What is the Issue?
In a joint investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has participated in a multi-year investigation to uncover a scam to issue Commercial Driver Licenses to unqualified applicants in exchange for cash payments.
The DMV’s Investigation’s Division discovered that a number of DMV employees and truck driving school owners had conspired to issue Class “A” and Class “B” driver licenses to applicants who had unlawfully circumvented the vetting process by avoiding written examinations and behind the wheel qualification.
The DMV is reporting that as many as 100 fraudulent driver licenses may have been issued before this crime was uncovered. With the assistance of undercover agents, the investigation revealed that owners of three truck driving schools acted as a “middleman” between applicants and DMV employees to manipulate the DMV database to issue official driver licenses to unqualified drivers.
Two defendants have already pled guilty to charges including bribery and fraud and face sentences of up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count. The United States Attorney’s Office is continuing their assessment and the prosecution of additional offenders is pending.
Why is this a problem?
A driver who holds a commercial driver license is authorized to operate a wide variety of specialized vehicles up to and including public buses and semi tractor-trailers. The Class “A” driver is among the most trusted and highly trained driver because of the skill that is required to operate these specialized vehicles. This requires a level of testing and performance that far surpasses what is required of a Class “C” driver.
The DMV’s investigation revealed a breakdown in the qualification process that ultimately allowed dozens of applicants to obtain commercial driver licenses that they otherwise may not have qualified for. In addition to the fact that this scheme undermines public trust and the integrity of the DMV database, it also created a dynamic public safety hazard because it permitted drivers with little or no training or skill to drive enormously dangerous vehicles on our public roadways.
What action will the DMV take in a fraudulent activity case?
The DMV has already moved swiftly to cancel or revoke driver licenses that they believe were obtained by illegal means. In many instances the accused drivers have the right to defend themselves at an Administrative Hearing in an attempt to demonstrate that they are wrongly accused or did not knowingly commit a fraudulent act.
If an accused driver fails to request an administrative hearing, or if they do not prevail at their hearing, the DMV will suspend or revoke the driver license for a minimum of one-year. After serving the one-year period of suspension, the driver becomes eligible to reapply for licensing.
If the DMV has accused you of Fraudulent Activity, call CDA….. We can help!
With many years of experience representing drivers before the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates have seen nearly every form of fraud perpetrated by drivers. We have also encountered numerous instances where a driver is wrongly accused, but nonetheless faces the possibility of license suspension.
If the California DMV intends to suspend or revoke your driver license for fraudulent activity, call us immediately. We are ready to help you navigate the DMV.