Man who took wife's name gets license back

Jan. 31, 2013 at 2:27 PM

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- A Florida man whose license was suspended after he took his wife's last name said the state Department of Motor Vehicles has dropped the fraud allegations.

Lazaro Dinh, who changed his name from Lazaro Sopena in July 2011 after marrying Hanh Dinh, said he had no problem getting a driver's license with his new name at the state Department of Motor Vehicles office in West Palm Beach by presenting his new Social Security card and the marriage certificate, ABC News reported Thursday.

However, Dinh said he received a notice in the mail Dec. 10, informing him his license would be suspended for a year starting Dec. 30 because it was "obtained under fraud."

Dinh said Forronte Battles, the DMV official handling his case, told him he could not "understand why a man would want to change his last name to his wife's."

Spencer Kuvin, an attorney representing Dinh, said his client obtained an administrative hearing, but "the hearing officer told him that he could not change his name in the same manner that a woman could. He would need to get a court order to do it."

Dinh and Kuvin decided to appeal to civil court and contacted the media about his story. They said Battles called two days later to say the DMV had reversed its position and would restore his license if he provided documentation of his name.

Dinh's driving privileges were restored 29 days after the suspension began.

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