Me on the phone: I got a delinquent notice. I never got the notice my registration was due and I don’t want to pay the $89 late fee.
The DMV woman: We’ve had problems with those not being sent out. Just go down to the DMV and explain and ask for the waiver.
Me: You know it’s a DMV problem but I have to go to the office to resolve it?
Her: Well otherwise your stickers would take 4-6 weeks to arrive.
(later that day at the stifling DMV office)
Me: I didn’t get a notice and want the $89 fee waived.
Imported DMV clerk: Well you need to keep track of when your registration expires.
Me: Well every year the DMV sends renewals so I didn’t have it on my calendar, and it never crossed my mind. As you can see I’ve never paid late. Obviously I wouldn’t drive around with expired tags.
Him (never looking me once in the eye): You just came from out of state last year?
Me: I lived away for a year and a half. I’ve driven in California for over 20 years and never once paid late. I heard this was a DMV problem that notices didn’t go out.
Him (with a tone like I am a convicted felon trying to scam the system): Fill out this form. I’ll see if I can get it approved. You need to track when your registration is expiring.
Meanwhile the clerk next to him is looking at me in a way in a cross between ” I know it was a DMV problem. What an asshole” and “I hope you aren’t wielding a weapon.”
Him: We’ll waive it but next time you have to pay on time.
OK maybe this didn’t include any explosions or evil Englishmen, but it was such BS. It’s a miracle though I didn’t get pulled over in driving with 2 months of expired stickers. Easier than I thought but not worth a trip to the DMV.
Stay tuned for “Phone Company: the reality series!”