(WSVN) – A South Florida man lost his driver’s license overseas, but the real trouble came when he tried to get a replacement after coming back home, so he called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
Steve and Heidi are not just a married couple. They are partners with a passion to help the disabled.
Steve Wright, waiting for license: “Merging my three [areas of] expertise of communications, town planning and advocating for people with disabilities. My wife brings infinite, infinite stuff to the table.”
They even teach a class to architecture students at the University of Miami about how to create buildings for the disabled.
Steve Wright: “Every unit should be minimally roll-in ready for a person with disability. Why not a roll-in shower?”
Steve travels the world speaking about access for people with disabilities. He was recently in Paris, where he had a little issue.
Steve Wright: “Three people banged into me, knocked me forward and cracked my head on one of those posts.”
Steve had a concussion, and the crooks got his wallet with his money and driver’s license.
But when he returned to South Florida, he faced a bigger headache: replacing that driver’s license.
Steve Wright: “I came home, and I said, ‘Oh, you can do one for life online,’ and I thought, ‘Bingo.’”
But when Steve tried to do it online, he was told he had to make an appointment to come into the Department of Motor Vehicles to get a replacement license.
As you can see, every appointment was taken. Until…
Steve Wright: “And went to book, and it was like August 28th.”
Steve went to a nearby driver’s license office, hoping that someone had canceled their appointment.
Steve Wright: “And they said, ‘No, you have to have an appointment, and I’m like, ‘It’s 10 minutes to closing, and there’s one other person. Can I please?’ And they said, ‘No.’”
And so, like many South Floridians, Steve waits and waits to get that license.
Steve Wright: “I just want an appointment that’s in a rational amount of time.”
Well, Howard, if your license is stolen or lost, does the state have to do something to speed up things so you don’t go without a driver’s license?
Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “No. They should have a way to speed up appointments, especially for victims whose license was stolen, but there is no law to require the government to help them out.”
There are ways to get an appointment a little quicker. They are usually released at midnight. Sign on at 11:58 p.m. and keep hitting refresh till they open up.
The DMV is moving to a new website. We were told that would allow Steve to get a new license mailed to him, even though the old website said he had to make an appointment and do it in person.
That worked for Steve.
Steve Wright: “And finally paid my $25, give or take, and a week later, here’s my license.”
Steve has his license, a lot sooner that he expected, after his call to Help Me Howard.
Steve Wright: “But Help Me Howard, the whole – the team just really cut through the red tape and got me back in business. I feel like government needs almost like a Help Me Howard person on board.”
Now, there is an idea. A couple of things. The links to see if you can get a new license online, or to try to get one through the new website like Steve did, are at the end of this Help Me Howard story.
And a suggestion: take a picture of your license and registration in case it’s stolen or you forget to bring it with you. That will help if you get stopped by the police.
ID’d a problem you cannot solve? Picture this: you book an appointment with us, ’cause we don’t need a license to help you.
With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News
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