Your daily Letter the Columnist — Nov.5, 2013
I always enjoy your column and read today’s piece on Catherine Taylor’s license suspension with interest.
My son received a DMV notice in the mail at his Roanoke home this summer informing him that his Virginia license had been suspended due to a traffic violation while driving a commercial truck in Pennsylvania.
He hadn’t been in Pennsylvania. at the time of the incident, and as he explained to the DMV person, he’d never driven a commercial truck in his life. They told him that he’d need to get a letter from the court system in Pennsylvania absolving him in the case.
When he contacted the Pennsylvania court, they told him they had no record on him, but that he should call the Pennsylvania DMV. That call led him nowhere. I convinced him to call the DMV headquarters in Richmond and, being very patient and calm, try to find a sympathetic clerk who might listen to his story.
Luckily, he found just that person, who took on his case as a personal responsibility and managed to solve it within an hour or so. Moreover, she called him back to notify him personally that his record would be cleared by the following day and called him again the next day to confirm that his record was now clean. Not surprisingly, he never received a letter from the DMV apologizing for anything. Had he not hit upon the sympathetic clerk, he likely would have had to pay a lawyer to try to straighten it out.
My point is that these kind of occurrences are clearly not unheard of. The individual caught in a web like this can easily get overwhelmed. And it’s not funny if it happens to you. I do hope that some highly placed person in the “system” reads your column and takes some action to ensure that suspensions generated by computer cross checks are verified by humans before action is taken.