Wednesday, February 07, 2007


I like to consider myself to be a pretty responsible person. I pay my bills on time, I hit deadlines at work, I try to keep my promises, I am a good babysitter. I'm generally pretty straight down the line when it comes to doing what I'm supposed to.

Except when it comes to my car.

When I was at the DMV yesterday I was thinking about the last five years and how rarely I have been a fully legal driver in the state in which I reside. Here is a synopsis of just how irresponsible I have been.

1. When I moved from U___ to CA the first time I didn't want to stop paying my crazy low UT insurance so I continued to register my car in U____ and never got a CA drivers license.

2. Then I moved to Massachusetts and was traveling so much I flat out never made time to register my car there either. Then my registration expired. In U___. I kept driving. When I got pulled over the first time I managed to talk the officer out of towing my car. The second time I wasn't so lucky. Yes, the second time folks. And that was actually the third time in as many years that I was pulled over. The second cop took one look at my expired registration, out of state license and U____ insurance and called the tow truck.

3. Well I had no choice then so for a whole year I was legal. Fully insured, registered and licensed in my state of residence.

4. But then I moved back to CA. And when I went to get CA insurance so I could register here an get out of paying the Mass excise tax, there was some mysterious SUSPENSION on my record resulting in a $4500 premium. Also, several unpaid parking tickets that had to be cleared up before I could register.
I eventually cleared up that mess but it took me way longer then it should have because um, I'm vehicularly irresponsible. I would stare at the ceiling at night and worry about it but it never seemed to get me to actually act.

5. I also never got a California Driver's License. Why would I? Not until the thing was physically lost did I find the motivation to get to the DMV.

So now I'm finally fully legal again and there shouldn't be any more auto related drama this year (until I have to pay the state of New York $150 this fall for a speeding ticket I got three years ago. It's a long story. That would only happen to me).


Rod Clifford said...

Remembering various parts of the last 20 years I'd rather forget, it may be in your genes, kid.

Kelly said...

Hooray for being an illegal driver! The whole time I was in DC, I never registered my car in Virginia. I did go get a safety inspection there when my Mass one expired, fully intending to also register there. My car didn't pass inspection because of a dashboard light, but the guy gave me the sticker anyway because apparently scared and sad big brown eyes can be quite persuasive.

Then I realized the ordeal it would be to register my car in Virginia and since I was sort of by that time planning to move back to Mass, I never did it. So I had Mass plates and license, and a VA inspection sticker. Oh and I was still paying insurance like I was in Mass (which was dumb because VA was cheaper). Anyway, basically my car was pretty darn illegal for about 13 months. I'm all squared away now thank goodness.

And I'm a member of 2 Bars. Nice.

Miss Hass said...

I don't blame you for being illegal. I think registering cars in and out of Massachusetts was quite possible THE biggest bureaucratic hassle of my life--and I've lived in three foreign countries.

It is such an incredible pain in the #*& to get license plates and insurance. And then they make it equally difficult when you leave. I ended up getting collections notices from the Town of Lexington when I moved here because I still owed some excise tax. And then I had to get proof from the state that I had returned my license plates. Massachusetts just would NOT let go.

k8 said...

i'm telling you, if the whole process wasn't so excruciating I might be more apt to be a good citizen and register within the first 30 days or whatever.

California has an awesome rule where you can only do one transaction at a time at the DMV which is why i never got a licence. I wasn't getting back in line after I registered my car.

However, I will put in a good word for the online appointment system. I booked one the day before, sailed to the front of the line and was out in under 30 minutes. I felt like I was getting away with something.

pinetreesummer said...

ut oh so you are telling me that since I will be moving every 13 weeksish, that my decision to use my sister's address as my permanent address isn't quite right???

I did do it all the way legal the first time, and made appointments so we walked right to the front of a "private" line and were in & out in 20 minutes; oddly, the car registration place was at an entirely different building about 3 miles down the road, bu tI wnet at 8 am & was in/out in 15, but had to go back with the emission tests results - they gave me a "go the the head of the line" pass, so that was a no wait event...

but I don't wanna do it every 13 weeks, gonna do it online and keep it there as long as I am in this state, although I will change my renter's ins each time...

ummmmm you do have renter's insurance?

Cooper Squared said...

I totally relate to this whole post!