ANDERSONVILLE, Tenn (WATE) In the state of Tennessee your driver’s license has to be renewed every eight years.
The process is usually routine: get your picture taken, your identity verified, pay the fee, and in time will receive your new license. However, a man in Andersonville called 6 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Don Dare after he was denied a new license.
There had been an inquiry from two other states; their respective DMV’s had flagged men with the same name and birth-date. The gentlemen who called Don, James Allan Clark, learning he shares his name with two other men.
One residing in Illinois, the other in Nebraska; apparently neither of them has a sterling driving record. As a result, Clark from Tennessee, getting caught in the crossfire of mistaken identity.
For a while, Clark was driving on borrowed time, having only two weeks to renew his soon-to-be expired license. Seemingly only a small ordeal as he only had to visit the local driver’s license office, but that’s where he hit a snag.
Clark went to the Oak Ridge DMV, went through the whole process of renewing your license, but then the clerk told him that there was a problem and he was asked to sit down.
Clark saying, “I sat down, and 20 minutes later, they asked me about my driving in Illinois. I explained that I’ve never been to Illinois. They tell me to have seat, and when they call me back up again, they ask me when I left Nebraska and I told them I’ve never been there.”
He was told that after a computer check, a problem with his driving record emerged in two other states. To resolve the problem, Clark would have to get a “Not Me” letter proving he’s not the James Allan Clark with the same name and birth date as the others.
He was given phone numbers in Illinois and Nebraska and Clark deciding to call Illinois first.
After calling Illinois, they explain that in 10-14 days this will be taken care of. Clark then calls Nebraska, and is told that they don’t do that; they won’t send any kind of a “Not Me” document because the social security numbers don’t match.
Nebraska providing a solution having Tennessee Motor Division to call them and would have the problem straightened out in minutes over the phone.
Clark attempts to set up the call and like Nebraska, Tennessee saying they don’t do that. Clark is caught in a pickle and all he is wanting to do is simply renew his license.
Seeking a solution we contacted the Department of Safety in Nashville and explained Clark’s situation.
After receiving a call from the State, Allen was sent back to the driver’s center in Oak Ridge; and within minutes he received his new license.
Clark saying, “Apparently there was nothing wrong with the renewal application. I was in there maybe 5-10 minutes, and was out the door with my license. It was amazing.”
Some states, like Tennessee, have laws on the books that require you to obtain a “Not Me” letter, if a computer check reveals an issue with your identity. Many states have recognized that stolen identities have become an increasing problem for law-abiding citizens.
With Homeland Security tightening identity rules, these follow up checks are required.
For Clark, Illinois issued the information he needed within days. However, Nebraska has a different set of rules. Once the Tennessee Department of Safety was told about the issue, it quickly went away.