Keep that address updated!

Posted by Daniel J. Gerl | May 12, 2013 | 0 Comments

Return to sender

I've had several clients over the years run into trouble for failing to do something that just about all of us have failed to do at some point - update their address. While this may not cause problems for those without any court related issues – including traffic tickets – for others it can wreak havoc on credit histories, result in bench warrants, or even worse – criminal charges.

For instance, the Department of Licensing (DOL) is responsible for sending notification of license suspension to a person's last known address. When courts send notices to appear or to pay fines on traffic tickets, they may send to that same address. If someone has moved since last updating this address, guess how much effort the DOL will undergo to make sure the notice gets to the right address? That's right, none. It will simply go undelivered.

This happened to someone I know who never got his Notice of Suspension, and thought he was ok to drive - and was stopped on the first day of his suspension. His car was impounded for 30 days, he was liable for storage fees, and he now faces charges for driving while his license was suspended. Another person lost his vehicle when it was sold by the impound yard because he never received a letter send to a former address (listed on his registration paperwork) which instructed him to make a deposit or forfeit his vehicle at auction.

Anytime you come into contact with the DOL or court system - make sure your current address is the one of record. If you move, remember to contact the DOL to update your address (you can do this online). If you have matters in court, make sure to update your address with the court clerk. And if you are stopped and cited for a traffic infraction, make sure to give the officer your current address - don't let him just go off your driver's license. And in fact, proof read what he's written down - cops make mistakes (no, really, they do. I know, shocking huh?) and I've seen them write down addresses incorrectly which can cause major problems as well.   

About the Author

Daniel J. Gerl

Dan Gerl is a former prosecutor with over ten years of experience handling DUI, criminal and traffic cases throughout Western Washington. Dan handled hundreds of traffic infractions, avoiding negative impact on driving records over 98% of the time . If you are cited with a traffic or speeding infraction, and you want to keep your record clean, Puget Law Group is your best defense!


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