Monday, March 25, 2013
Help Me Howard: Drivers License
She's been driving in Florida for more than 15 years, but when her license was stolen and she ordered a new one, she received a learner's permit instead. Enjoy the ride, in tonight's Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
Karina Schmid: "It was exciting. Every 16-year-old counts down the days until they can start driving and be independent."
And getting her first drivers license was especially memorable for Karina because of what came with it.
Karina Schmid: "I had a car, I was a good kid, I got good grades. My parents rewarded me with my car."
For 15 years she's been a good driver. No tickets, no troubles, and then her license got stolen.
Karina Schmid: "I went online and reapplied for a duplicate license. When I received it, I reviewed the details, made sure my name was spelled correctly."
Her name was spelled the right way, but as she looked closer she realized there was one little problem with her new license.
Karina Schmid: "That's when I realized I didn't have a drivers license I had a drivers permit, so the DMV had essentially demoted me."
She had a restricted license or learners permit that's normally given to 15 year olds and it comes with some tight restrictions.
Karina Schmid: "I shouldn't be driving after 10 p.m. and I should always be driving with a licensed driver which I believe has to be over 21 years old."
Karina's husband thought it was funny.
Karina Schmid: "He laughs about it. He always points out the fact that he needs to be driving with me. He says, 'Thank God I'm here in the car with you, if not you wouldn't be able to be driving right now."
Karina laughed too till she called the division of motor vehicles.
Karina Schmid: "She said to me, 'I don't have a driving record for you. I have that you passed your permit test but I don't have that you ever passed your drivers exam.'"
Karina explained that she passed the driving test 15 years ago. She has this old license to prove it. That didn't make a difference.
Karina Schmid: "It's infuriating."
Karina was offered a solution. Do like every other 16-year-old with a learners permit, come in and try to get a new license.
Karina Schmid: "I don't think it's fair that number one, take time out of my day to go into the DMV office. Take my drivers exam which I passed over 15 years ago."
Well Howard, she passed the driving test and has proof, but the state of Florida's computers have no record of her. So legally, what does Karina do?
Howard Finkelstein: "Legally if you lose your license the law requires the state to replace it for a small fee. If they have no record of you, they still have to replace it. All you have to do is give them your drivers license number, which your insurance company should have."
A spokesperson with the Division of Motor Vehicles told us Karina's driving records were not in their computers.
They then had to go through microfiche records, which proved she indeed had a valid license.
After we talked to them her license was corrected and changed from a learners permit to a regular class license which most us have.
Karina Schmid: "The person I spoke with from Tallahassee, he was wonderful. He was very apologetic."
Karina now has her license and can legally drive without another adult in the car with her.
Karina Schmid: "It's been a few short days since I contacted Help Me Howard and the results were amazing."
How did Karina's 15 year driving record disappear from the state's computers? No one knows. They don't even know when it happened.
A suggestion to you, make a copy of your drivers license and put it in a drawer in case it gets stolen or disappears and the state's computers lose track of your license.
Troubles driving you to distraction? Permit us to step in. There is no license for this, but we also have no restrictions. We can help anyone. With this Help Me Howard, I'm Patrick Fraser 7 News.
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