Britney Spears has one less thing to worry about: She now has a valid California driver’s license.
On Monday, the singer paid a visit to a California Department of Motor Vehicles in Van Nuys with a male friend (according to video footage circulating the Internet), where she applied for a temporary license, which was issued to her on Tuesday in Santa Monica. Video footage shows that Britney never had to leave her car during her second stop to the DMV, since the paperwork was brought to her while she waited.
“She’s completed all the requirements for a California driver’s license,” a DMV spokesperson told MTV News, noting the singer actually took her written exam in April. Spears’ actual license should arrive in the mail within two to four weeks, according to the DMV.
As it turns out, Spears’ lack of a driver’s license in the state of California had considerable bearing on the court’s decision.
Commissioner Scott Gordon had asked for proof of valid California driver’s licenses, and Spears’ attorney Sorrell Trope was unable to comply. During Monday’s closed hearing, Federline’s attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan expressed concern over the singer’s driving habits after she was charged on September 21 for driving without a license (see “Britney Spears Charged With Two Driving-Related Misdemeanors” ).
Trope told People magazine that Spears lost custody because she was accused of not taking a random drug and alcohol test, and couldn’t provide a California driver’s license. “We weren’t able to prove compliance with what the judge ordered,” Trope said. “The judge ordered that by 10 a.m. [Monday] morning, both parties show valid California driving licenses. I’ve been unable to produce evidence of that.”
A source close to the situation told MTV News that Gordon was also disappointed that Spears had not followed the rules he had laid forth in a previous hearing, in which he ordered her to take random drug tests and parenting classes (see “Britney Spears Must Undergo Regular Drug Testing, Parenting Classes In Custody Case” ). In particular, Spears’ failure to take a drug test was at issue, and the judge wanted her to realize the seriousness of the situation. “She didn’t follow the rules,” the source said. “One parent follows the rules and one doesn’t. It’s as simple as that.”
“There’s no evidence that she actually failed a test,” Trope pointed out to People.
(For a timeline of Spears’ chaotic activity in recent years, check out “Britney Spears And Parenting: A Timeline Of Tumult.” )
Speculation ran rampant that her former bodyguard Tony Barretto’s claims of the singer’s drug use had some bearing upon the court order to revert custody to Federline, at least temporarily. But Federline’s lawyer said that wasn’t the issue. “Today’s proceedings did not involve [Barretto’s] testimony,” Kaplan said on Monday. “He may be called as a witness in the future.”
The next hearing in the custody case is scheduled for Wednesday (October 3). Spears’ arraignment on the misdemeanor charges is set for October 10.
[This story was originally published on 10.2.07 at 1:21 p.m. ET.]
(For reactions from Perez Hilton and others to the recent Spears developments, read “Britney Spears, Bad Parent? Perez Hilton, ’Leave Britney Alone!’ Guy Weigh In” )
For more on Britney’s child-custody setback, check out:
· “Britney Spears Seems To Be Drowning In Troubles, So Why Won’t She Listen To Anyone?” · “Britney Spears’ Custody Loss Met With Sympathy From Fans, But Not Surprise” · “Britney Spears, Legally Speaking: Top Lawyers Say She Can Get Kids Back, If She Follows Advice” · ’Things Are Looking Really Bad’ For Britney Spears, SuChin Pak Says”