This whole car thing has unearthed an unsavory side to our lifestyle recently that I would really like to fix. We have become COMPLETELY irresponsible with the mail.
Maybe not completely irresponsible. We pay our bills, but then again, most of those don’t come in the mail.
We decided to sign the car over to the mechanic rather than get it fixed or donate it. It’s the easiest course of action, and we’ve got a lot going on. So what does it take to do that? Not a lot – just sign the title over to them. Got it. Cool. We planned to go first thing in the morning. Say goodbye to the car, take some last pictures, sign over the title.
We were up, dressed, Jack had eaten, shoes were on, and we were all ready to go. John went upstairs to the file box that has all of our important documents, but then he didn’t come back down. And he didn’t come down. And he still didn’t come down. Eventually, a “Zannah…?” floated down the stairs. “Yeah?” back up the stairs. “Can you think of anywhere else the title could be?”
And thus began the destruction of our house.
We turned it upside down, and in doing so, found all of the places we’d been squirreling away mail. (There were a lot of places.) Not to hide it, not to avoid dealing with it, but to get it out of the way when we’re picking up or expecting company. Very bad habit.
We did not find the title.
I called the DMV to figure out what we do now. We can get a duplicate title by mail, but it’ll take 3 weeks. What are we supposed to do with the car for 3 weeks? Last time John called them, they said they’ll charge $30 a day for storage. Maybe we could have USAA tow the car back to our driveway.
Plan B! I called the mechanic and explained what was going on. He said not to worry about it – just bring a copy of the registration, he’ll have us sign a thing, and they’ll take it from there. If the title turned up in the meantime, bring it to him. He was super nice to me, said they wouldn’t charge us for storage, and I got a “don’t worry your pretty little head” vibe from him, but it was working to our advantage, so I’m not complaining. Now, of COURSE we’ll still get the duplicate title and eventually get it to him. I don’t want anything weird about the car hanging over our heads.
So that’s great, that’s the plan, and John found time for us to go down there Thursday afternoon. So Thursday afternoon rolls around, and as we were getting ready to go, I picked up the registration I pulled out of the car when I emptied it last week.
Well….crap. It expired. At the end of JANUARY. And neither of us remembers renewing it. I went online to check – inconclusive. I called the DMV. YUP. We have been driving an unregistered car since the beginning of February. Granted, we haven’t been driving it MUCH these past two months, but STILL.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH US?
The car doesn’t have to be registered to sign the title over to someone, so that was helpful, and the car was not at all driveable, so that’s not really an issue, either, but the mechanic was expecting a copy of the registration!
We decided to go anyway. I went in to talk to Leo and laid it on the line. Not only could we not find the title, but it turns out our registration had expired. He laughed sympathetically, told me it was fine, and then declined to charge us even for the hour they spent diagnosing the engine problem. He said we’d had a rough week already. Maybe he expects to make enough off of our car that he can afford to do that, but I choose to believe he’s just that nice of a guy (and he wants our business when we get our next car).
So that all worked out, and we no longer own the Tucson (except that we totally do because we didn’t sign the non-existent title over), and I have a Mid Year Resolution.
HANDLE THE $%#&*$! MAIL.
First step, sort through and toss or shred the existing mountains of unsorted mail, which is what I have been doing, a little bit at a time, for the last several days. I’m making real progress.