Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Third Division
from the Circuit Court of St. Louis County Honorable Dale
Van Amburg, Judge
Director of Revenue appeals the trial court's judgment
ordering the Department to issue a Missouri driver's
license to William Thanner. We reverse and remand.
and his family moved to Missouri from Georgia in 2015.
Thanner timely applied for a Missouri driver's license to
reflect his change of residency. At the time, Thanner had a
Georgia driver's license and a clean driving record since
2010. The Director denied the application based on three DWI
convictions that Thanner incurred in Georgia between 1996 and
2010, two of which resulted in 4-month suspensions.
petitioned for judicial review under §302.311 and, in
his petition, acknowledged his three DWI convictions. The
Director responded, citing those convictions as the basis for
denial. The parties appeared before the trial court in 2016.
In that proceeding, Thanner again conceded the Georgia
convictions but testified that he successfully completed all
requirements for reinstatement of his Georgia
license and had not consumed alcohol
since 2009. The Director adduced certified records of
Thanner's Georgia convictions, the validity of which
Thanner does not dispute.
Thanner's proposed judgment in its entirety, the trial
court granted Thanner's petition and ordered the Director
to issue him a Missouri driver license, reasoning that
Thanner posed no safety risk on Missouri roadways and that
Georgia's reinstatement was entitled to full faith and
credit under the interstate Driver License Compact
(§302.600). The Director appeals and asserts that the
trial court misapplied Missouri law governing license
appeal from a circuit court's decision in a license
suspension or denial review, this court reviews the judgment
of the circuit court rather than the Director's decision.
Silman v. Dir. of Revenue, 880 S.W.2d 574, 576 (Mo.
App. S.D. 1994); Vette v. Dir. of Revenue, 99 S.W.3d
563, 566 (Mo. App. W.D. 2003). This court will affirm the
judgment of the circuit court unless there is no substantial
evidence to support it, it is against the weight of evidence,
or it erroneously declares or applies the law. Wampler v.
Dir. of Revenue, 48 S.W.3d 32, 34 (Mo. 2001) citing
Murhpy v. Carron, 536 S.W.2d 30, 32 (Mo. banc 1976).
We view the evidence in the light most favorable to the
judgment and defer to the trial court's resolution of
factual issues. Duffy v. Dir. of Revenue, 966 S.W.2d
372, 379 (Mo. App. W.D. 1998). However, when facts are not
contested and the issue is one of law, then we do not defer
to the trial court, and our review is de novo.
Stiers v. Director of Revenue, 477 S.W.3d 611, 614
(Mo. 2016). Here, the Director asserts that the trial court
erred as a matter of law, so our review is de novo.
judicial review of an administrative license denial or
suspension, the driver has the burden of producing evidence
that he was qualified for a driver's license, and the
Director has the burden of producing evidence that the driver
is not eligible. Kinzenbaw v. Dir. of Revenue, 62
S.W.3d 49 (Mo. 2001). The Director can meet that burden by
introducing the administrative record. Id. The
driver must then show that the administrative record is
incorrect or the grounds for denial unlawful. Id.
Missouri law, three or more DWI convictions result in denial
or revocation of a Missouri driver's license for ten
years. Section 302.060 states in pertinent part:
The director shall not issue any license and shall
immediately deny any driving privilege … (9) To any
person who has been convicted more than twice of violating
state law, . . . relating to driving while intoxicated;
except that, after the expiration of ten years from the date
of conviction of the last offense of violating such law or
ordinance relating to driving while intoxicated, a person who
was so convicted may petition the circuit court of the county
in which such last conviction was rendered and the court
shall review the person's habits and conduct since such
conviction. . . .
§ 302.060.1(9). The Director's authority to suspend
or revoke a license based on out-of-state convictions is