NEW BEDFORD -- Marc Warrington says trying to get his license back from the Registry of Motor Vehicles has been harder than recovering from a broken neck.
"I thought when I broke my neck was bad, and that was going to be a lot to overcome, this is even worse," Warrington told WBZ-TV's I-Team.
The New Bedford man's driver's license was suspended after he suffered a medical emergency nearly ten years ago.
"I had a seizure and I hit a wall. Police came, got me out of the car, and they knew I was disorientated, called an ambulance, made me go to the hospital," Warrington said.
His doctors believe the seizure was related to his broken neck, according to Warrington.
Since then, he has recovered and his doctors have written notes saying he is safe to drive.
"I've got the three doctors' notes. They've all cleared me but it's up to the Registry of Motor Vehicles whether to reinstate my license," he said.
Warrington said he provided the RMV with letters from his doctors several times, but so far the registry has refused to reinstate him.
The RMV told the I-Team, Warrington "has had numerous hearings where the reinstatement requirements have been provided in detail, has been asked to repeatedly submit required documentation, and has not been able to meet the RMV's requirements for reinstatement. Given his 10-year history of failing to address the RMV's requirements for reinstatement at his most recent hearing, this customer was referred to the Board of Appeal for further consideration."
The Board reviews RMV decisions affecting at-fault accidents, license suspensions, and insurance issues.
Attorney Ed Ryan does not represent Warrington but has had other clients with similar issues.
"It isn't fair. Some people have a medical event, they recover from it, they provide the Registry with documentation, it seems to me the Registry is almost never satisfied with that documentation and the process goes on and on and on," Ryan said.
Warrington said the process is taking years.
"There is a backlog because of the pandemic. Ridiculous. Come on," he told WBZ.
The I-Team obtained records from the Board of Appeal showing from 2020 to May of this year, more than 53,000 drivers filed appeals, but fewer than 32,000 got hearings.
"What's going on with the Board of Appeals, and quite frankly the Registry of Motor Vehicles, is obscene. The backlog denies people an opportunity for a hearing to prove they are entitled or they should have a driver's license. It takes forever to get a hearing," Ryan said.
For Warrington, who is on disability, that wait means he's not able to work.
"I collect permanent disability but I can go back to work because I want to go back to work but I can't drive and you've got to have a driver's license. I'm stuck in the middle," said Warrington.
The Registry told the I-Team that not every appeal requires an in-person hearing, and medical suspensions require more time to review.
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