It’s a relentless theme of my life, one which I maintain anticipating to “outgrow,” but I by no means appear to take action: I let issues develop from molehills into mountains by failing to deal with them correctly on the onset. For instance, I gained myself an additional $1,800 in fines this yr by paying the Commonwealth of Kentucky their pound of tax flesh a number of months late. Ouch.
And after I bought my first dashing ticket in fairly a while (properly, a minimum of a yr) in Georgia final February on my solution to the American Endurance Racing race in Street Atlanta—after which one other a couple of month later in Fayette County, Kentucky — I simply kinda forgot to pay them. They had been each comparatively small tickets — one for 10 over and one other for 15 over. It’s not like I didn’t have the cash, or like I haven’t had dozens of free hours since then to go online to the Gwinnett County web site and pay my out-of-state infraction or cease by the native courthouse. Nope, it wasn’t till I bought a nastygram from the Kentucky DMV letting me know that my license had been suspended that I noticed I had let it go for too lengthy this time.
No drawback, I assumed. I’ll pay my fines on-line and go get my license reinstated.
Yeah, that’s not the way it works.
Step one in my journey was discovering my copies of the citations, which, surprisingly, wasn’t as arduous as I anticipated it to be. They had been each within the glovebox of my Focus RS, though they had been each kinda outdated and wrinkly. Irrespective of, the print was nonetheless (principally) legible on the thermal paper. Nice — drawback primary was solved.
Subsequent, I made a decision to pay my Georgia ticket on the Gwinnett County web site, which was much more environment friendly than any authorities web site has the precise to be. The unique ticket was $145 — $20 for the ticket, and $125 for courtroom prices. Since I didn’t go to courtroom, I’m unsure why I’ve to pay these, however the Man says I do. Wonderful.
Oops. Seems that there’s been a small, um, warrant out for my arrest. The “bench warrant price” was $100, so my ticket was now $258 together with all of the charges. Good job, Bark. Regardless, I paid the high-quality and printed out my receipt, which I figured could be ample proof for the Kentucky DMV.
Subsequent up, the Fayette County web site to pay my Kentucky ticket. Whomp whomp. Seems that I can’t pay a late high-quality on-line — I really need to go to the courthouse, which begs the query: how am I presupposed to drive to the courthouse, which is roughly 30 miles from my home, with a suspended license? I imply, sure, I’ve clearly been driving for a short while with a suspended license, however now I know I’m doing it. Plus, perhaps they’ve cops simply sitting round exterior the visitors courtroom clerk’s workplace, ready to tug over individuals for doing one MPH over the restrict, after which tossing them in jail for driving beneath suspension?
So now I’m freaking out a little bit bit, however I resolve to threat it and drive my neon blue jellybean as lawfully and inconspicuously as I can right down to the courthouse. Fortunately, there aren’t any vicious policemen in Tauruses ready to arrest me as I arrive. I stroll as much as the visitors clerk counter, with my bank card in hand, cringing in anticipation of what my authentic $163 ticket (once more, $20 for the ticket, $143 in courtroom prices) has ballooned into. The girl behind the counter, who’s personifying each stereotype of a authorities employee, takes my ticket from my hand, seems at me, and says, “I’m gonna need to go get this one.”
She will get up from the counter, and walks away with out one other phrase. Fifteen minutes later she comes again with an precise folder with my authentic ticket in it. Like, the paper copy. I don’t perceive — is that this not digitized in a roundabout way? Apparently not in Fayette County, Kentucky. Nonetheless, I’m rewarded for my wait by the information that there aren’t any extra fines or charges! All I owe is the $163 ticket. Unbelievable.
Now, she says, since I dwell in Clark County, and never Fayette County, I’ve to return to the DMV in Clark County to resume my license. Not an enormous deal, since I dwell about 2 miles from the workplace. So, I take all of my paperwork, return to my automotive, and notice that regardless of paying each of my tickets, my license is nonetheless suspended, and now there are about 50 police vehicles circling the courthouse. Simply be cool, Bark. Simply be cool.
Thirty minutes later, I’m on the Clark County Clerk’s workplace, able to pay my reinstatement price and pose for a brand new picture that makes me look barely much less like a member of The Mossad than my final one did. However because the Jungle Brothers as soon as mentioned, maintain up, wait a minute — the signal on the counter lets me know that solely checks are accepted for fee in Clark County. I’m unable to recollect not solely the place my checkbook is likely to be, however the final time I even wrote a verify.
Again house I’m going. Fortunately, it solely takes about 20 minutes of digging by way of numerous junk drawers in the home to search out a little bit pad of checks. Nonetheless painfully conscious of my suspended license, I roll previous three, rely em, three unmarked police vehicles on my manner again to the workplace.
Lastly, I’ve my license. Nah, JK. Seems that neither Georgia nor Fayette County are reporting that I’ve paid my ticket, so I’ve to name the state’s DMV in Frankfort, KY, and supply them with proof. As soon as extra, I’m leaving a authorities workplace with no DL.
Once I get house, I name Frankfort and get transferred 3 times — after which I wait on maintain for 30 minutes. Lastly, a captivating younger woman named Alexis lets me know that the receipts that I’ve in my hand aren’t any good. I’ve to attend for the system to be up to date, which may take “a number of days.” Additionally, she says, I’ve to name Georgia and ask them to fax proof of my fee, for the reason that Kentucky system gained’t present that.
Wonderful. I name the Gwinnett County courthouse, however that quantity has been disconnected. I now need to name a nationwide, 1-800 ticket fee quantity. In fact, since I’ve already paid my ticket, they aren’t capable of assist me, however they do have a quantity to the Gwinnett County Recorder’s workplace. Okay. So I name that quantity, get transferred twice, and am lastly advised that, no, they’ll’t assist me, I’ve to talk to someone within the prosecutor’s workplace. So I name that quantity, and after being transferred 3 times, I’m solely capable of go away a recording on a supervisor’s voicemail. She guarantees to return my name if I go away my quotation quantity, my identify, my social safety quantity, and my date of beginning. That each one appears utterly high-quality to depart on a voicemail — what may go mistaken?
So right here I sit, nonetheless with no license, ready on the mercy of a authorities official who lives about 600 miles away, hoping she’ll name me again. This, regardless of having receipts for each funds I’ve made in my hand, neither of which appear to matter very a lot to the high-quality people within the capital of the Bluegrass.
Ethical of the story: Pay your rattling tickets. Higher but, don’t get them within the first place. Now, should you’ll excuse me, I’ve to make a number of dozen telephone calls.
[Image: Mark “Bark M.” Baruth/TTAC]