Monday, December 22, 2008

the long arm of the law

Just before I moved to Memphis in July, I purchased a "pre-owned" Chrysler 300. I was issued a temporary tag and a temporary registration. I was told by the dealer that they would file my registration and I would receive my tag in the mail. My temporary tag was good until 08/20/08.

I drove to Memphis, started my new job - and waited. Towards the middle of August I phoned the dealership in August to see why I hadn't gotten the tag. They informed me that Arizona would not mail a tag to another state and that I should just take my temporary registration and get registered in Tennessee.

Prior to going to the TN DMV, I went out on their website to see what I would need. I took my temporary registration, proof of residency and proof of identity. When I got there, a very nice lady (we'll call her Ms. Sweetie) indicated that I would need the documents showing the sale of the vehicle. She said if I wanted to go get them, I could come straight back to her upon my return, rather than wait in line again.

I drove back home and rummaged through paper and couldn't find anything. I eventually found the paperwork --- in the car. Sigh. I drove back to the DMV - and Ms. Sweetie had gone to lunch. I walked up to the woman seated at the desk next to Ms. Sweetie's desk (we'll call her Ms. Witchfromhell) and told her that Ms. Sweetie had told me I would not have to wait in line again. She sneered at me and told me to take a number. Oh-kay. As luck would have it, when my number was called, I was told to go to the desk of Ms. Witchfromhell. I went to her and handed over each document. She handed them back to me and said I could not register my vehicle unless I had my title. I explained that I did not have the title because Chrysler Financial had my title. She said I would have to get the title in order to register the car.

I left the line and called Chrysler Financial. They indicated that they would not be sending me the title because I had not finished paying for the car. (DUH!) I explained my situation and the Chrysler representative explained that the state of Tennessee had a form that they needed to complete and send to Chrysler in order to request the title.

I returned to Ms. Witchfromhell and explained what the Chrysler representative had told me. She said she did not know about any form. I asked if we could call Chrysler together. She said "no". I asked if we could get a supervisor out to assist us. A supervisor was called over. The supervisor reached under the counter and handed me the form. Sigh.

The supervisor indicated that the form had to be completed by me, then given to the dealer, then notarized, then brought back to them. As of today, I have returned three forms to TN and Chrysler has yet to receive a form.

In the meantime, my temporary tag expired. Each time I have seen a Memphis police car or a state trooper, my heart has leaped into my throat. I have even taken evasive action to avoid them, feeling absolutely ridiculous each time. I finally decided after my most recent close call that I should probably just go buy another car!!!

This morning, the long arm of the law finally caught up with me. I was on a back road, headed to work. I came around a curve and found myself at a random checkpoint set up by state troopers on motorcycles. I sighed heavily and resigned myself to my fate. I handed over my driver's license. The trooper asked for proof of insurance. I pulled the paper out of my purse, only to find that I had failed to print an up-to-date insurance card from the car insurance website. I handed the expired card over to the trooper. He walked back to check my tag. I pulled out all of the paperwork that I had accumulated in my multiple attempts to register my vehicle because I knew I was probably about to go the the pokey. The trooper came back to me and handed me a form to sign. "Ma'am, we're handing out warning tickets today to ask folks to slow down. It's the holiday and we want you to arrive safely at your destination." I signed the warning and drove away --- slowly.

I have no idea why I was allowed to drive away - with an out-of-state driver's license, an expired tag and expired proof of insurance. But I do know that I am going to church on Christmas Eve!!! And the Infiniti dealership.


Prancingdawg said...

Ah, life! Welcome to my world...

dragyonfly said...

Welcome to Memphis..I see you were introduced to the DMV, Department of Mean Varmits. They live and breathe to make your life a living hell. Here is a suggestion. Go to the one in Oakland. Very nice, very quick. No Varmits.
As for Memphis' finest boys in blue, you must have charmed him with your smile, because they usually slam a ticket on you no matter what.
Anyway......I wanted to say Hi and Welcome.

OyaSophia said...

Thank you!!! I will give Oakland a try! :-)