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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 12554
Experience:  25 yrs. of experience in employment law, real estate and business law, family law, criminal defense and immigration.
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In Feb my driver license and purse was stolen. I went to DMV

Customer Question

In Feb my driver license and purse was stolen. I went to DMV to get a replacement license. In the meantime, I had to close my bank account due to fraud. The check I wrote bounced because of this and a letter was sent from DMV to let me know it bounced. I immediately sent a new check to cover all fees. That check was sent back to me with a note saying insufficient information so I filled out information and sent the new check again. About a week after I sent the check for the second time, I received a letter saying my license was suspended. I checked my account and saw that they had already cashed my new check. Being naive, I assumed everything was ok. In Aug my husband tried to change our home and auto insurance and agent said my license was suspended. I called DMV several times and they said I just needed to come in and surrender my old license and get a new one and everything would be clear. I did this and was notified by an insurance agent that I am considered a high risk driver because my license had been suspended. I researched reasons DMV can suspend a license and it can be suspended due to not paying fines. My issue is that I was attempting to make payment and now I am tagged as a high risk driver and I have a squeaky clean record. We can't change insurance without paying double for me. How can I fight this?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Hi,and welcome to JustAnswer,

I am sorry to hear about all the trouble that the DMV is giving you, but I am not surprised. I honestly do not know how the DMV personnel keep their jobs.

You did not say in what part of California you reside. Do you live within driving distance to a DMV office ?

Thank you and I look forward to your reply,

ANDREA

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Andrea,
I live in Temecula and I do live within driving distance but I've already discussed the issue with a DMV attendant when I turned in my old license and she told me everything was fine. I'd like to take this to a higher level so as not to waste anymore of my time. Do you know if this would have happened in the Temecula office or from the head office..is it in Sacramento?
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

All of the "branch" offices of the DMV are hooked up to the State's records in Sacramwnto, so any DMV office you went to would be getting their information from the same source. The problem with any DMV office in any of the 50 States is that the DMV employees do not really care if they made a mistake and you or I are left without a driver's license.

When I have a problem and I know that the person I will be dealing with does not really care whether or not my problem is solved, I bypass them and go straight to the top. For example, I had a problem with a major high end department store. I wrote to the President of the corporation. Although he did not contact me, he did, in fact, read my letter, and he had his Executive Vice President telephone me, asking me to name my price, i.e., what would it take for me to return as a shopper. So, I named my price and within 4 days, I received a check in the mail.

I cannot blame you for not wanting to deal with the clerks a the DMV. I would write 3 letters - One to the Attorney General of California because that office plays a very active role in protecting the rights of its citizens. And address the letter to the Attorney General himself and send it by Federal Express. The Attorney General will probably not personally solve the problem you are facing, but I can guarantee you that your case will be assigned to one of the top Aides in his office. Allow 3-4 days to go by after the date on which you sent it Federal Express, then call that Office and ask to speak to the Attorney General. You probably will not talk to the Attorney General himself, but you will certainly speak to one of his Executive Assistant.

Your second and third letters should be directed to your State Representative and State Senator. And follow the same route - Give it 3 to 4 days, then call their office. One of their Executive Assistants will be assigned to your problem and it will be solved in no time at all, including a reduction in the automobile insurance you were quoted.

Each of your three letters should be concise and to the point and if at all possible, not longer than 3/4 to 1 page long. Anything longer than that and you will lose their attention. Focus on the following -

1. You are a law abiding citizen whose purse was stolen;

2. Instead of receiving assistance from the DMV (whose salary you pay through taxes), they suspended your license;

3. The DMV ultimately cashed your check, but did not give you the assistance you needed to solve the problem;

4. To add insult to injury, the insurance company hade the audacity to put you in a category in which you did not belong. This was done without even giving you the benefit of the doubt, or giving you some assistance. You should not have been placed in any high risk category. Instead of helping you, you were penalized even further with a higher insurance premium - Where is the justice in that ? State in each of the three letters that you are asking for their assistance because you have reached a brick wall with respect to the employees at the DMV and the insurance company who already had their hands in your pocket without so much as asking about the circumstances of the problem with your driver's license. They had no reason and no justification for increasing your insurance premium.

You might even consider writing to the California Insurance Commission and informing that office of what the insurance company is trying to do to you - There is no justification for increasing your insurance premium, or placing you in a "high risk' category, or whatever name they chose to give it. It is not enough that you were a victim once when your purse was stolen, but the insurance company appears to be jumping at anything on which they might use against you in order to justify an increase in your insurance premium.

I believe that once you send out those 4 letters, you will see a great deal of assistance in resolving all the problems that you were facing and which resulted from the theft of your purse.

Please let me know if I have not Answered your question completely and I will be glad to explain further.

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Kindest Regards,

ANDREA