OREGON CITY, Ore. -- An Oregon City man claims the state has denied him a driver’s license for the past seven years. His driving record is clean, but if he gets behind the wheel, he’s likely to get arrested.
His name is James Alan Redmond and he’s owned a van for years. The problem is: He hasn’t been able to legally drive it for a long time.
“Seven years,” he says. “Seven years.”
It’s been a long road for James, unable to get a driver’s license for the past seven years. “I’m hoping someone out there might listen, like the DMV people,” he says, “and do something about it. It’s time. Seven years is a long time to take a man’s license away.”
James is not a menace, a reckless driver, a repeat offender or a danger to others on the roadway. His driving record is clean in Oregon. Right now, his girlfriend drives him everywhere he goes, but that’s getting more difficult.
“She’s got scoliosis and Graves disease," James tells Unit 8. "She’s got a lot of medical issues and I need to start driving.”
So the question is, why can’t James get a license?
KGW traveled to the Department of Motor Vehicles headquarters in Salem, and the state of Oregon says James can’t get a license here because he has an outstanding violation in Massachusetts. The problem is, James has never been to Massachusetts.
DMV spokesman David House says, “In Oregon, he has valid driving privileges, but he does show up in Massachusetts for failure to appear, failure to comply.”
And that is true. Unit 8 discovered copies of tickets dated more than 23 years ago. In Boston, it lists James Redmond as the defendant, with a Long Island, N.Y. address. It lists the violator as 5-foot-2; James is actually 5-foot-7. The ticket also says the violator was born on April 4, 1960; James was actually born April 9.
So we asked him, “When was the last time you were in New York?” He answered, “I was never in New York.” Then we asked him, “When was the last time you were in Massachusetts?” He responded, “I was never there, I’ve been in Oregon all my life.”
Unit 8 took James’ evidence to the DMV headquarters in Salem, and they got right to work. Hoping to put his seven-year detour on the fast track.
“If we don’t think you’re the same person, and you’re not suspended in Oregon, then we can issue you a driver’s license,” said House.
“Feels great, it’s been a long road,” James replied.
As for the time frame of when James could get back on the road legally, House says, “If he’s already got some of these documents in hand, we could set-up an appointment pretty quickly just to meet with a manager at a local DMV office, so it could happen pretty quickly.”
The Oregon DMV office assigned a case manager to meet with James at a local DMV office. They say his driving privileges are valid in Oregon and if they determine he is not the man with the outstanding violations in Massachusetts, they will issue him a license in a matter of days.