State suspends man's drivers license because of identity theft i - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

State suspends man's drivers license because of identity theft issues

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

A problem with your taxes could cause you big problems down the road. Literally.

The Departments of Public Safety and Wildlife and Fisheries suspended a total of 45,012 licenses over $31,987,704 worth of unpaid taxes in Louisiana.

Emanuel Matthews says he knows that all too well. Mathews says the state suspended his driver's license for a tax return he didn't file.

"I went to Motor Vehicles and they say your license is being suspended by the IRS," Mathews said.

"I figure, what the hell is going on with this planet? You know what I'm saying? What the hell is wrong with these people who call themselves public servants? They are supposed to be serving and protecting me not serving and punishing me for [expletive] I didn't do."

Matthews had to sign an affidavit saying someone stole his identity and essentially filed a return without him knowing it.

The state can suspend your driver's license or hunting and fishing license if you owe them more than a thousand dollars in unpaid taxes.

“The biggest thing that you have to remember is that you're ultimately responsible for what's on your tax return,” said Barry Kelly with the Department of Revenue.

“People don't understand that and we get calls all the time."

State officials urge you to be cautious with your personal information because it can take some time to straighten things out if you become a victim of identity theft or trust a tax preparer that may be up to no good.

“You need to make sure that you look for somebody who is not going to take your information and they can commit identity theft by using that information because they have everything regarding you and your circumstance,” Kelly said.

Now Matthews is buried in paperwork trying to fix things and get his license back.

“I have to bum rides to the store, I have to bum rides to the doctor's office, I have to bum a ride wherever I go." Matthews said.

"I got two trucks sitting out there - I better not use nary one of them. Not that I can't, I can get in them and go on down the road but if the police stop me- what is going to happen?”

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