Monday, March 10, 2008

More fun times at the RMV

So today, being my birthday and all, I went down to the RMV to renew my drivers license.

I figured I would just pop down, have my photo taken, pay my $40 and go have a little lunch and buy myself a birthday present.

Well I figured wrong.

Somehow between February 15th and today, two tickets from 2006, a excise bill from 2006, and a ticket from Watertown magically appeared on my record.

After waiting for over an hour the nice registry lady said "sorry, no can do". In fairness she gave me the numbers for all the departments and told me to come right back as soon as I cleared it all up.

Foolish me. I thought I could pay everything over the phone.

I started with the City of Boston parking clerk. After waiting on hold for 9 minutes I am told that sometimes even though I checked at city hall (I was there on 2/15) and was told I owed nothing, sometimes these things just "come up". Magically, from the archives.

Even though I didn't remember these two tickets, the locations seemed to fit and so I paid them . (Here is a tip: the pay-by-phone line is SO sensitive to sound that it took prompts from bystanders. Very annoying!)

Then I moved on to the excise tax. But guess what? You can't pay them over the phone. Only in person or online. How inconvenient is that? Very. Because let me tell you, the RMV is certainly NOT going to let me use their computer! I should have gone to the Apple Store and borrowed an I-Phone (see Dad, that is why I need an I-Phone!)

At this point I sort of lost the plot a little.

It is totally inconvenient to get to the RMV, wait an hour and then be told that you have to go to City Hall - both in Boston and in Watertown, and then go back and get your new license - if your head hasn't exploded by then.

When I finally got home I checked online to see what checks I had paid to Boston and to Watertown, and sure enough I already paid them, they were just never cleared from my record.

So now I have to order copies of the checks and mail them in. Allegedly Boston will refund the payment, but Watertown's whole system is down because of the recent weather (!) and they couldn't even tell me if I actually owed anything.

Which means that I could not have gotten my license today anyway - according to the Watertown clerk.

I still do owe the 2006 excise tax. Apparently I didn't pay it when I bought my car in '06 - even though I really think I did pay it around the same time I registered my car. But I must not have paid by check. Dang!

Thankfully Even Stephen took me out for lunch. And then the Evil Twin took my out to buy stuff.

I feel much better, but I still f*cking hate dealing with petty City b*llsh*t!

**** UPDATE ****

Fair play to the Watertown Parking Clerks office who were able to remove the tickets and clear my record over the phone. If you are nice to them, they are nice back.

I should buy a lottery ticket to celebrate. Then I can take you all out for a beer!


rob v said...


Happy day after B-day (I guess)...


Stephen said...

My god, I've been and been to the RMV... It is so rare for someone who lives in the city to have no tickets (unless you own private parking) Exise screw-ups are common too, I've moved and bought different cars, I've been told I "avoided" paying and also that it was "malicious" but I of course pay when told. So, the fact that you probably never even got your first excise bill doesn't surprise me. Best of luck!!