Remember when I got a bad speeding ticket, thought I was going to lose my license, and then luckily did not end up losing my license? Well as luck/fate/chance/happenstance would have it, that turned out not to be the end of the story.
Brandon, what are you talking about? You said you called up the California DMV and they said everything was fine, what gives?
I did say everything was fine, because I did think everything was fine. Like the Overly Cheerful DMV Lady said was going to happen, I got a letter in the mail that said, without a doubt, the California DMV had no intentions of taking away my license. It wasn't until I stopped into the DMV this past Thursday to get my motorcycle license that I found out anything was wrong.
I debated weaving out the intricate web of sadness and bureaucracy that took place that fateful Thursday into its own little story, but I decided against it because it's mind-numbingly boring and it physically pains me to recount the conversations that I had with various three-letter agencies in all of their vivid, nonsensical glory. So I'll just give you the SparkNotes version, which goes a little like this:
- Brandon wanders into California DMV.
- CA DMV says, "Sorry, something is wrong in the system and we can't give you a motorcycle license, call the Massachusetts RMV."
- Brandon calls MA RMV.
- MA RMV tells Brandon that he never took the course.
- Brandon has never heard of the course.
- MA RMV explains to Brandon that he has to take a course because of his ticket.
- Brandon inquires why he hasn't heard of this course.
- MA RMV says they mailed it to his old address, which was invalid.
- Brandon inquires why they didn't send it to the address he's been using for 8 months, especially after realizing the old address was invalid.
- MA RMV doesn't have an answer, but explains that they're going to tell California to take away Brandon's license because he didn't take the course and is reaching the end of the (apparently 90-day) grace period. MA RMV instructs Brandon to call the National Safety Council.
- Brandon calls NSC.
- NSC agrees that this whole scenario is ridiculous, and gives Brandon a list of four (in the entirety of California) sketchy locations where he can take the course. None of them are within an hour drive.
And that's where I am right now. Luckily (or unluckily, depending on your perspective), I'm going to LA with a few friends this upcoming long weekend, and can take the course once I'm down there…while my friends ride rollercoasters at Knott's Berry Farm. In the end, it's still entirely my fault for getting the speeding ticket in the first place, but the course is clearly designed for people in negligent accidents or repeated violations. Oh well. I'll take the course, pay another $xxx on top of the $470 I've already paid, and move on with my life.
One thing I've noticed is that I'm decidedly less terrified this time around. Last time, I remember my heart rate shooting up and panicking over what I was going to do, and that just wasn't there this time. The consequences are still the same as before, potentially losing my license and home, but for some reason it isn't scary anymore. I'm not sure if it's because I've already made the leap and moved off campus, or I'm just getting better at handling weird truck-related strife in all its flavors. In any case, I think it's a good thing, and I await the next strange twist of fate with open arms, and an open back roll-up gate.