Saturday, September 15, 2007


My vacation home was due to the convergence of several instigations. First, this was my last opportunity to spend easy time with friends and family before getting on a plane to Vietnam. Also Sunshine's critical language test happened Wednesday, so I thought I'd clear out so she could focus on that. She did well, passing the assessment with required proficiency after only twenty-seven weeks of study. She rewarded herself with a pair of roller skates. The last reason I visited home was to finally renew my North Carolina driver's license. I'd have managed this months ago, but trips home were few and it took a while to gather the necessary paperwork. Tuesday I arrived at the NC DMV after studying the driver's handbook and holding proofs of insurance and identification. I waited over an hour to discover I couldn't take the test because the state of South Carolina had marked me ineligible in some database. I feared this was because of a ticket I'd gotten in 1990 after my home state had mistakenly misfiled the results of an earlier, cleared citation. Then NC DMV had wrongly revoked my license and I found out after midnight on a SC freeway. It took three traffic court road trips to convince SC I'd done nothing wrong. While this week's ineligibility had nothing to do with that, it's certainly as perplexing: SC insists I present valid proof of insurance for a 1994 wreck where I was a passenger in a (friend's) car unceremoniously scrapped after being totaled by an unscathed Roadway tractor-trailer. Say what? Apparently I can pay a hundred bucks to clear this up, while resolutely swallowing another appalling injustice. Done. Next week I'd re-attempt my NC diver's license test if only I hadn't driven back to DC very early today. [Cavin]

Then, a 2 sided conversation ensued...

To which Blogger Ellie added:

Aw, another DMV injustice. I was allegedly involved in a hit and run, ended up paying for the damage to a lady's car, paid a fine, the DMV lost the check, suspended my license, and charged me another fine. To get my license back I ended up paying more than double the original fine for the accident which never happened. Bastards.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 3:34:00 AM  
To which Anonymous 'ell joy added:

My battle with NC-DMV ineptitude covered three years and three counties. It started with one ticket for an expired tag which was duly paid in Alamance County, followed by many threatening letters from the Raleigh DVM who didn't get the message about the payment, multiple trips to multiple local DMVs in Alamance and Guilford Counties who never got anything straightened out but kept swearing they had, being stopped in Greensboro for a burned out headlight and then being ticketed for driving with a revoked license, multiple trips to the Greensboro Courthouse where no one ever knew what to do or who could do it, almost two years of driving without a valid license because you just can't renew a "revoked" license, culminating in a late night stop at a Sheriff Hagee road check in Davidson County where a long-suffering deputy told me to get this mess fixed. And helped by issuing me yet another ticket.

It ended (please god) with my having to hire two lawyers, one each in Guilford and Davidson Counties, who got the DMV records straightened out (so far, knock on wood, although I haven't been stopped lately ... oh god), the Greensboro Court records erased entirely (except for one little thing that surfaced on a criminal check several years later), and the Davidson ticket reduced to driving with an expired license because, you know, you just can't renew a "revoked" license. You can, however, keep driving. At least I was guilty of that, kind of - it resulted from the DMV error, remember.

Final total: fees for two lawyers, fine and cost of court in Davidson County, no jail time with attendant tats, what was left of my sanity, and the resigned hopelessness of knowing that at any time this turd could blossom again.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 9:00:00 AM  

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