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I-Team: People Without License Drive To Court To Ask For It Back

By Kathy Curran, WBZ-TV I-Team
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The I-Team caught Grace Carvajal driving without a license.

The I-Team caught Grace Carvajal driving without a license.

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BOSTON (CBS) – Even if your driver’s license has been taken away for driving drunk or racking up too many traffic violations, there’s a state board where you can go to ask for it back.

The question is – how do you get there?

The I-Team found that for many people without driver’s licenses the answer is simple.

You drive.

For example, the I-Team caught Grace Carvajal sliding into the driver’s seat, but she doesn’t have a license to get behind the wheel.

WBZ-TV’s Kathy Curran reports

What’s even more troubling is where our cameras found her – in the parking lot at the courthouse where minutes earlier she stood before the state’s Board of Appeals, pleading to get her license back.

Carvajal has a 10-year habit of not paying her traffic tickets and, as a result, she has no license to drive.

“You’re disturbing my privacy so get out, get that out of my face,” said Carvajal when we tried to talk with her in her car outside the courthouse.

Carvajal is one of about 350,000 Massachusetts drivers with suspended or revoked licenses.

Drunk driving and other offenses have cost them their driver’s licenses, and they don’t know when, if ever, they’ll be getting them back.

Carvajal was still pacing the parking lot when we left a few hours later.

But the I-Team found a denial at the Board of Appeals doesn’t stop some of them from walking out of the hearing with keys in hand and hopping right back in the driver’s seat.

This is how it’s supposed to work:

The Registry of Motor Vehicles suspends or revokes your driver’s license and, under the law, you have the right to petition the three-member Board of Appeals to get your license back or get a temporary license so you can drive to and from work.

Hugh Gibbs is another driver we caught breaking the rules.

He’s one of the nearly 2,700 drivers who appealed their cases in the last nine months.

Fifty-nine percent were denied.

Gibbs, who has a seven-page driving record that includes drunk driving, stashed his pickup truck in a parking lot behind a building, out of view, right across the street from the courthouse.

When we approached Gibbs after his hearing, sitting behind the wheel of his pick up truck, he said, “I’m sorry,” and quickly drove away.

“It never ceases to amaze me the egregious nature of some people’s behavior,” said Registrar of Motor Vehicles Rachel Kaprielian.

“When people are driving unlicensed, whatever the reason, they are subject to sanction. And we rely on our partners in law enforcement to go after those people.”

So what is law enforcement doing about this?

A spokesman for the Marlborough police said they’re aware of the problem — they’ve actually caught some unlicensed drivers outside the courthouse — but don’t have the manpower to be out there every week.

As for the two unlicensed drivers caught by the I-Team, Carvajal lost her appeal, but later paid off all her delinquent fines and got her license back.

Gibbs’ case was continued.

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