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It wasn’t me, I swear

Mike Bennett
Staff Photo |

Many people told me they could identify with my driver’s license adventure I recently wrote about. The kind lady in Glenwood told me I would easily be able to clear my name with a quick call to the New York Division of Motor Vehicles.

A week later and I am on hold with the NY DMV as I write this week’s column. Eighteen minutes have passed as I listen to the public service announcements read by a woman with a heavy New York accent.

I almost feel like I’m on vacation.



Last week, I made that simple call to the number provided. After wading through three different online attendants and three auto transfers, I landed in the wrong office. I was told I needed an “It isn’t me” letter.

“Please hold and I will transfer you to the right office,” the voice on the line said.



I was promptly transferred to the wrong office.

In New York they believe in the power of 3’s. Their third transfer was the charm.

“When did you live in New York?” I was asked.

“Never” I responded.

“Have you ever visited New York,” I was asked.

It felt like an interrogation. In this country I thought you were innocent until proven guilty?

I told the gentleman that my brother lives in Bath, N.Y., and I’ve visited him many times.

“No, you were in the Bronx in 1988 when you got the DUI,” he said.

“I’ve not been to the Bronx” I responded.

“Oh, then you need an ‘It isn’t me’ letter,” he said.

Doing my best to hold back my exasperation, I told him “that is why I’m talking to you.”

Then I asked what I needed to do to get this letter. Very simply I needed to write a letter stating that it wasn’t me that got that DUI. Then I needed to fax the letter with copies of my Social Security card, driver’s license and an official birth certificate to the NY DMV.

“Is that all I have to do?” I asked.

I was told that I shouldn’t be sarcastic. I thought New Yorkers were tougher than that.

I was assured that in a week or less I should have my letter.

That brings me to now, where I have been on hold waiting to find out where my letter might be. Thirty-three minutes have gone by and I am sorry to say I was transferred to yet another recorded message.

This one informed me that I need to call back during normal business hours.

The clock had struck 4 p.m. in New York, and my saga continues …


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