Rebel without a clue

26Apr11

In order to use my time between jobs as good as possible I conducted an extensive price research for our insurance needs. After obtaining numerous quotes I was able to determine the best combination of home and auto insurance. In the end the newly quoted prices will save us a little bit more than 1,000 USD a year, while maintaining the same coverage and service level.

After already realizing savings on electricity, this will now be the second major savings in our house.

When changing insurance it is standard procedure of the new insurer to verify the data that had been provided. In doing so my insurance company retrieved the data from the DMV showing my insurance as suspended. Luckily the insurance agent called me right away to let me.

I was shocked. Never in my life (driving now for almost 16years) had I received a ticket (excluding the money makers in Germany of parking tickets). The worst that ever happened to me was a verbal warning from an US officer in regard to speeding. Other than any traffic violations there is not much more that can cause your license to get suspended.

Basically I dropped whatever I was doing in order to call and go online to the DMV site at the same time. Online I found the reasons for suspended licenses (of which non applied to me) and on the phone I got the elaborate menu, before I was allowed to press any buttons. My first instinct was to check my driving status via the DMV computer and it also stated that I currently do not have driving privileges. Now I should get a first glimpse at the sophistication of their computer system, as the phone computer did not allow me to go back and so I had to hang up.

This moment I realized that our phone ahs no re-dial, but this was the lesser of my worries. Now after I dialed the DMV number I got a busy signal, no only does the computer not let you navigate freely in the menus further does it have limited capacity. Several attempts later I got to the DMV computer and now made my way through the maze of menus in order to select the option for an operator, This was directly answered, with a note they are all busy >click<.

Now I was totally impressed with the high-end infrastructure at the DMV. Countless attempts and waiting minutes later I got Vincent on the phone. To my surprise he was really nice and helpful. We found out that despite me providing documentation that my Visa status was extended till 2012 and the DMV somewhat processing this (at least I hold a license in hand stating on it the 2012 date) the DMV also somewhat not processed it. Therefore my licensee had been suspended with the expiration of my previous Visa. Vincent realized quickly that this was not correct and told me he will contact the department in charge the very next day and call me back before 10am. This would allow enough time to the closest DMV office and get it fixed locally if needed. At this point I had mixed feelings, the IT systems had let me down, but the carbon systems seem to function fine.

The next day I got a call from Vincent, way before 10am. Everything was fixed! I was relieved. This was so easy.

So what is the moral? First of all, you might want to check periodically with the DMV computer if your license is not suspended, since you not always a notification is send out or might get lost in the mail. If your license is suspended and you don’t know why, take the time to battle the DMV IT system until you get to the DMV operator they will for sure help you (especially if they are as great as Vincent).

Cheers

Tim

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