Thursday, July 3, 2008

Red Mojo's Rant: RMV

Every time I have to do something at the Registry of Motor Vehicles, I am completely and utterly astounded at how difficult they make it for you to be legal here. Although I have many horror stories to tell, I will limit myself to my current plight.

Let me start by saying I'm self-employed and the precise flow of my income is not always predictable, or within my control. A while back I had less money than I needed at bill paying time, so I paid the most important ones first. Well, my bad for not putting auto insurance in that pile, because when I went to pay it, two days after the due date, I was informed that my insurance had been canceled. The bill was $211.oo How could you cancel me just like that? I've been a good customer for years, isn't that a bit harsh. That's what the state makes us do, automatically when it goes past the due date, explained my insurance company.

Ins. Agent: "We can reinstate you, but we need the whole year up front, that would be $1958.00 "

Me: "Oh, is that all! Well, if I didn't have $211.00 two days ago, what makes you think I've got a couple thousand extra just kicking around today?"

Ins. Agent: *crickets*

Me: "So, that's my only option, all or nothing?"

Ins. Agent: "yes, that's what we are required to get once you've had your policy canceled, it's that way with all large companies."

Me: "Well, I don't have it, for you or anyone else. Thanks for your time. Bye."

I receive the notice from the RMV that my plates all need to be turned in immediately unless I can show proof of insurance. I can't, and I don't. If I can't drive, I can't work. If I can't work, I can't pay for insurance or anything else. What am I supposed to do? I know if I get caught driving on dead tags, they'll impound my vehicle. I risk it. I have to, I have no choice. I'm like a freaking criminal in the state of Massachusetts now, all because I was two days late paying my insurance bill! It's incredible.

It's always completely blown my mind the penalty for not having enough money is, a fine. You don't have what you owe, pay an additional fee. The poorer you are, the more they take from you. How is that okay?

Today, I finally had enough to go to the insurance company and bleed $1958.00 dollars on them. Then I had to go to the RMV and give them a check for $100.00 to get my tags re-registered. They did that and gave me my re-registration paperwork, and away I went. When I got home, I noticed the registration expiration date for the truck was already past. I remember trying to renew my registration on line, but of course it didn't fly because the tags were dead. I couldn't believe they let me walk out of there with an "expired re-registered registration"!

I went on line to try to renew and I got an email back saying, Sorry, you can't renew that registration on line.

I called the 800 number which put me in a voice system that never gave me the option I wanted, so I hit 0 and it started over. And it kept starting over and over every time I pressed 0. Well, as is my nature, I got frustrated and hit 0 about 50 times, and as silly as it sounds, that little temper fit, got me exactly what I wanted. I was now on hold for a representative. I waited a long time, and finally got through. After explaining it all, I was placed on hold while she called the location I had visited today. She came back and apologized that they'd missed that and said she'd take my payment over the phone, so we did that. Now, if I get pulled over, I'll still get a ticket for not having the sticker, but my vehicle won't be impounded for not being registered! I guess that's as happy an ending as I can get for $2,100.00 and half my day. And, I was happily informed that if I wanted to blow another work day out my ass, I could always contest the ticket.


comfortandjoy said...

This is yet another piece of a wider conspiracy that I KNOW exists.

Can you rant every week so I can continue to gather evidence?


TheWeyrd1 said...

Okay...since I'm licensed in auto and home I'm thinking that your insurance company is BSing you. I also think it would be a good idea sometime to check the state law regarding GRACE PERIODS allowed for auto policies to be paid. I've paid a couple days late several times in the last 5 years since going completely self employed. Never had the insurance canceled. I think it's mostly an individual insurance company rule. Now, if you were 2 days past the grace period, that's another story.

RED MOJO said...

cj, I think I will, I usually have about four I could choose from.

theweyrd1, No, you aren't licensed in MA that's for sure! They just deregulated insurance here a few months ago. We were the only state in the whole country like that. Trust me, it was two days after the due date. There is NO grace period. There is one on home-owner's insurance but not auto. It's hard to believe I know! Hence the rant!

Baino said...

Unbelievable! We have a 3 week grace period here for auto insurance and home and contents. Registration which is plates/road tax, you have to pay by the due date or risk prosecution (if you're caught we display a registration sticker on the windscreen) but it's only a couple of hundred a year unless you're driving a semi or pantechnic. Surely you don't pay that much to put you truck on the road? Actual road registration here is cheap and there's only 20 million of us. It's the third party or comprehensive damage insurance that's the killer.

I swear if I hear another 'menu' option by a recorded voice I'll throw the bloody phone across the room!

RED MOJO said...

baino, thanks for your sympathy. That's exactly what I wanted! :)

roro said...

Man, that blows! I feel your pain - we too have been the victims of what Katr called a "car insurance clusterfuck" in recent memory. Great name for a band! But a bad way to spend two days.

RED MOJO said...

roro, Thanks for that! My squeakiness got some oil! Yes! :)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I have been in similar situations in which the penalty for not having money was whoppingly monetary.

And dealing with bureaucrats who don't get it (or care) maddens me enough that I could be dangerous if I were actually in their presence.

There is supposed to be a grace period on insurance, usually 10 days, before they cancel the policy. And if you should happen to insure yourself with another company before the year is up, they are required to return the unused portion of your money.

The whole thing really blows.

Slip said...

In New York we get the same bull shit! We also have the D.O.T that loves to fuck with the small operators. So if I pull my trailer with a machine on it I can count on being pulled into a check point and they WILL find something to make me pay the hidden tax!

RED MOJO said...

heartinsanfrancisco, The too, poor pay more, system of punishment has always baffled and angered me.

slip, Yeah, they get ya coming and going, and don't even kiss you first, bastards!

Certain Magician said...

If life was easy, everyone would be living it.

I hate the DMV too. Looking forward to your next rant!

citizen of the world said...

God I hate the DMV.

RED MOJO said...

certain, I am rant-ready always :)

cit, I think we could start a club, possibly a movement!