The Pryor Times

November 7, 2013

Driver’s license is not yours

Staff Writer
Cydney Baron

PRYOR, OK — A recent law changes police protocol on suspended drivers licenses and DUI tickets.

Title 47 of the Oklahoma legislative changes deals with motor vehicles.

It cites House Bill 1082 which says “a driver’s license is NOT the property of the licensed driver and it shall be the duty of every person who has had the driving privilege suspended, canceled or revoked to immediately surrender the license upon request to any peace officer.”

If the drivers license is reinstated, the driver must then apply for a new license.

If a driver's license is suspended/canceled/re-voked the driver will receive written notice from the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety.

“This new law clarifies that once you receive that notice you are required to return your license to the Department of Public Safety. Essentially, the license is not the property of you the driver, but instead the property of the issuer, the state of Oklahoma,” said Pryor Police Officer Dustin Vanhorn. Protocol for handling an individual ticketed for driving under suspension differs from one town to the next. Pryor's policy is that the driver is taken into custody.

Once an officer seizes a suspended/cancelled/revoked license they send it to DPS.

Accepting an Oklahoma-issued driver's license is agreeing to an unwritten contract. This implied consent gives law enforcement the authority to seize a license and return it to the issuer.

“If you refuse a blood/breath test and an officer believes you are driving under the influence- implied consent means just that, by accepting the license from the state you are implying your consent for any blood/breath test. This is the legal reason the state says your license WILL be suspended or revoked if you refuse,” said Vanhorn.

The definition of driving under the influence was modified slightly to read, “any person who has any amount of a Schedule I chemical or controlled substance in the person's bodily fluid at the time of a test administered within two hours after the arrest of the person,” according to the law enforcement legislative update. The change stems from House Bill 1441, effective Oct 1.

Schedule I substances include opiates, opiate derivatives, any item which contains any quantity of  hallucinogenic substances, several items containing stimulant or depressant effects on the central nervous systems and many other substances.

Numerous citations are issued in Pryor for drivers failing to abide by the state's compulsory insurance law. The law enforcement update refers to House Bill 1792, effective Nov. 1.

“When an officer makes a traffic stop of a vehicle owner or operator who fails to comply with the compulsory insurance law or who fails to produce a valid and current security verification form, the officer issues a citation for the violation.”

The officer has in the past had the authority to seize the vehicle at that time. Under the new provisions the officer may also seize the license plate. Within three days of seizure the officer would deliver the plate and the citation to the county sheriff. The vehicle owner may retrieve the license plate upon providing proof they are in compliance with state insurance requirements and have paid in full an administrative fee of $125 to the sheriff and payment in full of the citation.

Vanhorn encourages drivers to visit the Department of Public Safety website where they can update their license/ID address or sign up to receive an email update when their license is about to expire. To do so, simply click the Drivers License tab on the homepage, from the drop down menu select  “DL Renewal Notification.”

In general the ticket cost for driving without a license is $199 and driving without insurance verification is $124. The ticket cost for driving with a suspended license is $449 and driving under the influence is $549.

Vanhorn reminds drivers that tickets are payable online at Pryor Police Department’s website,