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Officials in Colorado chasing bogus CDLs

By Land Line staff

In Colorado, officials are aggressively pursuing questionable CDLs and plan to take their effort as far as a statewide sweep at the state’s 20 weigh stations.

The dragnet strategy comes in the wake of the current CDL scandal that prompted the state to initiate a review of all 124,488 commercial driver’s licenses issued by the state to see whether false information was used to obtain them.

Michael Cooke, executive director of the state’s Department of Revenue, ordered the license review after an explosive series of investigative reports in The Denver Post. The Post has been unraveling tales of suspect activity in daily reports. It all began when two former DMV workers were charged for conspiring to sell unauthorized Colorado driver licenses, including CDLs, to ineligible people.

The state sent out 250 cancellation letters to CDL holders who received their licenses through those two people. CDL holders were informed that their licenses and driving privileges were immediately revoked, and that they needed to provide evidence that their information is correct.

The state’s investigation is now extensive. However, Diane Reimer, a public information officer with the Department of Revenue, told Land Line that the state’s immediate goal is to see that truckers driving with canceled CDLs are off the road.

“Obviously, we want to make sure that all of the CDL drivers are legitimate drivers,” Reimer said. “Some licenses were sold in this fraudulent effort to some folks who shouldn’t have had them. Either they were illegal immigrants, or whatever, and we’re just trying to address that.”

While the searches will initially focus on making sure that names match the Social Security numbers used to obtain the CDLs, Reimer said the state would look for anything in license information “that doesn’t quite jibe.”

“We’ve canceled 303 CDLs in all and found nine that won’t be reissued,” she said. “We feel they are fraudulent, and those holders need to get proper testing and go back through the system.

“If we’re going to really make sure that the truckers who are licensed in Colorado and who are on the roads are qualified to be on the roads, then we need to carry it this far. It’s a massive effort. We have this obligation to the public.”

Reimer said the state wanted to assure drivers who received their CDLs using correct information that their ability to drive is not in danger. If their licenses are revoked, state officials will reissue the license “in a heartbeat” once correct information is provided.

Managing Editor Sandi Soendker and Associate Editor Mark H. Reddig contributed to this report.