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Re: [IP] Drivers Licenses ... BE CAREFUL !

I'm in California. When I renewed my license, I checked the box for diabetes
-- I was diagnosed shortly after my previous renewal. That triggered an
automatic review by the Driver Safety Office. I was then given an extension
on my existing license by the folks at the window. The DSO, however, set a
different timeline -- one in which I had to respond with doctor's forms
BEFORE my original license expiration date. They buried this bit of rather
insane procedure in a note APPENDED to the doctor's forms, so I did not
discover the new timeline until I was preparing for my doctor's visit.

In the process of attempting to straighten this out, I discovered a few
1) They had already revoked my license for failing to meet their timeline.
(Had I been doing things the "quick and easy" way, instead of trying to do
the right thing, I'd have met their timeline anyway -- in effect, I was
being penalized harshly for trying to do the right thing).
2) They would not restore it until I had a hearing at a date they would set
at some indefinite point in the future, which turned out to be about 3
months later.
3) There is absolutely NO administrative recourse.
4) They are not even allowed to give out a phone number to anyone to discuss
5) The only recourse is to get a Superior Court judge to issue a writ of
mandamus. Which turns out to be a MAJOR do-it-yourself project around the
Christmas holidays -- no lawyers available. It's also hard to manage getting
to and from law libraries, etc. when you're deprived of a car, and can't
walk far enough to use buses, etc. And hold down a job at the same time??? I
had hoped to force them to reinstate it until the hearing, but the very
situation they created impeded my ability to seek redress.

The net effect was to shift the driving from me, with a long solid safety
record, to my newly-licensed teenager, when she was available. In the name
of driver safety???

In the process of the hearing, they asked a few questions about my diabetes
control -- the obvious stuff -- and then about an accident I had been
involved in (I was rear-ended by an inattentive driver). All they had was
that the SFPD had reported I was involved in an accident -- they didn't have
any info that I was the victim of a presumably non-diabetic driver!

I don't know what to tell anyone about checking that box. I just know -- if
you get any mailing from the DMV, read it EXTREMELY carefully, because,
organizationally, they ARE out to get you, and DO NOT CARE. That's the
"organizational they" - the many many individuals I spoke to, even the
hearing officer, were entirely sympathetic to my plight. But the policies
that are in place make it impossible for them to do anything even resembling
the right thing.

I suspect this stems from a few highly-publicized incidents in the past,
including one doctor from Marin who drove around the traffic on the Golden
Gate Bridge, into oncoming traffic, right into oncoming traffic. As a
result, we're pretty much treated as if we were alcoholics with a little
driving problem.

I think I'd go so far as to suggest that at the first sign of involvement
with your Driver Safety Office (or equivalent), that you start checking into
attorneys, as a precaution. But look for one who will be actually helpful at
a reasonable fee, instead of one that would charge an arm and a leg just to
go down and do what you could do yourself. (That's part of the reason I
suggest looking for an attorney early -- so you don't do anything desperate
in that regard if problems develop).

On 2/13/07, Nolan E. Kienitz <email @ redacted> wrote:

> I could have been in a situation where my license would have been "gone"
> for
> life with absolutely no recourse.
> I'm not sure what is right about stating if your "are" or "are not" a
> diabetic on the applications. Some of these state medical review boards
> have
> a tight guideline and maybe even some sort of an agenda. We diabetics in
> some cases are being perceived as massive liabilities.
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