State Of California Doesn't Know How To Accept $14 Fee

Reader Justin may have discovered the real reason for California’s fiscal crisis. He owes the DMV $14, but says that the DMV doesn’t seem to want his money. Which is strange, since this is the opposite of how most people think of the DMV. Maybe they don’t have any lines, either.

California does not want my money! I own a nice little ’86 Isuzu Trooper. When I didn’t have a job and was getting low on my savings, I decided not to pay the insurance (it’s mandated in California). The insurance company contacted the state and there is a $14 suspension fee on my registration.

I finally got a job and can start paying bills again. I got the car some insurance with AAA and tried to use their in house vehicle registration service. I paid my registration fee, but they told me that I have to pay the suspension $14. They say that the fee is contracted out to another company. I call the number, and they and tell me that AAA has to fax proof of insurance. So I go to the front desk and say “I just bought insurance with you and to lift the suspension off my insurance I need a proof of insurance faxed.” They say “That will take 3 business days.” I just bought the insurance I have it in my hand but the insurance company takes three days to press a 10 digit number. I just say fine and they put in the request.

About five days later, I call to find that the number I was given now points to the DMV main office and not the company that handles the suspensions. I go to the DMV and try to pay there. The lady at the checkin counter tells me that they closed that phone line today and you can not pay over the phone. They have a website, but the website down and I have to mail them a check. I haven’t written a check in years, but I dug out the checkbook

I wait about 2 weeks and they still have not processed my payment. The best thing is I went back to AAA to see if there is some way quicker, and they gave me a different phone number from before and that number points to the DMV as well.

I just want to pay $14. I have the money, maybe if I leave it in front of the state capitol building they will take it. Have any suggestions for me. Now I understand why California can’t decide on a budget.

If the gods of irony are looking after Justin, this story would end with him receiving a three-digit ticket for driving with a suspended registration. Let’s just hope that his lost and forlorn check is just waiting patiently somewhere, about to be deposited.