Friday, October 21, 2011

Ordeal for a license plate

Today I worked from home so that  I could go and get my license plate and register my car in California. I'm officially sad about this. I hated changing my Indiana plates for Tennessee ones when I moved, but the fact that Tennessee had an IU license plate buffered that transition. Now I'm losing my Tennessee and IU car connections. Bummer.

And to make matters worse, I go to the registration branch of the DMV and am told that my car needs to be inspected and to pull it along the side of the building and wait. If it weren't for a very nice security guard, I might've waited there all day. But he helped, got inspected and I was ushered inside. I get my number sit in my chair and only have to wait about 10 minutes. Holy crap! I thought. Today's my lucky day! But it wasn't until I got up the window that troubles began. I handed the lady my current Tennessee registration.

Lady at window #13: No, I need your registration card.

Me: This is my registration card. It's from Tennessee.

#13: I see it's from Tennessee but it says "application" at the top. I need the little card that actually is your registration.

Me: This is my registration. I promise you.

#13: No, it's not.

Me: I lived there for 9 years. Every time I was given a registration-all 9 times--this was it. When I was pulled over by a cop, I handed him this.

She then heavy sighs and goes to find a thick book. She consults the book and says "this isn't your registration. I can start your papers today, but you'll have to bring back your registration." I wasn't going to take that so while she was typing away, I called the County Clerk in Nashville and got a very nice lady who when told of my predicament said "Ugh. California calls us about 5 times a week because they refuse to post our samples. The book they look in hasn't been updated in decades."

Me: So if I asked you for a registration card, what would that look like?

TN lady: Exactly what you're holding in your hand. That's your registration.  They do this all the TIME! I'm gonna fax your registration and a blank one. Put me on with your person.

Me to #13: She wants to talk to you. The TN registration person. . .

#13: I can't get on the phone.

Me: But she wants to fax the info to you and talk to you about updating your records.

#13: I can't talk on the phone.

Me to TN: She won't get on the phone.

TN: Of course, she won't Sorry, I'm not fussin' at you (which I LOVED by the way). I'll fax that right now.

I pay and go back to wait while they wait on my fax. Fax comes through, I go BACK up to the window to hear: Okay, all you have to do is bring in your smog test and we'll give you your plates.

Me: I called this office yesterday to ask if I needed a smog test and was told I wouldn't because my car was within the 6 year window.

#13: But you're new to the state, so you'd have to get one.

Me: SERIOUSLY??! I specifcially called to get this answered and what you're telling me is that they gave me wrong information.

#13: Yes. Get your smog check and then come back.

At this point, I'm about to go ape shit, but I just huff out, go get a smog check and then wait in line to get a number, and then wait in line to see a representative. Who then took my paperwork and says "This isn't the Tennessee registration card." Five more minutes of explanation and then I FINALLY get my license plates. Yes, plates, because California is one of those places that makes you have one on front and one on back.

Total time getting this stupid errand done: 2 hours, 54 minutes.

I miss Tennessee. And Indiana.

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