Road Law – November 2019
A DMV nightmare
Jeff McConnell and James Mennella
In this article, we look at a recent case of an OOIDA member whose case went from great to terrible due to an error made by the court clerk sending an erroneous report to the DMV.
Compounding the problem further, the client was no longer licensed in the state where the report was sent. Hopefully, this doesn’t happen too frequently.
Q. I received a ticket in Indiana for speeding and don’t want it on my record. Can you help?
A. Yes. We will request a court date and work with the prosecutor to try for a resolution that won’t harm your driving record. We should have an answer for you in the next few weeks and will let you know.
Q. Do you have any good news for me?
A. After discussing your case with the prosecutor, she has agreed to dismiss your case without any fine or court costs.
Q. I went to renew my driver’s license, and my home state of Georgia told me that there was a hold on my license from Florida for an Indiana “failure to appear.”
A. There shouldn’t be a “hold” on your license and certainly not from Florida. Aren’t you licensed in Georgia?
Q. I was licensed in Florida when I received the ticket. However, I moved to Georgia and now have a Georgia license.
A. We spoke to the court clerk in Indiana, and they made a mistake when your case was filed and sent a hold for a “default” to Florida. They have electronically resubmitted a request to remove the hold, so you should be able to renew your license. However, we recommend you call Florida to make sure there are no reinstatement fees.
Q. I went back to Georgia, and I still can’t renew my license because of the hold in Florida. I need the hold lifted so I can renew my license.
A. We spoke to Florida, and they can’t lift the hold because there is no longer a Florida driver’s license number associated with the hold. They want some further personal information about you so they can try and locate your information. Once they are able to cross-reference the information, they will begin to process the correction, which could take up to three business days.
Q. That is too long. Can’t this be sped up?
A. In this case, no. Although we have an original file-stamped copy of the dismissal of your case in Indiana, the DMV will only accept electronic transmission confirmation to make the change as it relates to the “hold” on your license. The only alternative would be for you to appear at an appropriate Florida service center with the information in hand to see if a supervisor or hearing officer, etc., will manually clear it. The odds of this happening are slim, and we are really at the mercy of the DMV to get this processed.
Q. That is totally unacceptable.
A. In this day and age of electronic communication, one mistake on a computer entry can have an extreme impact on a driver’s ability to stay employed and continue his or her profession. While the clerk in this case didn’t mean to cause the client grief, the ultimate result was a real problem that took quite a while to resolve and get the client back to work with a renewed license. LL
Send any questions or comments regarding transportation law to: Jeff McConnell and James Mennella, Road Law, 3441 W. Memorial, Suite 4, Oklahoma City, OK 73134; call 405-242-2030, fax 888-588-8983, or contact us via RoadLaw.net.
This column is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Land Line Magazine or its publisher. Please remember everyone’s legal situation is different. Consult with an attorney for specific advice on your situation.