Driving school diploma takes wrong turn

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by JESSE JONES / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on November 6, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 19 at 12:38 PM

MAPLE VALLEY, Wash. - Hayden Bodine is a pretty good driver, but he only has his learner's permit. That means if he wants to hit the road, he needs to roll with an adult.

Jesse Jones: "Wouldn't you rather be driving with a pretty girl right now than me?"

Hayden Bodine: "Yes, I would."

Jesse Jones: "I know you would."

Hayden Bodine: "That would be a great idea."

Problem is Hayden doesn't have his certificate for completing driver's ed. He passed his exam from the 1st Time Driving Academy in Maple Valley. That was in August, and for some reason the company has put the brakes on his paperwork.

"To this day I still haven't gotten it, I check the mail every day," he said.

His mom, Devanni Bodine, paid $350 for the class.

"There's no reason why I shouldn't have it. My daughter took this very same course and the night she passed the test she got her certificate in hand," she said.

Devanni has stopped by the business, and called multiple times. She never got a single response. After two months, she's had enough.

"I'm very easy to get a hold of, there's really no reason they haven't called me back," she said.

So Devanni called me and I called Dan Barker, the owner of 1st Time Driving Academy.

He promised to make it right, and blamed an employee for giving Devanni the runaround.

He didn't feel like talking when he gave Devanni the certificate. But he did offer an apology.'

"It was unfortunate," Devanni said, "I'm glad we got the certificate so we can move forward from here."

1st Time Driving Academy is under investigation from the Department of Licensing, but the agency won't tell us why they are looking at the company.

If you're having a problem with a driver's education school, call me and file a complaint with the DOL.

File a complaint with the Department of Licensing's Traffic Safety Education bureau at tse@dol.wa.gov or call 360-902-0110.

For consumer concerns, e-mail Jesse to getjesse@king5.com or call toll-free 877-51-JESSE. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/GetJesse.

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