From the Blog

License Plate Fiasco

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Okay, so I got a parking ticket. My very first Oregon parking ticket. Considering that I’ve lived here for almost 10 months (!) I’d say this is a substantial amount of parking ticketlessness. Extra especially since I got a parking ticket every time I entered Santa Monica city limits. And this one time, I got TWO parking tickets in ONE day, in the span of 15 minutes in Glendale, California. I should have packed my bags and fled the LA basin right then.

I got a parking ticket because I still have expired Hawaii plates. This was number 8, section b, on my Anxiety List. I’ve gotten my driver’s license (barely) but getting my plates has been an ORDEAL. Since the car is financed through a credit union in California, it has a California title. The Oregon DMV won’t issue plates until the title is transferred to Oregon. So I had to send a letter to my credit union to, pretty please, send the title to my car to the Oregon DMV and they will send back a reissued Oregon title. And if the sun and stars aligned properly, I could, maybe, get Oregon license plates.

Still with me? Take this as an idiots guide for anyone moving to Oregon. You are allowed two 21 day “trip permits” if you have an unregistered vehicle. So I had 6 weeks to get this whole California-to-Oregon title bullcrap taken care of. Needless to say, my trip permits have expired, and I still don’t have my plates. This is why I got a parking ticket.

And wow, this Parking Nazi earned their keep in giving me a ticket. Because I was parallel parked in a space so small, you’d nearly need to crawl under the car to see the plate. Mere inches in front, and behind. And after I parked there, someone came in and parked right up my butt. Completely wedged in. In fact, the parking space was so tight, it probably drew attention to my immobilized car. I hate parking on the street.

I wasn’t worried that I couldn’t move my car. I was actually planning to leave it parked indefinitely as part of an experiment (which I will explain later.) But now! I didn’t want to leave my car on the street for the Parking Nazis to come back and ticket me again. Would they come back every day? It would be a daily cash cow for the Parking Nazis! Bastards! My poor car! Infested with parking tickets! And I’m STUCK there! I can’t move!

I was up in the middle of the night thinking about this. Seriously. I live in an apartment and there is no off-street parking. I thought about driving the car to work and leaving it in the parking lot until my plates came in. But that meant I have to get it out of that tortured hell-hole of a parking spot. How would I get my car out? Last night was a grim, dark night of tossing and turning.

I went out to my car this morning and the situation had not changed. Five inches in front of me was a nice, new Subaru. Two inches behind me, parked right up my ass, was a crappy old Honda with California plates. Seven or eight inches of maneuverability. Awesome.

I spent 5 minutes shimmying out of the parking spot. Less time than I would have thought. Freedom! And I dare say, I didn’t even nudge the nice Subaru. I’m sure my back bumper is all scraped up from the Honda’s license plate.

I was planning on parking my car at work until my plates came in. I called the Oregon DMV to get a status on my plates. And here is another reason why Oregon is awesome: I called the DMV, and a PERSON answered the phone. I explained my situation and the woman looked it up. And she said, “Oh, let me pull your file.” She said I have another little form to fill out and another little fee to pay. She faxed me a copy of my registration application, I can bring it to a DMV office and I can get my plates today! I love Oregon!

And MAYBE, I can park back in that same tiny spot and disappoint the Parking Nazis! F-you Parking Nazis!


  1. Update…FINALLY have Oregon plates! I really live here!

  2. Welcome to Oregon!

  3. Don’t pay the ticket yet. If you have documentation that you put the request in motion early within that 6-week period, and were waiting on forces beyond your control to get _their_ shit together, you shouldn’t be liable for that bureaucratic fuster-cluck. Per #9 on the Anxiety List, DMV-CA is demonstrably confused about the where your vehicle even IS at this point, so include their erroneous letters in your Angry Letter Packet.

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