I heard the news I didn’t want to be told this morning.
Last night I wrote about the curious piece of mail I received this past Saturday. The envelope I had waiting for me in my box was from the New York State DMV and the enclosed letter said I owed money and an explanation for not making my court appearance for driving with tinted windows in Brooklyn this past August. Obviously I wasn’t driving in New York with tinted windows. In fact, I have never driven a vehicle in the state of New York in my life. I have also never used tinted windows.
My gut told me it was a big scam. The letter was vague and the allegation was ridiculous. However, in the back of my mind I knew it could be a case of identity theft. When I wrote my blog post yesterday, my readers seemed to back up the latter explanation.
This morning I finally got through to the New York DMV. I chatted with a delightful foreign man who delivered me the undelightful news that the ticket was legitimate. He read off my driver’s license number that was recorded with the ticket. At that point it set in that I am a victim of a scheme.
He transferred me to another employee who started the process of helping me fight this. She prepared an Affidavit In Lieu of Appearance Form that I will have to fill out. The form is necessary to excuse my absence from this upcoming court hearing as I obviously won’t be flying out to New York on November 16. The form also lets me plead not guilty and present evidence. I don’t have much time but the process is slow. The lady must send the form through the mail and then I will have to fill it out, compile my evidence, and get it notarized.
I asked the lady on the phone if the officer who issued the ticket would have made a copy of the driver’s license or captured the identity of the driver who used my info on video. She said no to both. The officers in New York are trained to remember the faces of every driver they pull over, she explained, so at my hearing on November 16 the officer should be able to to immediately confirm that it wasn’t me (I have to send in a color copy of my driver’s license with the affidavit).
This whole process is one thing. Getting my identification information out of the hands of a criminal is another. I contacted the South Carolina DMV today to let them know my situation. They said they can’t really do anything in terms of declaring my current license invalid and issuing me a different one with a new number. They said the best they could do is put a certain safeguard on my license where all transactions, renewals, registration acts, etc., must be made in person at the DMV. As of right now, I am in total limbo.
However, I do have faith that this will all work itself out. It is frustrating but there is only so much I can do. I appreciate the well wishes and concerns I have already received from my readers. Life is good and other than this incident my week is off to a great start! Don’t Blink.