Computer Virus Forces Maryland's Motor Vehicle Administration to Close

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A major computer virus (search) forced the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (search) to shut all of its offices at noon Tuesday.

"We're experiencing a statewide computer virus," MVA spokeswoman Cheron Wicker said. "It has affected our systems."

The department expected to reopen its offices Wednesday, officials said.

"We have closed all of our offices and facilities statewide. So there's no telephone service right now. There's no online service right now. There's no kiosk or express office service," Wicker said. "We are currently working on a fix and expect to be operational again in the morning," Wicker said.

Drivers who had business with Tuesday deadlines at the MVA were told not to worry.

"Extensions will be granted on drivers licenses that are expiring (Tuesday)," Wicker said. People who needed to renew registrations were told to wait for Wednesday.

There's "a tremendous amount of protection" for the agency's records, Wicker said. But she warned it was too early to tell what damage may have been done, noting, "sometimes the virus gets ahead of the protection that you have in place."