the Oregon DMV, it is not the only victim of a statewide camera outage this year. In March, the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles experienced an outage that took down numerous services, including issuing state licenses and IDs.

A potential solution, allowing people to take their own state ID photos, may not prove too popular with states after officials in Georgia needed to ask people to stop taking naked driver’s license photos.

“Attention, lovely people of the digital era! Please take pictures with your clothes on when submitting them for your Digital Driver’s License and IDs,” the Georgia Department of Driver Services said on Facebook.

Georgia is one of eight states that allows its residents to create digitized ID cards. At least in Georgia’s case, its digital IDs are not a complete replacement for physical identification but can be used as part of a digital wallet to pass through certain TSA checkpoints, including at the busy Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Hopefully, the Oregon DMV camera outage will be fixed soon and people can get their pictures taken. Even when fully operational, DMV offices around the U.S. have a bad enough reputation as it is.