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DMV typo causes accidental license suspension

There is no question that a suspended license can prove to be a major obstacle in a person's life. Not only will they have to attempt to apply for a restricted or conditional license, they will also have to adjust their schedules (i.e. driving to work, school, etc.) and face increased insurance premiums.

Unfortunately, one woman from upstate New York was forced to confront all of these potential worries when the State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) sent her a letter indicating that her driver's license was suspended for approximately six months "due to an alcohol or drug-related offense."

However, there was one problem with this letter. The woman was never arrested or charged with any drug or alcohol violation.

According to reports, Eula S. of Lockport, New York, was recently sent the shocking letter and had her license taken away by officials at the Niagara County License Bureau.

"They were saying my license was suspended, possibly alcohol or drugs, and I don't do any of that," she said.

Indeed, she has never even received a traffic citation.

Faced with the possibility of losing her driving privileges altogether, Eula S. was forced to spend $87 to secure a conditional license while she attempted to sort the matter out with the DMV.

Interestingly, a call to a local investigative news team by Eula S. helped to speed things up in Albany, as she recently had her license reinstated, her driving record cleared of any issues and her $87 refunded.

As it turns out, an official at the DMV had made a typo when entering the number of the actual offender, a New York City resident whose records have now been changed to reflect the suspended license.

As for Eula S., she is grateful to put the matter behind her and is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her new license in the mail.

"Justice was done, and I am very happy," she said. "I am very happy that it is over, very happy."

Stay tuned for further developments from our New York vehicle traffic law blog ...

If you are dealing with a suspended license, fight to keep your driving privileges and your insurance premiums as low as possible. Consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Names have been withheld to protect the identity of the parties.


WIVB 4, "Woman's record cleared after DMV error" Feb. 22, 2012

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