Friday, September 11, 2009

Hoping for a Summons to the Portal to Hell...

What else is there to say on a Friday except...thank goodness? Even though it's technically been a short week, it's felt like a long one.

Still, the weekend looms ahead and I cannot wait. At the very least, it means I don't have to set my alarm and the blissful luxury of being able to sleep in awaits me.

I was hoping I might get to go to the DMV yet again but, alas, it does not seem to be in my immediate future.

Yes, I repeat, I was hoping I might get to go to the DMV.

This may seem like a strange and un-Monkeypants thing to hope for, especially given my previous DMV rants.

Don't get me wrong, I still despise them with every fibre of my being but the sad fact of reality is that I need them.

I wish there was an alternative, that there was a happy place to go to take care of all things vehicular-operation related but, alas, the Portal to Hell seems to be my only option.

If you read my blog regularly, you'll recall my last unsuccessful attempt at the DMV. I went to finally give up my California license in order to exchange it for an Ohio one. I took my Ohio test. I passed. Then I was told that the State of Indiana had a hold on my license and they'd suspended it. Lovely. How kind of them not to let me know. I finally discovered it was because of an accident I'd had in 2001 that wasn't even my fault. The DMV said it never received proof that I'd been insured at the time. Never mind that the police report has my insurance proof on it. Never mind that there's countless tales of "The Indiana DMV lost my insurance proof" on the internet. Never mind that it was EIGHT YEARS AGO.

Being the responsible little Monkeypants that I am, I was horrified. I asked how I could fix it. I was told I could go to an Indiana DMV License Reinstatement Centre with a Certificate of Compliance from my Insurance Agent and get reinstated.

So I did. The only problem was the insurance company hadn't filled out the form completely. They forgot to put their name and address on it. The DMV office couldn't accept the form, nor would they let us write in the information. I drove all the way to that DMV which, I'd like to add was not conveniently located, for absolutely no reason.

I tried again Monday, faxing the completed form to the DMV per the instructions of the lady who'd turned me away. I'm now waiting seven-to-ten business days for it to clear and have the hold removed. Then I can attempt to get licensed in Ohio. there's a problem there. I guess my attempt to do the legal thing and get my license changed over in the first place has now alerted the Ohio DMV that I'm having trouble in Indiana. Last night, I got a delightful letter in the mail informing me that as of three weeks, my license will be suspended in the state of Ohio, that I must surrender it and not drive until my issues in Indiana are resolved.

The problem with this is that I am receiving the same notice that someone who has commited a crime would receive. It's the "You Screwed Up and We're Going to Punish You by Taking Away Your Driver's License" letter. In Ohio, they take away the license after you get 12 points in two years or you get more than two DUI's. I know this because I read the handbook before taking my test.

Here's the thing: I didn't do anything wrong. After my accident, we called the police. The lady who hit me admitted it was her fault. My damage was paid for by her insurance. My insurance company was alerted. Now, I don't know if it was my insurance agent who didn't send in the form or it was that the DMV lost it. Either way, because, alas, I am not psychic, I did not know that the form hadn't been received because no one told me.

Now, I admit, in many cases, that's the excuse of a passive-aggressive person: "I didn't do it because no-one told me!" It's easier to place the blame on others because sometimes it's hard to admit we made a mistake.

However, in this case, I truly don't think I can be at fault. After all, I managed to change my Indiana license to California when I moved to L.A. in 2001. I've renewed my license plates at the DMV several times since 2001. Thus, they know where to find me. They have my address on file.

Which leads me to wonder how, exactly, I managed to drive for eight years without being informed that my license was suspended in the state of Indiana.

You can see why I'm a little irked, right? I'm also a little worried because I really need my driver's license. If I look at the logical steps, I've already sent in my paperwork to Indiana. I just need them to remove the hold which, theoretically, should be next week. After this, I have to go to an Ohio reinstatement centre, apparently pay $30 and be reinstated there. Which is just fantastic since I don't want to spend $30 to get my license back when I didn't have anything to do with it getting suspended in the first place. I can appeal my case but that takes 30 days. My license is going to be suspended in less than 21 days. Thus...if, along the way, at any time, the Indiana DMV loses my form again, I'm going to be in some hot water.

I wonder if anyone has the same travails with the DMV that I do. I know they are the Pit of Despair for many people but why does it seem like I have more trouble than anyone else? All I want to do is drive legally in Ohio. I could have gone until January before my California license expired. Instead, I'm being punished because I tried to be responsible. I'm just glad I didn't wait. I'd hate to think what the DMV would do then.

Yet, we are all at the mercy of the DMV if we want to drive our cars. Unlike with airlines that make our lives difficult, we don't have a choice with whom we license our cars and ourselves to drive. Besides, in United Airlines' case, they did, at least, send me a gracious reply after I emailed again telling them I didn't like being ignored. They also gave me $250. I may not like their planes but I appreciate it anyway. It's a bribe but I'll take it.

I don't see the DMV apologizing for anything. They don't have to, that's the problem. I know they have to cater to a lot of unsavory folks but I do wonder why, exactly, they try so hard to live up to their reputation as being the Portal to Hell. Ah well, hopefully next weekend, I'll get to enter the portal and finally be legal to drive again. At least they did tell me they're going to confiscate my license. That was nice of them. I guess communication has to start somewhere.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend.

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