Man Refused License in California Because of 27-year-old DUI Revocation in Minnesota

Monday, April 05, 2010

Any California DUI lawyer will tell you that you cannot receive a license in California if you have an unresolved DUI offense in any other state in the country. However, a man who moved to California from Minnesota is finding that a 27-year-old license revocation has suddenly surfaced, preventing him from attaining his California driver’s license.

Dennis Keagy had moved from Minnesota to California in 1981. The license revocation that is now interfering with his ability to renew his license in California, occurred in 1984. The problem is that Keagy had no recollection of the offense in question here.

You can't blame Keagy for this. It's been 27 years since the license was revoked, and Keagy since then has had no problem getting his license renewed in California. In fact, he has had his license renewed several times in the state without the 27-year-old DUI license revocation in Minnesota coming into the picture.  The first time he heard about this revocation was when he was informed by the Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services earlier this year that he had an unresolved fine from a drunk driving incident back in 1984.  

The agency informed him that he could get his license back if he paid $680 to the state of Minnesota. He has one other choice to get his license back - he can merely inform the state of Minnesota where exactly he was on the day that the drunk driving offense occurred, so his offense could be expunged from his record.

Keagy is at his wits’ end because he can't remember when this offense occurred. The Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services cannot help either. The agency does not have records dating back 27 years, and cannot provide him the information he needs. Meanwhile, the California Department of Motor Vehicles says it cannot issue a driver's license to a motorist who does not have a valid license in another state.

Although Keagy’s case is an unusual one, thousands of motorists like him could be badly affected if a new bill that allows judges to consider a motorist’s lifetime DUI history before deciding to revoke his license, is allowed to move ahead.