Unintended Consequences: Drivers License Edition

Drivers are suddenly finding that they can't renew their drivers license because other states have imposed a hold, sometimes for outstanding tickets dating to the Reagan administration.

Apparently, drivers are suddenly finding that they can’t renew their drivers license because other states have imposed a hold, sometimes for outstanding tickets dating to the Reagan administration.  Gary Richards of the Mercury News:

Since 2007, federal rules mandate that any driver application must be first checked through the National Driver Registry and the Problem Driver Pointer System. If there is a record of an unpaid ticket from another state or a hold for other reasons, your license cannot be renewed until the ticket is paid or the hold is otherwise resolved. This system was developed to stop drivers from obtaining a driver’s license in one state while their driving privilege is suspended in another. You are supposed to be provided a contact telephone number and any docket information. Obviously, that didn’t happen here. And there is another problem. The other state is responsible for removing the old ticket once the matter has been resolved, but California officials say some are not doing so promptly due to a lack of resources.

[…]

Some states don’t have a statute of limitations, while others have limitations that can vary depending on the violation. For example, the statute of limitations is typically longer for a drunken-driving conviction than for speeding.

Some states also place holds on licenses for things totally unconnected to driving safety.    Oh, and you can’t check for yourself to see if there are any holds on your record before wasting a day at the DMV:  “The registry does not provide information to individuals, only to DMVs.”

Sweet.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He's a widower and father of two young daughters. He earned his PhD from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. JKB says:

    I always liked the hold for over due library fines. Of course, the real solution there is to not use the public library. Not a big sacrifice really since they usually are outdated and inconvenient. That is why the internet gods made Amazon and now, even better, the Internet Archive.




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