March 28, 2001

Governor George E. Pataki

State Capitol

Albany, New York, 12224

Dear Governor Pataki:

I am writing you as a result of my recent frustration with the Department of Motor Vehicles.  For the last six weeks, I have been attempting to resolve a lapse of insurance issue on a vehicle I no longer own.  Unfortunately, while everyone I have spoken to at the Department of Motor Vehicles (in both the NYC Herald Square Office and via phone in the Albany Insurance Bureau) have been both professional and helpful, the sheer weight of the bureaucracy surrounding this institution has resulted in the erroneous suspension of my drivers license and a profound sense of frustration and helplessness on my part. 

I recognize the importance of these insurance laws, and attach a notarized letter sent to the DMV as background information.  To my knowledge, this letter is as of yet not received by or acknowledged by them, though I mailed it at the end of February.  To summarize, through an oversight on my part, the plates were not returned after I canceled insurance on a vehicle which did not run and was not roadworthy.  I sold this vehicle to my stepsister within the 90-day period after insurance cancellation before ones license becomes suspended, and she traded the car into a dealership.  Since I have learned that my plates were not turned in, I have been in constant contact with the DMV, in person, and by phone, in the efforts to preserve my clean driving record and license history.  These efforts have been to no effect.

Exacerbating this situation is the fact that I only know my license is suspended because I was told so on the phone Monday morning - as of yet, I have still not received any written notification of this fact.  The phrase ‘due process’ comes to mind, and I ask, is it possible that the NYSDMV has disregarded this important constitutional right?

While I hope my situation will be resolved soon, I am copying this letter to the Commissioner of the DMV and the American Automobile Association.  I would like to make this effort to inform yourself and others of the difficulty to resolve simple problems quickly through the normal channels of the NYSDMV, as well as the disastrous implications of the slow and postponed communications from the Department regarding important license suspensions.  I am very concerned that I could have been driving without a license for nearly four days so far without being aware of my lawlessness!  I must note I have never experienced a similarly frustrating problem when dealing with the NYSDMV, and I do feel that in normal business matters they are very efficient and helpful.  I have submitted all of the necessary (to my knowledge) paperwork and receipts to the Albany Insurance office via fax, and have been told I can call in five days to check on the status of my license.


Karina J. XXX




cc:  Raymond P. Martinez, Commissioner, New York State Department of Motor Vehicles

      Patty Grosfkopf, Head of Member Services, American Automotive Association