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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    canada
    Posts
    2

    Default Canadian with US revoked driver's license

    I'm a Canadian Citizen. Two years ago, I got a speeding ticket in Washington State. I didn't pay the ticket back (mostly because I didn't have $200 US to give) and a few months later, I received a letter from the Department of Licensing saying that my Driver's License has been revoked. (I didn't drive back down to appear in court either)
    Eversince, I've still been able to travel to the States via airplane. I've never driven across the border eversince; however, I noticed that at US customs at the airport, I only used my passport for ID and was cleared everytime.
    So my question is, if I'm just a passenger (I won't drive in the states at all) and go through the border crossing with someone else as the driver, will they still find grounds to arrest me? I will only be using my passport as ID as well. (so they can't scan my driver's license number which is probably on file still)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Unpaid Traffic Ticket

    If you come up as being wanted on a bench warrant, the border stop is within the pickup radius for the warrant, and are identified at the border as the subject of the warrant, you could well be detained. It's all rather hypothetical, though - your first step would be to find out if there is in fact an outstanding warrant for your arrest in relation to the unpaid ticket.

    Traffic warrants usually have very limited pickup ranges (e.g., 25 miles) because police agencies usually don't want to have to send officers out over long distances to pick people up over such minor matters.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,577

    Default

    There are only a few offenses in the state of Washington which actually qualify as "crimes". Most are considered "traffic infractions" and you cannot be arrested for them. The "criminal" offenses are listed in RCW 46.63.020. Note one of the "criminal" violations is "driving without a valid license."

    There was a case, however, decided in 2004 which may have a direct impact on your case. See City of Redmond v. Moore, 151 Wn.2d 664, 91 P.3d 875 (2004) -- if you need to know how to find this, PM me. In that case the Supreme Court found:

    the district court concluded mandatory suspension of their licenses pursuant to RCW 46.20.289 violated procedural due process because Moore and Wilson were not afforded an administrative hearing by the Department of Licensing (DOL) before or after the effective date of the suspensions. By implication the district court's orders also invalidated RCW 46.20.324(1), which provides that a person shall not be entitled to an administrative hearing when the license suspension or revocation is mandatory. We affirm the district court and hold RCW 46.20.289 and .324(1) violate due process.
    In other words, the Supreme Court found that ANY license suspensions under RCW 46.20.289 or 46.20.324(1) are unconstitutional. Therefore, your license may not actually be suspended, if you were not given notice of an "administrative hearing" before revocation.
    I hope this helps,
    Barry

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