Database error temporarily costs woman her license

January 6, 2011 7:15:36 PM PST
Out of state traffic citations can be a big hassle. For one Bay Area woman it temporarily cost her driver's license, so she turned to 7 On Your Side for help.

For Nickie Mackenzie it was a return to freedom after a frustrating ordeal at the Department of Motor Vehicles. It all began two years ago with a speeding ticket in Nevada.

"I deserved it," said Mackenzie. "I said to the policeman when he stopped me, 'Thank you for stopping me.'"

Mackenzie was driving alone from California to Idaho for a family gathering when she was stopped in the middle of the night just outside Reno. The cop said she was going 97 miles per hour.

"It's a lot," she said. "Way too fast."

She paid the fine and the ticket was cleared, or so she thought until recently when she found out differently.

"I lost my purse so I went over to the DMV at 7:30 to get a duplicate driver's license," she recalled.

When her license went missing and she applied for a new one, Mackenzie was shocked to find out she was still wanted in Nevada for that speeding ticket, or at least that's what the computer said. She told the clerk there was a mistake and she produced documents proving the citation was cleared.

"Took it over, didn't do any good," she said.

The DMV said it would take at least 30 days to investigate everything. Until then, Mackenzie couldn't drive, and she also couldn't do plenty of other things that require a driver's license, like cashing a check or even going to her doctor.

"I'm still without a license, a valid license. That's the problem," she said. "So much of our life requires a driver's license."

So Mackenzie contacted 7 On Your Side and we took her case to the DMV. It turns out the Nevada courts had placed a hold on her license that was never cleared from a national database, so the DMV could not issue her a new license. However, after we got involved the DMV took action. It contacted the Nevada courts which immediately corrected the record.

The next time Mackenzie went to the DMV, her trip proved successful.

"Yahoo! I got it! I got it! Thanks to 7 On Your Side!" she exclaimed. "I couldn't get it, but they did!"

Mackenzie finally got her license back and she couldn't wait to tell the world.

"7 On Your Side got my license for me. Wooo! Look at this!" said an exuberant Mackenzie.

The DMV says you may wind up in the national database of problem drivers if you don't clear up your citations right away, which happened in Mackenzie's case.

Remember to keep your paperwork once you do clear the ticket, and if you have a problem, let us me know about it. You can drop us an e-mail here.