What’s the last thing you remember about that time you didn’t get a notice that your license was suspended? That’s right, you wouldn’t remember it if it never happened to you. One man found himself with a suspended license over a ticket from 1981, something he wasn’t warned about back then because the notification letter had his name misspelled on it.
The Portland, Ore. man ended up with an invalid license, with no idea how he could’ve earned such a punishment, reports KATU.com.
He was pulled over earlier this month for a possible speeding ticket, but instead of writing a ticket for that, the police officer told him his license had been suspended as of July 17.
When he asked the Department of Motor Vehicles what happened, he was told that his license had been yanked due to a ticket in 1981. Thing is, he’s been renewing his license for decades, and has no memory of his license getting suspended.
“I don’t remember anything like that. If my license had been suspended, I definitely would have taken care of that,” he told KATU. “Sometimes I can be a procrastinator, but I’ve never procrastinated for 33 years!”
According to the DMV, there was an error in 1981 and a record was created with a typo in it, making it close to his name, but off by one letter. That record shows a 1981 ticket and the suspension.
A spokesperson said the system has been updated since then, and they were able to find errors and ah, fix them. Hence, the suspension finally came to light.
The man says he never got a warning letter in 1981 — though the DMV said it sent one back then… with the typo last name on it. It also claimed to have sent a warning letter at his registered address in July.
He says he recently moved from that address, and didn’t get any forwarded mail from the DMV.
Despite the mixup, the DMV says the statute of limitations isn’t valid anymore, so he won’t have to pay for the old ticket or the suspension. But if he wants a valid license, he’ll have to pay $75 to get it reinstated.
He’s refusing, based on “principle.”
“I started to pay it that day,” he said. “I thought, ‘No, this isn’t fair. This isn’t right!'”