Jul 24, 2014

It May Be Time To Check Your Driving Record

I advocate that it is a good idea to check your driving record once a year to make sure there are no errors or identity theft. Your driving record affects a number of areas in your life, and having even one error on your record can cause some major headaches.

Just a few of the issues you could face by not knowing about a driving record issue.

Car Insurance Rates
The number one factor to your insurance rate is your driving record. If your driving record contains one violation that should not be there you could be paying as much as DOUBLE your actual rate.

Employment
Your employer or future employer can check your driving record and they will use that information to determine who worthy you are for employment. A spotted record can be a sign of being irresponsible or even reckless! Employers won't take the risk of hiring you if you can't get to work or if you will put their insurance rates at risk.

Travel 
Just imagine boarding an airplane and being told you can't use your license as an ID for boarding...because it is suspended. Having a blemish on your driving record could cause your license to be suspended and make your ID invalid.

Points Accumulation
Some violations in Pennsylvania carry points that are used to tract a driver and assess penalties like fines and license suspension ad different point levels. The only way to find out how many points are on your license would be to request a driving record and count the points or contact PennDOT.

By spending just a few moments and $8 with PennDOT you can download your driving record to make sue there are no issue. It is easy to do and worth a yearly investment.

You can find the PennDOT Driver Record Request page here;

May 22, 2014

Driverless Cars Not A Cure For Suspended License

The DMV has just issued regulations on driverless cars that prevent the unlicensed or those with a suspended driver's license from operating a driverless car. So autonomous automobiles are not going to be the savior for suspended drivers any time soon.


Nov 24, 2013

Philadelphia Parking Tickets PPA - Quick facts

I've written many times about the Philadelphia Parking Authority and their aggressive parking ticket policy. I've mentioned how hard a parking ticket can be, and we have heard stories of parking tickets being given to people who have never been to Philadelphia. We have even discussed the ability to fight Philly parking tickets online. But there are a few important things you need to know about parking tickets and your driver's license.

1) No matter how many parking tickets there is no impact on your driver's license. You can NOT get points or suspensions for getting a parking ticket.

2) A parking ticket in Philadelphia can now be fought online. The PPA had to make it easier to fight these tickets because of the number of out of area residents claiming they got mail because of a ticket issues in Philly...even when they had never been in the city.

3) Red light camera tickets are considered parking tickets and administered by the Philadelphia parking Authority. You can read a report regarding the amount of money being collected by red light cameras here.

Oct 26, 2013

PA Statute of Limitations for old Traffic Tickets

Q: Is there a Statute of Limitations for old traffic tickets in PA?
          I got several tickets in Pennsylvania when I was younger. Some of the tickets were for speeding, no registration, suspended license, and driving too fast. I never got notice of these tickets before I moved to Florida. I had my florida license for the last 8 years but now Florida DMV will not renew my license because of these tickets in PA. Don't the courts have to throw them out because they are more than 10 years old?



A: It is possible, but you may need help or have a hearing to make it happen.

You need to clear the PA tickets before Florida will issue you or renew your license. Be careful on how you clear them...driving under suspension carries a minimum of a year of license suspension in Pennsylvania and driving with no insurance and suspended registration carres 3 months each.

There are a number of ways to clear the tickets in PA and one of them is asking for dismissal due to age but it is not automatic. This is done at the discretion of the judge in each district court. If you were already found guilty of the tickets there is no longer a statute of limitations on the collection of fines/fees and assessment of additional penalties like license suspension or revocation issued by PennDOT.

Reading through the following PA code carefully you will see that after three years the judge has the OPTION to dismiss a ticket and remove the indefinite suspension as long as you don't run afoul of any of the limitation of §5554. You moved from Pennsylvania so you may no longer be granted relief from these citations under §5553. If you were to hire someone knowledgeable they may be able to make an argument based on more specific details of your situation. At License Restoration Services I deal with this type of issue regularly and in most cases we have been able to get these issues resolved without additional suspension time.

§ 5553. Summary offenses involving vehicles.
(a) General rule.--Except as provided in subsection (b) or (c), proceedings for summary offenses under Title 75 (relating to vehicles) must be commenced within 30 days after the commission of the alleged offense or within 30 days after the discovery of the commission of the offense or the identity of the offender, whichever is later, and not thereafter.
(b) Minor offenses.--(Deleted by amendment).
(c) Exceptions.--
(1) Where proceedings are timely commenced against a person reasonably believed to have committed the summary offense or offenses charged and it subsequently appears that a person other than the person charged is the offender, proceedings may be commenced against the other person within 30 days after the identity of the person is discovered and not thereafter.
(2) Proceedings for summary offenses under Title 75 may be commenced within 365 days after the commission of the offense, the discovery of the commission of the offense or the discovery of the identity of the offender, whichever is later, and not thereafter if the offense involved an accident resulting in the bodily injury or death of any person.
(3) Where a police officer reasonably believes that there are multiple summary offenses arising out of the same conduct or the same criminal episode and that an offense under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1543 (relating to driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked) has occurred, proceedings on all summary offenses arising from the conduct or episode may be commenced at the same time and must be commenced within 30 days after the commission of the alleged offenses or within 30 days after the discovery of the commission of the offenses or the identity of the offender or within 30 days after the police officer receives verification of the basis for the suspension from the Department of Transportation as required under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1543(d), whichever is later, and not thereafter.
(d) Local ordinances on overtime parking.--Local ordinances pertaining to overtime parking shall be subject to the provisions of this section.
(e) Disposition of proceedings within three years.--No proceedings shall be held or action taken pursuant to a summary offense under Title 75 subsequent to three years after the commission of the offense.
(Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53, eff. 60 days; Oct. 5, 1980, P.L.693, No.142, eff. 60 days; June 15, 1982, P.L.512, No.141, eff. 60 days; Nov. 29, 2004, P.L.1325, No.166, eff. 60 days; Nov. 29, 2004, P.L.1364, No.176, eff. imd.)

2004 Amendments. Act 166 amended subsecs. (c) and (e) and Act 176 amended subsecs. (a) and (c) and deleted subsec. (b). Act 176 overlooked the amendment by Act 166, but the amendments do not conflict in substance and have both been given effect in setting forth the text of section 5553.
Cross References. Section 5553 is referred to in section 5554 of this title.
§ 5554. Tolling of statute.
Except as provided by section 5553(e) (relating to disposition of proceedings within two years), the period of limitation does not run during any time when:
(1) the accused is continuously absent from this Commonwealth or has no reasonably ascertainable place of abode or work within this Commonwealth;
(2) a prosecution against the accused for the same conduct is pending in this Commonwealth; or
(3) a child is under 18 years of age, where the crime involves injuries to the person of the child caused by the wrongful act, or neglect, or unlawful violence, or negligence of the child's parents or by a person responsible for the child's welfare, or any individual residing in the same home as the child, or a paramour of the child's parent.
(Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53, eff. 60 days; July 10, 1985, P.L.193, No.49, eff. 60 days)

Jun 19, 2013

No More Philadelphia Traffic Court

Now all Philadelphia Traffic Court functions will be completed by the Philadelphia Municipal Court. New judges will be assigned and cases are currently being transferred.

Philly Traffic Court CLOSED

So no one knows how this transition will affect traffic tickets and parking tickets in Philadelphia. The state legislators expect this to help prevent corruption and illicit activities, but I do not believe they anticipated the case load this will bring to the Municipal Court and those judges and staff. Only time will tell!

For now the best way to contact the Traffic Court in Philly is in person. You can also try calling the Traffic Court Phone Number 215-686-1675



From the current Traffic Court Website

The Philadelphia Traffic Court Bench is composed of seven judges, elected by the populace. They preside over and adjudicate moving citations issued within the City and County of Philadelphia, as provided in Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code, set by the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Included among these Judges is an Administrative Judge, the Honorable Gary S. Glazer.

All inquiries concerning parking violations should be directed to the Parking Authority at (888) 591-3636.

The Traffic Court is located at 800 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19123-2690. The Court is open to the public between the hours of 8:30 A.M. and 7:30 P.M., Monday through Friday.

Our mailing address is: 800 Spring Garden Street, Post Office Box 56301, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130-6301. Our main telephone number is (215)686-1675.

Philadelphia Traffic Court attempts to offer the community the most efficient service possible. Through extended evening hours and affordable payment plans, it is the court's objective to make resolution and payment of outstanding traffic citations as convenient as possible for responsible citizens.


Apr 11, 2013

Pennsylvania Notary Services - Shout Out

I just had to give a shout out to my local mobile notary service DelcoNotary.com. They notarize everything I need when helping correct PA license issues and they are top notch. I have the pleasure of having them here in my office when their not out on the road, so I am lucky.


Mobile notary service is a tough gig, always travelling and being presented with all types of different documents and forms, then there is the long hours spent in a real estate closing or in a lawyers office during a will preparation. Not a job I would want....

Mar 18, 2013

NY DMV A Fake-Proof Driver's License?

The New York DMV in Albany is working on a new fake proof driver's license that they claim will prevent identity theft and fraud. The new license uses a black and white photo rather than a full color picture of the person that is claimed to be more secure. Pennsylvania recently released some security updates to the PennDOT issued ID cards and they chose holograms with full color photos. There were comments that even the holograms would not be enough to fight fake ID and license services who prey on the underage and criminals who wish to remain un-identified.


As you can see in the image of the new NY license, the B&W photo is combined with the full color license to create what Motor Vehicles believes will be harder to fake. The NY Times article states that faked driver's license and ID cards are often used for underage drinking violations and less frequently for more nefarious violations.

After the success of a similarly designed United States passport card, New York is the second state to adopt this technology, which incorporates black-and-white images into a full color design. The first, in 2009, was Virginia. Since then, Pam Goheen, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, said the department had not seen a “credible” forgery of a Virginia license, adding that those who tried had failed miserably.

Do you believe that this new ID will be un-fakable or will the tech savvy fraudsters figure out the tricks and keep the fake license market alive?


Jan 3, 2013

PennDOT Job Opportunity

PennDOT has some job openings in their license centers. Choosing a career with PennDOT can lead to serious advancement within the state and PennDOT organization, even if this is a entry position the opportunity may be there for future advancement.

PennDOT Zone Map for Jobs in PA


The job market is tough and finding a job that is local and with a reputable agency can be tough, so find out more about this job at the PennDOT website or by calling Rayna Lemelle at 717-772-3446.

You can read the job specifics at the License Restoration Blog. One interesting note is that in order to qualify for these jobs you may not have had a license suspension or revocation in the last five years. You will also need to have a current class A (CDL) license to be hired for the more advanced position of driver's license tester.

Nov 21, 2012

Find Pennsylvania Court Docket Records Online Free

If you are looking for information about a citation or court hearing, PA has made it easy to research those records. The UJS (Unified Judicial System) has published court docket information for free through the website http://ujsportal.pacourts.us/Default.aspx you can also use this system to check for indefinite suspensions are on your driving record.


This site shows criminal records for offenders in PA listed free of charge. The docket sheets outline the charge and area the violation occurred  as well as the time and date of violation. You will also be able to see if the person was found guilty or if there were any other charges added to their case as well as if there is any PA jail time required.

PA court case info for district court;
http://ujsportal.pacourts.us/DocketSheets/MDJ.aspx

Philadelphia Municipal Court & Philadelphia Traffic Court
http://ujsportal.pacourts.us/DocketSheets/MC.aspx

Pennsylvania Common Pleas Court - County Court Dockets
http://ujsportal.pacourts.us/DocketSheets/CP.aspx

Appellate Courts in PA - Docket Records
http://ujsportal.pacourts.us/DocketSheets/Appellate.aspx

Sep 25, 2012

Some PennDOT License Centers Open Monday Before Election for PA Photo ID



Key Driver Licensing Centers Open the Day Before Election Day

PennDOT License Center District Map

PennDOT has set aside funds to keep the following license centers open on Monday, a day they are normally closed, to assist voters in Pennsylvania with voter ID issues in the last hours before election day. Pennsylvania and PennDOT have been scrambling to make sure that anyone who wants an ID to vote can get proper documentation and help to make sure that no vote is left uncounted. This holding open of these license centers is one more step to try and prevent any missed votes.
Harrisburg – Forty-eight PennDOT Driver Licensing Centers, normally closed on Mondays, will be open on Monday, Nov. 5, the day before Election Day, to better serve customers with last-minute Voter ID needs.

In recent months, PennDOT has worked closely with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the union representing its Driver Licensing Center employees, to reach this agreement.

"I applaud the efforts of AFSCME to work with us on this important effort," said PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch. "Our employees have been working tirelessly to be certain that any Pennsylvanian who needs an ID for voting purposes has it, and efforts like this show our commitment to getting the job done."

Since the passage of the law in March, PennDOT has been working aggressively to make the voting ID process as customer-friendly as possible. Two major milestones include working with the Pennsylvania Department of Health to facilitate a process for customers who do not have a birth certificate with a raised seal, and extending hours at five Driver License Centers in Philadelphia County.

The addresses of the affected centers can be found online at www.dmv.state.pa.us or by calling PennDOT 1-800-932-4600.

The following PennDOT Driver License Centers will be open on Monday, Nov. 5:

This is only a handful of the total license centers in PA, but they are some of the busiest and most accessible centers in PA. Almost every major area of the state is covered by holding these centers open on the Monday prior to voting, and may help a few get their ID in time. The state has also made steps to streamline the voter ID application, and will not require a hard copy of the birth certificate for those born in Pennsylvania, as long as the computer can verify certain information.

I know how hard it can be for some to get the proper paperwork to verify residence and preove to the sate who you are. I have seen first hand some residents who through no fault of their own, have been accused of ID fraud, or are victims of identity theft, and they have extra hurdles to cross before they can get a ID, even if it is just to vote in November. There are also misconceptions about ability to get a voter ID with a suspended license (Hint: you can!) and difficulties getting to a PennDOT license center, even if all paperwork is ready. I just hope the lawmakers can create some type of review process to allow some of these people the ability to have their vote counted, but sadly I believe this is enough of a deterrent to turn away a large number of those who may see additional barriers to voting now. Only time will tell...