roadtrip nov14

november 2014

Learn what Is happening with motor vehicle & law enforcement agencies across the country.


Region I

Maryland State Police investigate salvage vehicles

crashedcarIn Maryland, the state police work to ensure that the public remains safe and secure. This includes protecting citizens from purchasing rebuilt—also known as salvage—vehicles with unsafe or stolen parts. To this end, the Maryland State Police Salvage Inspection Unit looks closely at rebuilt wrecks to determine if stolen parts were used during reassembly.

According to an article on, the inspectors look for certain signs that something isn’t right with a salvage vehicle. For example, if the parts under the hood are assembled at a factory, they will be black in color. If they’re not, something is amiss. Crooks can also paint over a vehicle’s ID numbers on the doors to conceal their true origins.

View the WUSA9 video about buying salvage vehicles in Maryland.

Region II

Georgia DDS receives two technology awards

At the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) 2014 Technology Innovation Showcase, the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) received two awards for online customer service enhancements that made information more easily accessible and improved operating efficiency.

One of the award-winning services is Online Driver’s License Reinstatement Integration and Modernization (RIM). It enables a customer to check his or her eligibility for driver’s license reinstatement; view, print or email a list of specific reinstatement requirements; pay fees; and reinstate driving privileges online—all without a visit or call to DDS.

The other service is Skip a Trip, which was developed as an alternative method for customers to submit residency and Social Security documents in compliance with Real ID documentation requirements. It offers options for customers to fax residency and Social Security documents to a secure fax server, mail them to DDS or upload them through their DDS online account.

Region III

Wisconsin DOT makes crash reports available online

Individuals involved in vehicle crashes on Wisconsin roads now have the convenience of accessing copies of their crash reports online via the Division of Motor Vehicles website. Additionally, a Crash Reports application enables customers to request and purchase crash reports on a computer or smartphone.

In order to obtain an electronic copy of a crash report, one of three details surrounding the incident must be known: the date of the crash and driver license number of one of the parties involved; the WisDOT document form number; or the WisDOT accident number. Each report can be printed or saved in a PDF format. The cost of each report is $6, and up to 50 reports can be purchased per transaction.

“We know that there are a lot of details to address in the weeks after a crash. We’re glad to offer WisDOT customers this convenient new online service,” said Darlene Schwartz, DMV supervisor, in a WisDOT press release.

Region IV

British Columbia administrators refuse to allow colander hat in driver’s license photo

British Columbia resident Obi Canuel’s desire to wear a colander on his head in his driver’s license photo was thwarted this October by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), which is responsible for driver licensing in the Canadian province. Canuel is an ordained minister in the religion of Pastafarianism, which was created in 2005 as a satire of traditional religions and worships the Flying Spaghetti Monster. He claims that it is his right to wear the colander, just as people of other faiths are allowed to wear religious headgear in their photos.


Unfortunately for Canuel, the ICBC determined that he had not provided adequate proof that wearing a colander is a mandatory tenet of his faith. Since applying for the license about a year ago, Canuel has been driving on a temporary license while the ICBC made its decision. Canuel told CTV News that in light of the recent decision, he will “meditate upon the meatballs,” hoping the ICBC will change its mind. If they do not, he has no plans for legal action.