Kat (sunshinenorcas) wrote in bad_service,
Kat
sunshinenorcas
bad_service

Joy with DMV :D (long back story for a grouch)

I know complaining about the DMV is like shooting fish in the barrel, but just had this conversation which is the latest in a long series of 'why me'.

Backstory: In October 2013 I was in a crash in WA where I totaled my car. I live in OR. No other cars were involved (Thank god) and the worst injury was my dads cracked sternum- not bad for hitting a concrete median around 65-70mph head on (I had been going interstate speed when I lost control and hit the gas in 'holyshitwhatnow' panic rather then my brakes). State police came out to talk to us and take my statement, get the car towed, etc. I wasn't drunk, sleeping or speeding excessively- I'm a new driver, was traveling in the dark with a sleeping passenger and hadn't driven 3+ hours straight before and drifted.
I remember asking if I was going to get a ticket or if there was anything I needed to look at or check and the officers said no before letting me get into the ambulance. I was in shock, so I'm pretty sure I asked a couple of times to make sure I was clear to leave.

Flash forward to earlier this month- I get a call from the WA DMV asking when I was planning on paying my citation. Uh what citation?

DMV Lady: Your citation from October for driving off the roadway?
Oh, you mean from my crash that I didn't know I got a ticket for? That crash? Yup that crash.

I hadn't gotten any notification for a citation I needed to pay and told them as much. There's a balance that I need to pay, and I explained that I'm a student and waiting on FinAid (long story), but as soon as I got it I would pay the citation, but it'd be toward the end of January, beginning of February. She tells me that oh that's fine and she'd make a note of it, and we hang up and I think everything is fine.

So yesterday, I come home to find a letter from the Oregon DMV saying that my driving privileges would be suspended on the 28th of March because I had failed to appear in court due to a traffic violation unless they received a court clearance notice.
Uh, WHAT?
I never got a notification for a court date or hearing. Of course by the time I got it, there wasn't much I could do other then cry because 'holyshitwhatdoIdo' (it was a very bad day and that was the icing)

So, this letter mentions the 'court(s) and docket(s) listed below' with a blank space- but there are no courts or dockets listed. There's a contact number for the DMV so I call them today... and had this conversation.

Me: Hi, my name is sunshinenorcas and I got a letter saying I missed my court appearance and my permit will be suspended? (reads off my permit number when asked)
DMV Lady: Uh... this is in Washington. You shouldn't be calling us.
Me: The letter I got didn't say anything about that, it just said I missed a court date and my permit will get suspended. I don't even have a docket number. I called here because that was the only contact number I had.
DMV Lady: Well, you need to talk to them because we can't help you.
Me: ...which I would do if I knew where to call. This was the only contact number in the letter.
DMV Lady: Let me give it to you and the docket number.
Me: That would be helpful, thank you.

So, she gives them to me, I'm thanking her for help (still rolling my eyes a little but whatever) and then this comes up

DMV Lady: You know your driving privileges don't get suspended until March 28th right?
Me: Yeah
DMV Lady: Well you have until March to get it done, stop stressing about it.


We hung up after that.

Fortunately the lady at the WA court was very nice and it turns out the notifications went to the wrong address. I emailed the judge to figure out what I could do and that I was genuinely sorry about everything and I didn't know until now (I have a feeling once I pay the citation fine and interest I should be OK, and it should be paid soon. So yay)
Tags: *city/county services, *dvla/dmv
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