19 September 2010

So I did a stupid thing. I moved my car insurance to Virginia and drug my feet moving my plates. In a cascade of ensuing events, Florida cancels both my license and my plates. This past week I get pulled over and my car is then impounded. So here’s my takeaway: why should it matter where in the US I have my car registered? My plates in Florida don’t expire until December. Anyone in Virginia law enforcement should be able to get any details they need from the Florida law enforcement database. Why should it matter? Well, obviously it does. But the reason it does is more because of when the laws were written than anything else. Most of the traditional laws pertaining to registration and licensing were written in the 1940’s and early 50’s. In those days records were paper and mainly just to collect taxes to help maintain the roads local to the registration. Today, all of those records are electronic. They’re freely available to anyone with network access and most of the money to maintain roadways comes from the yearly federal highway bill. In fact so much of the laws we’ve enshrined as Americans is based on location being the relevant factor. So here’s the situation in which I now find myself: 1. Virginia has the car impounded. They will not release without valid Virginia registration 2. I can’t get a Virginia plate until the car passes Virginia Emissions. Obviously, I can’t get emissions until the car is available to me to take to an emissions center to get checked. 3. I can’t get the Florida plate reinstated because it’s illegal to issue a Florida insurance policy to a non-resident. So i’m fucked. Oh, and the impound fee is currently at $680. Oh, and I can’t find my title. Separately, but equal in suckage, I had fraudulent charges on my credit card. Bank of America called me about the charges and I agreed they were not mine. They canceled my debit card. So thursday evening it was pouring rain the DC Metro. I’m stuck on the toll road with no way home, car impounded. No credit card to get a cab and on top of that, my recruiter didn’t pay me my regular paycheck on time and a big chunk of my account is “unavailable” due to fraudulent charges. That is how Yom Kippur 2010 began. I’m not Jewish, but I would like to atone for everything i’ve done wrong. I repent in sack cloth and ashes.