Takin Care of Business

Long story

Back in July, I got arrested for driving in Colorado with a suspended out-of-state license that I didn’t know was suspended. My fam, at that point, got REAL brand new on me and went on one of those “You should have gotten the conversion, and taken care of this ages ago”, apparently ignoring the fact that they KNEW I was still driving with my Mass. license since I’d been here. That’s neither here or there. The biggest issue out of the whole thing was the fact that they confiscated the keys to the car, with the condition that I can have the keys back when I convert my license over. Thus begins one of the most expensive and time consuming ordeals with which I’ve EVER been presented.

First step, of course, is figure out why Mass. has my license suspended. Apparently, there’s a consortium of states that tell each other the whats and whys of licensing and suspensions… Massachusetts isn’t part of that group. So, Colorado doesn’t know WHY or WHEN I was suspended, and Mass won’t tell them. So I go to the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) website, and order a copy of my driving record… paid $20 bucks to have it overnighted. This was the beginning of July… I’m STILL waiting for that shit. Finally got someone in the suspensions department on the line, after holding for like 2 hours (while I’m at work I might add). They tell me I’ve got 2 issues in the state. A $145 bounced check that I used when registering the car that I drove when I left the state, and a $450 fine in the Cambridge court for something. I call Cambridge, the $450 is also a bounced check that I used to pay off a DOOZY of a speeding ticket I got on 95N back in late 2001. I managed to get the returned check fees waived, when I faxed both agencies the copies of police reports I had filed in 2002, when I found out that my checkbook had been stolen, and someone had gone on a shopping spree the day I left the state. So, step one, gather $595 to pay off MA. Normally, not an issue, but I’m still making car and insurance payments just to keep the car (which is now a glorified lawn ornament) street legal, even though I don’t have the keys. Toward the middle of August, I finally manage to amass the cash, purchase money orders (I want good records of this shit), and Fed Ex the payments to wherever they have to go… at which point I’m practically LIVING on the FedEx website to see when the money gets there. Cambridge gets theirs the next afternoon. I call them, and the clerk there doesn’t know what I’m talking about, because the case is closed (just what I want to hear). I tell him to make sure the RMV knows this, and part one is done. Investigation of the FedEx site shows that the RMV revenue department’s package got there at 11:30 that morning, so I give them a call. They tell me, “It’s not here, maybe the mailroom hasn’t processed it yet.” Tolerable, so I wait till the next morning, and give them a call. Again, it’s not there. I’m thinking… it got there Wednesday, and SOMEONE there signed for it, Today is Friday, so could you get on the mailroom to process it for me! I give them the tracking number for FedEx and suggest that they find it. They FINALLY get around to it by the next Wednesday (aargh).

Now, all my Mass shit is clear, so I take a half day off work (unpaid) and go to the Colorado DMV (little hole in the ground establishment), and wait in line. I get up to the teller, she processes my paperwork, and she just stops saying “Uh Oh”. Not a phrase I want to hear. Apparently, Colorado fines you for being arrested, on TOP of whatever else you have to pay for court fees and the offense (which was $150 by the way). So, she tells me that I have to pay off a $30 fine to the El Paso County courthouse, and I can come right back… tomorrow. But there’s a catch. It has to be paid within 2 days, or else I get a lockout on my CO license, and have to pay another reinstatement fee. Sigh. I get on the phone, and get as much info as I can on the Clerk of El Paso County Court. They tell me I can pay online… cool! So I promptly go to the website, and submit my payment, which they notify me will be resolved by the end of the next business day… they day by which it has to be paid. I continuously check my bank account for the payment. Nothing. So on the 3rd day I call them (after waiting on hold for an hour). They THEN tell me that they can’t take care of the payment because they’d recently transferred their payments department offsite… as in another company handles it now, and they haven’t gotten around to updating the website. They gave me the number of the company that took the payments. Called them, and paid them online. I then asked the rep I spoke to if he would make sure to fax the courthouse for my necessary clearances, which he said he’d do right then. Cool… that was a Friday. On Monday, I took 4 hours off of work (unpaid) and went to the DMV… Apparently, they never got around to faxing over the documentation, so the court restriction still stood… and on top of that, since it wasn’t cleared by Friday, theres now an additional $60 fee for reinstatement. Sigh.

So, I lean on the payment agency to fax the docs to the courthouse, and hold on the line while they do it. Mission accomplished. I call the courthouse… they don’t know what I’m talking about. So I take the day off on Thursday (unpaid) and go to the courthouse to verify they’ve received and cleared me. No one there knows what I’m talking about. Finally a supervisor comes out, and looks all frustrated because I’m asking him to go and FIND the paperwork indicating that I’d paid. It was in the freaking TRASH in the back! So, now all the stuff they found when I went to the DMV last is settled, with the exception of the $60 fee… which I’ll settle when I get to the DMV.

I go to the DMV yesterday, taking an hour off work (unpaid). I take my vision test, pay my $60, and whattaya know… something ELSE is showing up. Apparently my license is suspended in Connecticut. Now, what I’m wondering is why I only find out about new stuff when I get everything they tell me is all I need resolved. I’m paying a car note, insurance, and all these fees, I haven’t seen money in over 3 months. Fortunately, I talked to a supervisor yesterday, just to make sure there were no other hidden surprises. He actually gave me a SIGNED form saying that CT is the only thing left to address. He looked in the computer… and hit the PAGE DOWN key to make sure there was nothing else there. Know what else, he told me that since CO and MA aren’t on communicative terms… all that other stuff that happened at the beginning was irrelevant, and the original Mass. suspension wouldn’t have affected my CO license… Hopefully this’ll be resolved by next weekend, cuz I’m tired of getting up at 5AM to catch a ride to work by 8… And I miss being on the driver’s side of a car (I did get the keys back tho).

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