CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - A Clayton County man was thrown in jail after police said he was driving without a license. But Raymond Valentine did have a valid license; it just didn't show up in the computer system. Valentine says it was the worst experience of his life. He says he was fingerprinted, had his mug shot taken, and spent the night in jail. He says it wasn't his fault, and the Department of Driver Services agrees.
Valentine was in a fender bender in early July. When an officer responded to the accident, Valentine handed over his driver's license, but the officer said it was no good. "He said I ran your driver's license twice and it came back that you never, ever had a driver's license," says Valentine.
Valentine says the next thing he knew his car was impounded and he was taken to jail. He says he's been driving for 40 years and couldn't figure out what was going on. A week after his arrest, he got a letter from the Department of Driver Services. We talked to DDS about the letter which states there was an "administrative processing error". The letter also apologizes for any inconvenience.
The error apparently happened last year when Valentine applied for an official Georgia ID, which looks similar to a license. "At the top it says 'Driver’s License' but somehow they crossed due to a typographical error and put his license in as a Georgia Identification card," says Valentine's friend, Sylvia Hayes.
Valentine says he wants more than a letter. He wants to be reimbursed for his jail bond, getting his car out of the impound lot, and having to pay for rides to work while he waited for his new license. Valentine says he also wants his record wiped clean. "As small as this is, there's no way I should have been shackled, handcuffed and made to sit in a cell for hours and hours at a time," says Valentine.
Valentine has a court date coming up. He's hoping to get his record expunged.