Another reason moving sucks

October 1, 2013 at 10:39 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Hands at ten and two. Obey the speed limit. Come to a complete stop. And for god’s sake, watch for that speed trap on the way to Liam’s school. This is going to be me for the next couple of months. Or more. Let me start at the beginning.

As the summer was winding down, I suddenly realized my Florida tags on my Subaru Forrester were going to be expiring at the end of September. I should probably do something about that. I’ve outfitted the Honda Fit with a new state tag twice before (Kansas to Maryland and Maryland to Florida), so this should be cake. I’ll put this off a bit.

Famous last words.

Come mid-September, I start reading over the very detailed list of protocols for getting new tags in KS for out-of-state vehicles with liens. Complex, yes. But manageable. I called the Florida DMV, who told me the bank had my title. I called the bank, and after much confusion he pointed me to a form on the KS DMV website to fill in and fax over. Halfway through filling out the form, I realize this can’t possibly be right. I call the KS DMV, and they get me the right form. We fax it over and done, right?

So then I call the bank, and the first person I talk to says they have to request the title from the state of Florida, then it gets faxed to them, and then they fax it to KS. Ummm, so Florida DOES have my title? This whole process takes 6 – 8 weeks. Say what now? My tags expire in 15 days! What am I supposed to do? I called the KS DMV, and they said there was nothing they could do for me without the title. So I called the bank back, and the second person I talked to said the first person was mistaken, that because the state just needs a faxed copy of the title and not a transfer of the title, it will only take 10 days. Whew!

Fast forward one week, and I’m calling a number specified on the KS DMV website to confirm that they’ve received the fax of my title. I call every morning for five days. No title. I call the bank, and they say they’re waiting to hear from Florida, and they’ll fax it right over the minute they get it. I wait a few more days. No title. On September 30, I call the bank again. And this representative tells me the same thing, then very “helpfully” looks up how much time this could take. And she comes back with “10 to 12 days for us to process the claim, and 6 to 8 weeks for Florida to respond.” Say what, now?! According to this gal, Florida has an electronic copy of my title, so they have to make a paper copy (hit “control+p”) then fax over the front and back (cue squealing fax noise) and that process can take 8 weeks. W.T.F. I ask her what I’m supposed to do, and she gives me a number that I can give to anyone who asks (State Trooper, arresting officer, you take your pick) to confirm that the bank is working on this.

So THEN, and this is the best part, I call the Florida DMV all flustered because my tags expire TODAY, and this can’t possibly be right. Because it’s the end of the month, they’re experiencing higher-than-usual call volume. So I sit on hold for 20 minutes. I explain my problem to the gal who answers, and she says, “That’s not right. Here’s what you do —“ And then the power goes out. And the phone line goes dead. You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding me. The power comes right back, at least.

I call back on my cell phone this time. Wait another 20 minutes. Talk to ANOTHER gal. I have to explain my situation three times before she seems to understand it. And her very unsatisfying answer was, “I have no idea how long it takes to get a title, you’ll have to call Tallahassee about that.” And as for extending my Florida tags, no dice there because I don’t have Florida insurance. She gave me a number for the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in Tallahassee and sent me on my way.

I called the KS DMV to see if there was some sort of temporary KS tag I could get. But they only issue those for newly purchased vehicles. I called the FL Tallahassee number, and the recording basically said, “Everyone in the state of Florida is calling this number today, so you’ll have to try some other time. Click.”

And then. THEN. The government shuts down. Still no dice on getting through to Tallahassee (same recording, though who knows if they’re even answering phones today), and even if I get through, I have a feeling they’ll just tell me the same thing. That it takes 8 weeks to hit print and send a fax. And now with an indeterminate government shutdown in the works, it could take longer.

So, ten and two. Obey all traffic laws. And mercy on the officer who does pull me over and notices my tags are expired. He’s going to get an earful.

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