NH gov. calls for nationwide review of DMV systems to clear backlogs

NH gov. calls for nationwide review of DMV systems to clear backlogs

Gov. Chris Sununu speaking alongside N.H. transportation officials about the state review of the Department of Motor Vehicles. 

CONCORD, N.H. — Two months after a Massachusetts driver allegedly killed seven motorcyclists despite two OUIs on his record and a license that should have been suspended, New Hampshire is revealing findings from a probe into its own Department of Motor Vehicles.

Governor Chris Sununu says there has been a significant backlog in The Granite State but says it's not even comparable to Massachusetts.

"It's night and day. Frankly there was a massive systemic failure within the state of Massachusetts and again all we are going on is some of the public information that Mass. has pulled out," he said.

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In a statement sent to Boston 25 News, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation said it "is collaborating with New Hampshire on improving communications relative to driver licensure issues and the Registry welcomes other states calling for a national solution to automating state-to-state communications."

Sununu was joined by his public safety commissioner and DMV director. The governor said after the deadly crash in Randolph, he ordered a DMV review.

The state review panel found a significant backlog and began to work overtime -- all hands on deck as he put it -- to get a handle on the problem. The backlog, which dates back to 2016, pertained to processing notices regarding license suspensions, appeals and other records.

As a result, nearly 3,000 New Hampshire and out-of-state residents were sent notices of license suspension, along with 904 drivers with commercial licenses.

"[We're] driving a national message that other states need to, you know, follow the lead here," Gov. Sununu said.

Boston 25 news asked the govenror why it's so hard for the DMV to handle its work.

"A lot of [the work] is manual," he said. "It really comes down to the fact that so many of our systems -- there's still a few left in our state and clearly a lot in other states -- that require a manual process: determination of the severity of the issue, whether it does fall under the precipice of having a license revoked, making sure that notification has gone out."

The man accused of hitting the bikers, Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, faces seven counts of negligent homicide.