N. Carolina - DMV glitch passed on to Selective Service System

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01/14/00- Updated 06:07 PM ET

Glitches of the week

This is a weekly column from Newsbytes featuring the latest in the weird, bizarre and unfortunate when it comes to technology.

Draft notice off by 100 years

A reminder to register with the Selective Service recently arrived for William Vance Gupton Sr. The problem is, not only is Gupton deceased, but if he were alive today, he would be 118 years old, not 18, the age that men are required to register.

The mistake stems back to North Carolina's Division of Motor Vehicles, from where the Selective Service System gets information on the state's eligible residents. According to John Parks, spokesperson for North Carolina's DMV, in 1994 the DMV switched to a new driver license system. During the process, all of the data was transmitted from the old system to the new one. Gupton had been a long time resident of North Carolina, and had a driver license for several years. From the 1970's onward, Gupton's DMV file was inactive either because he didn't renew his license or because he was deceased.

"When the old data was moved into the new system, we had people checking files for errors," said Parks. "The person who checked Gupton's file, for whatever reason, decided that it was impossible for him to have been born in 1881 and assumed that it was a computer error. So, they changed the date of birth to 1981." The system calculated that he turned 18 in 1999 and the Selective Service used that information to alert him of the register requirement.

From: Newsbytes News Network http://www.newsbytes.com/ Posted on USA Today http://www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/nb/nb1.htm

-- Lee Maloney (leemaloney@hotmail.com), January 17, 2000

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