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Frustrations mount three weeks after Washington Department of Licensing hack

The department says it still doesn't know when its website will be fully operational.

SILVERDALE, Wash. — Nearly a month after the Department of Licensing announced a breach, exposing the personal information of more than half a million people, many of those impacted are still looking for answers.

Iris Miranda moved to Washington to continue her career as a notary public, but delays due to the hack had her worried her career could be over.

"This could ruin my reputation, my credit, everything," she said.

On Jan. 13 Miranda sent her application for a notary license to the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL). When she didn't hear back, she went on the department's website and found a notice stating the system was down. 

When she contacted the DOL she got no response.

"That's when I got worried," she said. "I wondered, did I submit all this information to a fake website?"

It turns out Miranda is one of around 650,000 people whose personal information, including social security and driver's license numbers were compromised after the DOL's database was hacked.

Without a professional license, Miranda can't work. It has been more than a month, but that isn't her biggest concern.

"I can always perform other duties, I can always find another job, but how about my identity?" she asked.

The DOL has figured out a way to allow people to renew their licenses offline -- by manually filling out and mailing in a form that can be found on the DOL's website

The department is in the process of approving renewal applications but plan to start processing new license applications by next week, according to DOL spokesperson Nathan Olson. 

Miranda's new application was finally approved on Thursday.

"The frustration level is there for us," said DOL spokesman Nathan Olson.

Olson specified the hack only affects professional licenses, not drivers or boating licenses. He also noted the department shut their systems down as soon as they confirmed there had been a hack.

"We're looking into why this might've happened and trying to fix what we can to make sure it doesn't happen again," he said.

He conceded, however, the department does not know when the system will be operating at full capacity once again.

The DOL plans to provide those impacted with a year of free credit monitoring, according to Olson. 

For now, Miranda wonders about all the others out there who can't get new licenses, like real estate brokers, hairdressers and architects.


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