DMV rant

February 21, 2014 at 4:41 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Let’s see, we’ve been living here one, two, three…nine months now. Wow. Time flies when you’re dealing with bureaucracy. Actually, I’ve been dealing with a bank in Florida and the Department of Motor Vehicles in Kansas, a veritable perfect storm of ineptitude. Let me start at the beginning.

Around about the beginning of September, I realized my Florida plates would be expiring so I’d better do something about that. Yeah, I know, you’re supposed to get your plates changed 30 days after you move to a new state. But we never do that. So I got online and discovered an insane number of hoops I’d have to jump through to change my Florida tag to a Kansas one. Not least of which was requesting a copy of the title be sent from my bank in Florida to the head office in Wichita. Apparently this was asking A LOT.

Multiple phone calls and a week of worriedly driving around with expired tags later, my title is finally faxed and I’m able to get my new Kansas tags. Happily ever after, right?

Not so much.

Among the paperwork I received, there was this letter thrown in the mix. It was a copy of a letter sent from the Kansas DMV to my bank in Florida officially requesting the original title be sent directly to them. This sounded strange, so I called the county treasurer’s office, and the actual Tag Office Supervisor, the woman who signed the letter, explained everything to me. Basically, Kansas is ass backwards from the rest of the country (my words, not hers) and they haven’t computerized their titling system. So instead of just transferring titles from state to state like most other departments, they have to scan the original title and create a microfiche. A MICROFISHE?! You mean that little piece of negative plastic I shined a light through on a projector to read old newspapers at the library in the early 90s for my school projects? I didn’t even know those things still existed! My new plates expire in May and I won’t be able to renew them until Kansas gets that title. She explained that most banks holding titles receive their letter and don’t actually do anything, so it would be in my best interest to call them directly and request it.

So I did. Multiple times. I had James fax the letter to them for good measure. And each time I had to painstakingly explain this whole request to a new bewildered customer service rep, who apparently had never HEARD of doing such a thing. Send the original title? What now?

So, finally, round about November or December, it seemed like I was getting somewhere. I was told the ball was rolling. In the interim I’d requested a personalized plate (It says “Flodorah”, just like Liam used to say Florida when we lived there. I just can’t give it up, can I?) Initially they’d rejected my application because they still hadn’t received my title. But I called the bank yet again, and I was assured that it WAS HAPPENING. I resubmitted my application, and it went through. Huzzah! About a month later I received a post card saying my plate was ready. I just had to come pick it up at the main DMV office. Splendid!

So, on probably the worst weather day at the beginning of February, I braved the icy roads to pick up my hard-earned personalized plate. I stood in a very short line, and I couldn’t believe my luck that I was getting in and out of there so fast! I had all my paperwork in order. I held the plate in my hand! And then, suddenly, trouble. There was a hold on my account. They’d issued me a plate “in good faith” without actually telling me that. No plate for you, sucka! I was told by the surly DMV lady that I’d have to talk to my bank. Again.

So I called them. Irate. And after explaining and explaining and arguing and threatening to take my loan to a different bank, finally, they sent a request to their the titling department. Two weeks later, I confirmed with the Wichita DMV that the hold on my account was lifted, and presumably my title came in. I say presumably because I won’t seriously believe it until they let me walk out the door with my new plate.

And so. Today I finally had some time to run by the DMV. I couldn’t even find a place to park. I should have taken that as a sign before I removed my plate, walked two blocks, and was confronted by a line 20 people long. I stood there 5 minutes until a woman further up the line got fed up and left. She’d been there half an hour, she said, and they’d only helped four people in that time. Optimistic (and not wanting to have to put my old plate back on yet AGAIN), I waited another half and hour, in which only two additional people were helped. Screw this. Friday is clearly not the day to do this, and it’s nearly the end of the month, too.

So, maybe in early March, I hope to have this resolved. I’d say remind me to never move again. But we all know that’s not going to happen.

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