I often tell folks I’m cursed when it comes to dealing with the DMV, and most often they shrug, as if to say – we’re all cursed, it’s banal. To which I assert that you’ve seen nothing till you’ve seen the trouble I’ve been through. My latest story:
I moved to MA. I go get insurance, they charge me an extra $80 a year for driving without insurance in ’92, which I did not do, it’s a paperwork error from NY that I discovered when I moved to NY 2 years ago.
Anyway, next I go in to MA DMV, take a ticket, wait 45 minutes, and get my turn at the window. Some minutes later, I am informed that my right to drive in MA is suspended, and has been since 1992. Why, I ask. Turns out I had a ticket which I paid, but which they claim I paid late. Suddenly I remember what happened 14 years ago – I got a ticket returning to Maine from NY after Thanksgiving. I paid the ticket. A year later I get a letter informing me I did not pay, and that my right to drive is suspended. I dig up the canceled check and send it via registered mail to MA, saying ‘I did pay, here’s a copy of my check you cashed.’ They respond – ‘ok, but you paid late,’ because they calculate the payment not by when the check was cashed, but by when I responded via registered mail (!!!). I write them back a registered snarky mail which amounts to, fuck you, your system is mistaken, look at the date again, you cashed my check before the due date of the ticket.’ They respond ‘no. Pay up.’ I start ignoring them, and 14 years pass. We forget about each other.
Until this past Friday. It costs me 4.5 hours and several hundred dollars to resolve this, get my new license and registration, and escape DMV. I go home. As I am putting the registration into its pouch, what do I notice? They’ve issued me a license with my Dad’s name (David C. Hamilton instead of the correct David L. Hamilton). This despite me having provided multiple forms of ID with the correct identity on it (NY License, Passport, Birth Certificate, Social Security Card).
So, back to DMV for me today. What do you want to bet this costs me hundreds to resolve? And trust me, you don’t want my Dad’s identity, he has creditors looking for him, they sometimes end up calling me. Now that my license says me is him, I almost guarantee they come looking for me.
I’m cursed when it comes to the DMV, I tell you. Cursed!
(I never wrote about my last run in with them, when I moved to NY, but it was similar. Failed to turn in license plates when I moved to maine in ’92, so NY recorded me as driving without insurance, which I had not done (I had simply failed to turn in my plates), so NY recorded me as driving unregistered and uninsured. For 13 years. I say fine, how much will it cost to fix this, they say ‘$25’ I ask to pay, and they say ‘you can’t do that here, this is a regional office, go pay at the central office.’)