My bank kept my TX driver’s license by accident. Before I had a chance to pick it up, they threw it away. Their excuse was that they didn’t think I was coming back to pick it up.
I am a customer of this bank, and I believe that they knowingly threw it away.
Can I make a fuss and call the police, or am I just out of luck? What would the police do if I filed a report?


2 Answers 2


Texas law does not impose any obligation on a person who finds a lost driver's license. You can call the police and complain, but under the circumstances there is nothing they can do (since the bank threw it away). Instead, they will probably remind you of your obligation to notify the police, so they will take a report and you can use that report to get a replacement license. It was not stolen (which would be a crime that the police might investigate), and a police report is not required to get a replacement, you can just get a replacement at a local driver's license office (see here). Theoretically you could sue the bank, if you can prove that they were negligent, although you were negligent in not keeping track of your license. You might recover half of the replacement cost, $5.50, but the filing fees for the lawsuit are vastly higher than the loss that you suffered.


Dana - it might help if you rephrase this in a way that is clear enough for us to know exactly what you want to do, so that we can answer you most helpfully.

I will interpret your 3-4 questions here as if you have two goals: 1) getting your license re-issued, and 2) holding the bank staff accountable.

To directly answer what you are first asking: Yes, of course you can make a fuss and call the police... but that will likely get you nowhere. When the police arrive, the one making a fuss tends to be the one who gets told to leave, or even forcibly removed from the premises, perhaps in cuffs. I would not recommend that route.

I would recommend that you instead go physically and professionally sit down with the bank manager... if he or she is certain that the trash is gone and there is no chance of recovering the ID, then simply ask for a little notarized written statement saying that on such-and-such day, the bank staff disposed of the [state] ID for [your full name] (without including any ugly language or blame like "knowingly")... and then you might also politely ask the bank manager to please cover the state's re-issuance fee (find out first what it will be so that you can be specific with the bank manager by saying $22 or $16 or whatever), since the bank staff has already admitted to you that they knowingly threw it in the trash.

Then go to the state agency that issued your license and do their "lost or stolen" standard procedure, to get that ball rolling, with or without the notarized statement from the bank manager. You will have your new ID soon.

And if you need to show an ID before you can get the temporary replacement, the written statement from the bank manager may help.

As for holding the wrongdoer accountable, I suggest you consider cooling off before you decide whether you intend to pursue civil and/or criminal charges. Perhaps you will feel like it is good enough to have the bank manager bring the offender over with an apology and a few bucks to cover the license re-issuance.

To answer your question about what the police would do: Well, if you file a police report, and your intent is to report crime, then your end goal (whether you realize it or not) is for a sworn criminal complaint to end up in the hands of a magistrate who could make a determination as to probable cause to commence a criminal case. And the police officer who takes your report will only swear out a criminal complaint if he or she believes you and if you provide enough ultimate facts to support every single one of the essential elements of some criminal offense.

Hopefully my interpretation of your two goals was correct, and hopefully this helps you with both.

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