Friday, June 16, 2006

Some people like to live their life according to certain rules. You know "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" or "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you" and so on. I also like to live my life according to a rule. Specifically a Catherine Aird quote:

"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.”


With that, I present to you the Saga of Registering My Car: 2006.

Now, I think you are aware by now that I am a lazy person. I don't like to go out of my way to do things usually and that extends to things like doing housework and paying bills. (Adam is a lucky guy, oui?). Anyway I got a nice little love note from the RMV a few months back reminding me not only that my registration was soon to expire but that I had a few unpaid parking tickets, and had not yet paid my excise tax from last year they were going to go ahead and NOT renew me until such a time as I took care of these outstanding items.

So of course I quickly sent off a check for my late excise tax, then folded up that letter and put it in the "Important Bills" bin thus assuring I would never look at it again.

Flash forward to yesterday. I am cruising down the street when I see the dreaded blue and white twinkling lights in my rear view mirror. I pulled over and a young police officer came up to me and informed me that my registration was expired. Wasn't that so nice of him to take note of while he was behind me in the Dunkin Donuts drive thru? I certainly thought so. He (thankfully!) did not give me a ticket but he did inform me that he 1) knew where i lived and 2) would be checking that night on my car and if it was not registered he would give me a $100 ticket and would continue to do so until I registered that shizz.

I was all " FINE, I GET IT!"

Now, paying off overdue parking tickets is not a simple matter of just calling up and giving someone at city hall your credit card number. Especially when you have outstanding tickets in more than one town. Especially when there are 7 tickets total. So I had to leave work at 2:30PM and do the following

1) Go to Newton Town hall and pay my first ticket where I learned that:
The town hall looks like a frigging museum
When you let a $15 parking ticket linger for so long, it becomes a $50
parking ticket. Swell.

2) Go to Boston City Hall to pay my next 6 tickets where I had to wait in three different lines , including one to pass through a metal detector. And there I learned that paying 6 parking tickets two years late means paying $351. Charming.

3) Go to my insurance company and pick up something called an RMV-3 form which essentially tells the RMV "Hey, I may be a deadbeat but I still manage to have and pay for car insurance"

4) Go to my apartment and desperately search for the reciept from paying my late excise tax (which btw was another $320).

5) Then, and only then, could I make my way to the RMV where I (finally) registered my car in less than 3 minutes.

6) Then of course I drank heavily while admiring my shiny new "08" sticker.

So there you have it. What could have been paying $15 here and there after Boston excursions, and paying a $140 excise tax bill when it came in became about $800 worth of headaches, driving around like a madperson, and feeling generally like an asshole.

So pay your GD parking tickets. Don't be like me.

Don't you be like me.


Mandy said...

Oh my God, that SUCKS. At least you managed to squeeze in some heavy drinking.

clipper829 said...

Good reminder, girl. I have road trips to make to Cambridge (of course), Boston (obviously), and Everett (don't ask) for my own unpaid parking tickets.

My registration is up next April but knowing me I will let them linger on, since last time I had to register my car, I had to drive to Newburyport, Lowell, and Malden town halls for ticket paying. I should do a photoblog of all the town halls I've been to whilst paying parking tickets.

Sarah said...

haha! what's funny is that i have probs been to Boston City Hall more than most people who actually LIVE in Boston. it ain't right. They should erect a parking lot in my honor for all the money I have given via overdue parking tickets.

MarisaJosephine said...

wow! that trip makes me tired and makes me want to drink

too bad my 5 year old VW is in the shop right now because somehow the ALTERNATOR went! I feel your pain with the money thing!

well at least it is friday
and you can hopefully have a
car drama less weekend


Anonymous said...

Wow that sucks big time :-( That happened to me back in 2004 when I was about to get married. I had an expired license and I had to renew it or otherwise I'd have no ID so therefore no marriage. I had two $15 tickets from Salem (hate that freakin city) that turned into $80. A Revere ticket (hate that city too LOL) that was originally $20 and turned into $100. I paid off my Boston tickets and headed to the registry with my hair all cute and make-up on... They said sorry can't help ya. I of course had another ticket in Boston given to me by some "special" police dept and so I had to find this place and it took me 2 days to find it. So with parking, tolls and the new fee since I paid late it came to like $200. Boy was I pissed off! Not at myself for procrastinating, but for the conspiracy between these three cities to steal my money. Well I got everything done and when I went back to the registry it was raining so of course my picture came out horrible LOL Story of my life.

Sarah said...

i like that so many people have bad parking ticket stories too. we're like a little club! awwww....

kim said...

wow, that does suck. you could have easily bought a round-trip boston-germany with that money. but you know, i think if you don't pay your tickets here (and i say "i think" because i've never owned a car and only had to pay 20 euro once for riding my bike in the dark without a light...) they eventually take away your driver's license and put you in jail at some point. so there, you're a lucky girl :)

Lys said...

I miss Mass Tickets - here they suspend your license and don't even tell you. Gotta love the land of the damn Rat! Ugh!

e$ said...

i have a story. check back later.

I'm not a "bright side" kind of girl, but if I was, I guess I would say "at least you didn't get the boot"!!

Sarah said...

that is an excellent point. on my "formal release" from the boston parking lot it DID say "boot elligible" next to my name.

AnnaB said...

Very weird timing. I just got an excise tax bill "reminder" where they effectively doubled what I needed to pay for excise tax this year. Yet, I never got the friggin original bill! I think the entire deal is a scam. We're probably financing some guy's boat or addition to him house. I'm amazed that you were able to get so much done in one day! Lazy my ass... ;-)

The Pink Kitty said...

What's the RMV? That's so odd, here in CA we've got the DMV but I'm guessing they serve the same function, i.e. to cause misery to those who drive. I had a similar experience except to my knowledge, we don't pay an excise tax here. At any rate, I tried to play a game called "let's see how long I can go w/o paying my registration". $200+ worth in tickets later and a big fat late fee, I would have been way better off just paying the $60 to register my car when it was time!....
which reminds me, it's time to register my car again. Yikes!

Sarah said...

RMV is the same as the MV i think. The Registry of Motor Vehicles...we have both here in MA. it is weird.

Anonymous said...

Sarah, thanks so much for this post! I love your blog, but usually it depresses me a little. I live in Oklahoma City, which, as we all know is the middle of nowhere. I'm always a touch jealous of your great restaurants and shopping. I am so pleased to hear that we have one thing thats better than y'all. We can pay all our tickets online, and we go to independant tag agencies once a year to get the new sticker. Takes about 5 minutes. I'm so sorry your day sucked, but thanks so much for making mine a little better.


Jenny said...

You can pay your tickets on the city of boston webiste -- even late ones now! I've done it! Don't take the dreaded trip in town for that! UGH! Horrible.

Sarah said...

actually jenny you are mistaken. in some circumstances you need an signed release from the parking clerk to prove you paid your tickets and if you are intending to go to the registry the same day you pay your tickets then you have to go to city hall to obtain the release. It cannot be faxed because it is in triplicate and official and stamped.

Amy said...

Even us here in Maryland (usually late to the boat) can re-register our cars through the mail! We can pay tickets online and through the mail too!

Sarah said...

here you can totally pay overdue parking tickets through the mail, or online but not if you are registering your car the same day because the system doesnt update that fast hence you need to go and get a Certified Release.

get it?