Tuesday, January 16, 2007

on vehicular licensing, registering and transference of same

I found out yesterday I’ve been driving on a suspended license for the last two years. Hey, that is super-fun info.

I was returning from an errand yesterday in Belmont, when I got pulled over by a State Trooper. When the trooper pulled up behind me, I was dumbfounded. What did I do? I wasn’t speeding, I didn’t turn on a red. When he told me my license had been suspended, my jaw dropped. I looked him straight in the eye and begged, “WHY?!”

Statey asks me if I had any outstanding citations. I tell him the only citation I’d ever received in my whole life was just two years ago.

Flashback two years ago: I was stupid in the ways of vehicular licensing, registering, and transference of same from one state to another. I was unaware of the fact that it’s illegal to drive around with license plateses from one state, the state you live in, and a driver’s license from another state, the state you used to live in. When I registered my car for Massachusetts, and got my Mass plates, apparently they were supposed to take my California driver’s license. They didn’t. In fact, I don’t remember them saying anything about transferring my license to Massachusetts. So for about a year, I was basically driving around without a legitimate license until the men in blue caught up to me. I was fined $50.00, which I paid, I had to straighten out the driver’s license, which I did, and I thought it was all behind me. Done. The End. (mmm….apparently no.)

Flashforward to yesterday: Troopie seemed pretty convinced I was telling the truth because his countenance softened when he said “Okay, I’m going to go check this out for you, and I’ll come back.” Troopie walks back to his cruiser, and I start praying that he’s going to come back and tell me it was all a big mistake. Apparently, I should have been praying for something else. Something that might have stood a chance at happening.

Troopie comes back and says: “Ma’am, you were pulled over on Brighton Street two years ago.” I say yes. “Well, ma’am, you never paid that ticket.” MWHA-HA-HA-UHT?! Oh no. No no no. I don’t know many times I used the word “sir” but it was a large number, and all of them were spoken most rapidly: “Oh yessir, yessir, I did! I remember that ticket! It’s the only one I’ve ever gotten, sir! Sir, I did pay it!” I felt like a 7-year old confessing to Mrs. Griffin that I did do my spelling homework, and the look in my eyes ought to be proof enough of that. I thought if I said “sir” enough times he’d just drop the whole thing and let me speed away. “Well, there may be a glitch in the system,” he says back, “but it’s telling me you didn’t pay it. Your license has been suspended for that reason. I am supposed to seize your vehicle and arrest you. This is a criminal offense.” Please let this not be real. Please let this not be real.

Things were getting deeply serious at this point. I was up against a wall. It was raining hard outside, and I was feeling desperate. I had no choice. I had to do it to survive. I pulled out the look. You know what I’m talking about. The look that all women must perfect if they stand a chance at escaping certain citational/arrestational doom. Helpless look. Near tears look. Furrowed, adorable, please help me, I’m just a lost girl in a big bad city look. I tried to think of the cutest puppy dog I had ever seen in the whole wide world. And then I became that puppy. I looked deep into Troopie’s eyes, and softly uttered one golden, pathetic sentence: “I just don’t understand how this happened.”

I know. I should burn in hell.

Troopie cracks a small adoring smile from one corner of his mouth and says, “I’m not going to do that. You seem like a nice woman.” I breathe an exaggerated sigh and look at him gratefully, rewarding his decision with one of my signature smiles. “What I have to do, however, is give you this.” He hands me the citation. Crap. Crap. Gotta work on my look some more. “I’m driving away now. You should not operate this vehicle while your license is suspended. But, I’m driving away now. What you do is your business. Got it?” He gives me a knowing look. I smile and nod with resignation. I tell him thank you, and he tells me to have a nice day. Will do. You bet.

So I’m getting a court date, ya’ll. I have to plead my case to a judge. Then I get to pay a minimum of $150 to reinstate my license, and see if I can find a copy of the check from two years ago which paid this stupid citation in the first place. If I can’t find it, I’ll have to move on to my contingency plan. You may find me standing in front of the bathroom mirror. Practicing: (cue “Look”) Your Honor, (look down, sigh, look up)… I just don’t know how this happened.


I don't know which bank you use, but Bank of America will show you all of your checks through your online statement. So your bank probably has a copy of the check somewhere. Maybe. Just a thought. Good luck!
You can request that you bank do a search for the check in question. That might cost you additional money, but in the end it might save you all the other hassels you might face at traffic court. Banks have to keep records for at least seven years, so you should be able to get your check....good luck.
Ok, I can see this happening to me really soon. I have Maryland plates in Mass with a Utah license. I'm doomed!! That's a triple threat...You have actually inspired me to do something, WOW!
Kelly & E of E: Thank you! I got a real nice lady from my bank on the phone, and we found the check!! Now let's hope the judge will pardon all faults and not make me pay to reinstate the license. Thanks for the suggestion!

linda: please learn from me. please. consider this as a hint from heaven to do something about it now.
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