Behind The Butter

Misery Loves Company

Just got back from round two at the DMV. Unlike last time, it didn’t result in me running out of the door sobbing but it was a still quite a blow. You see, what I didn’t tell you last time was that when I went to there before to register my car, they told me it was going to cost $1900!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



I was so flustered by the news that I failed my drivers test, ran out crying and then sat and chewed lettuce leaves outside Almanzo’s office in an effort to calm my heart and bring my blood pressure back down. Apparently, When I bought my car in Florida I didn’t pay any sales tax on it and since I brought the car to California less than a year after I originally bought it, I had to pay California tax on it. $1900 worth. It’s just not right. Darn you, California. You get the best of me every time.

So, for the past month I’ve been sitting on that news, trying to find a way to beat the system and not go to jail for the rest of my life. When I couldn’t think of a way out, I started to wonder what the food would be like in jail, if my wireless data card would work and if I might meet Lindsay Lohan. In the end, I decided there was no other way to get around this and I had to just suck it up, pay, and be an American.

So yes, now I am a legal California driver. But it hurts though. A lot.

What’s your biggest DMV horror story OR driving tale of woe? Whoever wins gets a cookie. Actually, I will BAKE the winner cookies. Just tell me your stories in comment form on this post and by 10 pm PST tonight, I’ll randomly pick a winner and bake that person a batch of homemade vegan chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. You have my word. C’mon, misery loves company. Please?


In other news, I just ate a salad:

Hard boiled egg, lettuce, Athenos Lemon, Oregano and Garlic feta, shredded carrots, white beans and Annie’s raspberry vinegarette plus toast with jam.
When things happen that are out of my control (read: DMV), I use that opportunity to take out all my aggression in the kitchen.
Dinner will be epic. (insert evil laughter)

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  • jenna
    July 20, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    :-/ wow that stinks! I’m glad youre keeping your chin up! Sounds like you’ve had a rough week.

    Sorry now horror stories here! :knock on wood:

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    July 20, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    oh wow, i didn’t realize it was that bad! my worst one was a lady told me i looked stupid smiling for my photo…not that i asked, but whatever. it was the best driver’s license photo i’ve had! πŸ™‚

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    July 20, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Oh my gosh…that is rough. I haven’t really had any bad DMV stories. But I am glad you are looking at the positive. πŸ™‚

  • Kelly
    July 20, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    At the ripe old age of 15.5 yrs old, I have to take the permit test 3 times. Long story, but it made me feel like a complete idiot and my family still jokes me about it to this day. Since you failed the test, you know how I must have felt. I still hate DMV and get that awful feeling every time I step foot in there. Funny how old wounds stick with ya. Can’t wait to hear what dinner is! I love the word epic!

  • Evan Thomas
    July 20, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Fortunately, I’ve always been involved in city life, so I’ve never known how to drive or had a car and haven’t had to deal much with the DMV. I can offer a funny story, though:
    When I told my mom I was flying to Chicago for the HLS, she warned me about how I couldn’t rent a car because I’m not 25 and explained in detail her horror story of wanting to rent a car at 21. At the end of the story, my dad and myself were looking at her like she was crazy; she was still so bitter about not being able to rent a car 29 years ago that she completely forgot I had no clue how to drive.

  • Bethany @ More Fruit Please
    July 20, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Oh wow, I thought I had it bad when I had to dish out $300 for emission testing and repairs just so I could pay the $100 registration fee. I would freak out too if I was asked to pay $1900!!!

  • brandi
    July 20, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    oh no!!! That stinks, but good for you for getting it over with πŸ™‚ My best meals come out of times like that, too!

    My worst experience doesn’t have to do with money, but it was when I had to change my name on my driver’s license right after I got married.

    I lived in VA when we got married (and still do) but I’m now living in a different part of Virginia.

    I went to the DMV, ready to get it done one day. I stand in line for my number…sit in those horribly uncomfortable chairs for over an hour, waiting for my number to be called..only to get up to the counter and have the lady tell me I need some additional paperwork filled out in order to make the change. Apparently, the person giving out the numbers/asking what you’re there for did NOT tell me this, so I had to start ALL OVER.

    Back in the first line, which, of course, is now longer than it was before. Get paperwork and NEW number. Sit in stupid chair again to fill out paperwork. Wait for over an hour AGAIN to have my number called. Turn in paperwork only to be moved to a NEW line to wait and have a new picture taken for my new license.

    Blech. Needless to say, it was a very long day. Worst part of getting married, right there. Well, that and changing my SS card.

    • Ryan
      July 20, 2010 at 6:36 pm


      I have a similar name-changing-DMV story. Before I was married, let’s just say my name was MARY RYAN SWIFT, okay? And my family and friends had always just called me RYAN, since it’s a family name. I go by my middle name. When I got married, I had to figure out what to do with my names and a new last name: JONES. I had four potential names there: MARY RYAN SWIFT JONES. Most women who change their last names drop their middle names, so that would make my name MARY SWIFT JONES. But that makes no sense, because my name is RYAN, right? So, I guess I could be RYAN SWIFT JONES, but then everyone will assume I’m a boy! But I hate the idea of being just MARY RYAN JONES, because I LOVE my maiden name! Can’t bear the thought of being without it.

      Didn’t matter, though, since at the SS office and at the DMV the lady working there told me I’m “not allowed” to get rid of my first name (which, by the way, my lawyer husband tells me is FALSE), and now I have all four freakin’ names. I HATE IT!

      So now I get mail, etc., in variations of the names above, and when people who are looking for MARY JONES get RYAN SWIFT JONES telling them it’s the same person, they assume I’m a big fat liar.

      I will always be mad at that stupid DMV lady who told me I couldn’t do what I wanted with my name. GRR.

  • Heather
    July 20, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Holy smokes, that’s no fun! It must feel like a weight off your shoulders though now that you have it all done at least.

    No true DMV horror stories except for the time when I went to trade in my first driver license to get my new one when I turned 21. In my silly youth I had tried altering my 16 year old license to somehow become a fake ID (don’t ask, I don’t know where my brain was), but I quickly gave up when I realized I was just making it look really, really bad. The guy behind the counter started asking all sorts of questions on why it looked altered, but thankfully he let it go after a while. Not sure if there was anything they could have even done to me but it made me really, really nervous!

  • tess
    July 20, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I had to take the driver’s test twice (driving portion to get a license) because I failed the first time. Imagine my embarrassment when I had to explain to my PE teacher why I needed to be excused from PE twice in one week, both times to take my driver’s test. πŸ™

  • Leslie
    July 20, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Ouch!! I would have run out of there crying too! My horror story isn’t nearly that bad, but when I was 15 and taking my permit test, I failed miserably, and had been so confident that I would pass that I totally cried on the way home. Little did I know that my mother had planned a surprise party for me, so I arrived home teary eyed to find a crowd of people in my house. Slightly awkward… but I did pass the next time!

  • Aly
    July 20, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    To make you feel better, I failed my drivers test twice. The first time, I did my hair and got all cute for my picture, go to take the test in my driving teacher’s car, and I think I’m set. Parallel parking is first, and while I tapped the curb, I didn’t go over it, so I should get another chance to re-back in, right? NO. Wrong. According to this man on his first day, my test was over and I had failed. People told me otherwise, but it didn’t matter. 2 weeks later, I don’t tell any of my friends I’m going, and I go to take my test again. This time, I’m taking it in my dad’s car, his leased car. Apparently that’s not allowed. So after stalling for an hour in the pouring pouring rain, I use the car of someone who works for my dad. I go to parallel park, can’t see out of the mirrors and boom. Curb. Fail. The third time, I did it perfectly. And got a HORRIBLE picture on my license because I didn’t want to jinx myself.

  • Maissa
    July 20, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    When i brought my car up to canada, I quickly discovered I had to pass the British Columbia auto inspection in order to get it registered. Turns out law goes that any car registered in BC built after 1988 must have daylight that turn on when the car does. My car is a ’96, so i hd to get those put in. It cost 350$. Then they told me I needednnew back tires, another 200$ because I you have to have all weather tires at least up here (they are trying to pass a law saying you have to have winter tires, but I am praying that doesn’t go through, they are about 250 a tire!).

    But wait the story gets worse. We’re at 550$ so far right? Then because my car was registered under my mother’s name, and we didn’t change it before she passed away we had to pull out all the post-morgen legal stuff (death certificates, the trust saying my Dad was the executor of her estate and therefore could gift me the car etc), 200 in legal fees. 750.

    Then we had to get everything notarized, 100$. 850.
    Finally there is the BC insurance, which I pay a ridiculous ammount for because after six months of hassling my old insurance company in california, i gave up on ever having my insurance history sent up, so the discount I should get, I don’t. So I pay 1200 a year for insurance on a 16 year old car.

    Including e insurance we’re at about 2050 for a year, and I still pay the insurance yearly. I think I may hate ICBC (BC’s motor vehicle institution) more than the DMV, and that is saying something.

    Ps. Having delt with the DMV multle times (they made me so nervous i failed my drive test twice), I feel your pain. I am sorry you had to deal with them.

    • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair
      July 20, 2010 at 3:35 pm

      I live in British Columbia and ICBC is THE DEVIL. Seriously, every single interaction I’ve had with them whether over insurance or a claim has been TERRIBLE.

  • Annie
    July 20, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    My DMV story also involves car repair.

    I moved to Colorado last year. I figured out what paperwork I needed to do and what exhaust test my car would have to take. I go take my car to the emissions testing center (about 30 minutes away). I am placed in lane 6 and begin to wait. After an hour, I’m told my lane has broken and I will have to drive to another center an hour away. “But wait,” I say. “Can’t I just get into another lane here?” “Oh no, you have AWD, this is the only lane with AWD.” “But sir, I don’t have AWD. See how it even says FWD on my car?” “Oh, then you can get into lane 2.” I get into lane 2. Another 30 minutes elapse before I’m told my car failed. WHAT! My car is 3.5 years old. The nice man told me something was wrong with my “evap system.” I should just go buy a new gas cap and come back. *sighs* I do as told, come back and pass. I’ve now spent 3 hours and $50 on emissions alone. The DMV itself isn’t horrific. I take my picture and write a big check and leave. A week later, my check engine light comes on. Turns out my evap system was very broken. $400 later, I get my car back. A few short months later, my front tire explodes, causing my car to play ping pong with the cement highway divider. Car totaled. Lame. I had to buy a new car (yay for insurance!) and then start the DMV process over again. Then I did leave once in tears after being told my license plate numbers belonged to somebody named Daryl. I returned triumphant though. Of course, I got to write another large check. Sighs. Hopefully, I won’t have to go back for awhile.

  • Julia
    July 20, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    When I was sixteen and I went to get my driver’s license for the first time, I thought the test had gone pretty well. But, the tester got out of the car and said he wanted to talk to my mom before he told me if I passed or failed. Long story short, he only passed me because my mom promised not to let me drive again for a long time and he didn’t want to get stuck in the car with me again! It was almost two years before I got over that trauma enough to drive!

  • Kelly
    July 20, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Boo! No fun πŸ™

    I suppose my DMV horrors were when I was first getting my license back in high school. I waited until I was 17 for some reason (so I was already behind all of my friends), and then I failed it 2 times! You can only fail it 3 times and then you have to wait 6 more months, I think! lol. The first time I failed because I was speeding, and the 2nd was because I almost got in an accident! I turned right on red, which was legal.. only problem was that there were cars coming full speed at me when I turned! ‘Doh! A semi had to slam on it’s breaks and it honked it’s super load horn at me! ANNND I was about 20 feet from turning back into the DMV office to complete the test. Fun times! haha

  • Angharad
    July 20, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    That sucks. A lot. I don’t have a horror story worthy of that one but let’s talk about the cookie baking thing anyway. Please?
    I passed my test in the UK first time but my tester guy was so mean and my instructor told me afterward that the guy had a thing about women drivers. As in, he was so sexist he didn’t think we should be allowed to drive. So I felt kind of doubly happy about passing first time and for sticking one finger in the face of Mr Sexist. Sometimes wins happen as well. Do they deserve cookies too, that is my question to you πŸ™‚

  • Izzy
    July 20, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    When I was taking my G2 road test, I was informed that our insurance would probably double once I got licenced, because I was a) 18 and b) a new driver. I failed the test – NOT on purpose – by cutting off a motorcycle. I cried on my way home because I blew $300 of driving lessons PLUS the cost of taking the test, and just failed a test I needed to commute to school /work. When I got home and told the parentals, they informed me that its GOOD I failed the test because there’s NO WAY IN HELL we can deal with that insurance right now. So now my licence is expiring in less than a year, and I still have two road tests to do (including a highway road test :\), with no means of paying for insurance.

    Oh, and I still have to take the bus everywhere. Including the 4 AM bus to work πŸ™

    I’m glad only because we don’t have DMV’s in Canada – based on your story and the Simpsons, it looks like a horrible place!! 0__0


  • Sarah
    July 20, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    I took my driver’s license test in CA on my real 16th Birthday! I failed because of a squirrel. I was driving on a residential street when a squirrel ran in front of the car. I slowed down a little, but continued to drive, hoping that the little rodent when scurry along and I did not want to get rear ended. The squirrel stayed. The instructor yelled “STOP!” I slammed on my breaks, stopping inches away from the squirrel. He continued to eat his nut. I failed, right then and there. I am still not sure what the protocol is for squirrels during a drivers test. My test said “FAIL: Almost killed rodent” ?!?! I can confidently say that was my worst birthday. I cried and ate mini brownies from costco. So my heart goes out to those who have a failed a drivers test…

    • Marcia
      July 20, 2010 at 2:32 pm

      this one made me laugh out loud

      • Sarah
        July 20, 2010 at 7:09 pm

        ME TOO!! The crowning jewel of this story were the mini brownies from Costco. After I got in my first car accident (totaling my car) on my way home from school at the ripe old age of 16, my neighbor came over with an entire French silk pie for me. It was 4 pm. I ate several slices.

  • Kara
    July 20, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    When my hubby and I moved to a new city we registered all of our vehicles in our new county. Well, we moved counties and now no one seems to have any idea of who we are/where we came from. I actually had my home town (of less than 3,000 people) tell me they had no record of my vehicle ever being registered. awesome.

  • Megan
    July 20, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    When I went for my Driver’s License Test I had the worst instructor. I sat in the car and the women put her hands on my leg “there is nothing to be nervous about sweetie”. I turned to her and said thanks nervously smiling. This woman was about 300 pounds, had a mullet, was wearing a flannel and was missing a few teeth. As I started to drive the course the smell came over me, her horrible Body Odor.. I was in such a rush to finish the test so I didn’t have to hold my breath any longer I could not parallel park for the life of me.

    Later that night I was at my boyfriend of the time’s house and I was telling him and his mom the story (we had only been dating about 2 months at the time) and his mom proceeded to tell me that, that was her sister.. Talk about embarrassing. The relationship didn’t last long for obvious reason but I still dread going to the DMV because I am scared I will see my instructor again.

    Later that night I was at my boyfriend of the time’s house and I was telling him and his mom the story (we had only been dating about 2 months at the time) and his mom proceeded to tell me that, that was her sister.. Talk about embarrassing. The relationship didn’t last long for obvisous reason but I still dread going to the DMV because I am scared I will see my instructor again.

  • rebecca
    July 20, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Does a bad Driver’s Ed story qualify? Because I have a good/bad one. I grew up and learned to drive in Northern Wisconsin where winter basically lasts eight months. So learning to drive in wintry conditions is important. I totally get that. But what I didn’t get was my Driver’s Ed teacher teaching me this by telling me to taking a quick turn into a driveway at the base of an icy hill on a curve. Could he have possibly thrown one my obstacle my way? I responded by screaming β€œNOOOO It’s too slippery” as the Driver’s Ed car (a sensible sedan) slid into the ditch.

    Then the teacher made me and my driving buddy get out and push the car out of the ditch. The teacher got into the driver’s seat, revved the engine and spewed slush all over me and my driving buddy with the tire. Now when you are 16 years old and how perfectly your hair and outfits look matters SO much, there was nothing more horrifying than walking into the lobby of the high school during lunch hour covered head-to-toe in gross slush. I think the lobby went silent when we walked in. And then everyone laughed.

    I really really hated Driver’s Ed.

  • Camille
    July 20, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    That sounds about right, California is reallly good at screwing its residents over *cue my packing for August move to Oregon*.
    Probably my biggest driving horror story was the one accident I have been in that was my fault. I was coming around a blind corner (at the correct speed limit!) and before I knew it I had rammed in to the back of a truck that was stopped for the school bus on the opposite side of the street. Luckily the truck was barely damaged and my car wasn’t too bad, but regardless, I started weeping. The guy got out of the other car and told me, “It’s okay. Don’t worry, it will be fine,” but of course I continued to sob uncontrollably. This was probably about 6 months after I got my license and I was really torn up. Luckily I recovered and every accident in the 5 years since then have all been other peoples’ faults!

  • Thealogian
    July 20, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Okay, this isn’t really woeful–but somewhat self esteem eclipsing. I was literally moving out of California one day after my 16th birthday, so I only had one shot at passing the driver’s test (yeah, I could take it in my new state, but they a few different requirements, etc.). Anyway, so I go on my Sweet Sixteen and I pass the test (yay), the one criticism by the evaluator was that I drove a bit slow in the downtown area where, yes the speed limit is only 35, but people generally go faster, so go at least 40. Strange, a driving evaluator telling me to break the law–well, it turns out, although I did pass and I got my license, I was not evaluated by a professional evaluator, but rather one of the DMV secretaries because there was a flu going around and there were no actual evaluators available to administer my test. So, in essence, I’ve never really actually had to pass a driver’s road test and my family likes to tease me about this to this day.

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine
    July 20, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Damn, that sucks. $1900? On top of the price of the car? It really sucks.

    Don’t have any true horror stories besides the waiting in line for three hours kind. Boring.

  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat)
    July 20, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I’ve got stiff competition here! The DMV really does suck I guess πŸ™‚

    This story is more my stupidity vs. the DMV’s. When I went to the bank to open an account, the guy wanted to see my driver’s license. I handed him it to him. He sat there shaking his head and said it was expired. I responded with, ‘So? If the police stop me, I’m okay as long as I’m in the system, right?’ The guy was like ‘Ummm no, it’s e-x-p-i-r-e-d. You must go there immediately. When are you going back to school (post spring break)?’ ‘Umm in 2 hours.’ ‘No you’re not.’

    So I had to go the DMV, but because it had been over a year BY ONE DAY I had to wait until the next monday to not only take the written test but also the driving test. I had to wake up at the butt crack of dawn to take the test and drive back to school….I arrived 10 min. before class!

  • Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf
    July 20, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I don’t have interesting DMV stories except waiting in line for hours (Texas doesn’t require drivers tests and registration only costs about $50-$100), but I do have three interesting driving stories.

    1) I was 6 years old. We were on our way to Branson, MO (from Ft Worth, TX). Our family car broke down somewhere in Oklahoma. Strangers picked us up and we spent the next few days in a hotel. MEANWHILE. I come down with the chicken pox, and it comes with a FURY! So we end up spending all our vacation money getting the car repaired and staying in a Best Western in nowheresville, OK while I find my only comfort in the hotel swimming pool. Branson has never happened to this day.

    2) I was 15. Friend and I were leaving a concert and it was somewhere in the realm of 1AM. We can’t get the car to start. Apparently the friend left the headlights on and ran down the battery. Someone jumps the car for us and we hit the road. Several minutes later we get pulled over. Apparently the smart one driving the car who had previously left the headlights on had failed to turn them BACK on when driving. At 1AM. While passing a policeman. Police thinks that this friend may be drunk (and honestly, he never drove well anyway), and makes him take several sobriety tests (he’s wearing a D.A.R.E. tshirt, too!). I sit alone in the car. Friend and police officer return and the cop instructs me, the 15-year-old with only a learners permit, to drive the car home. We acquiesce and the cop leaves. Then we realize: I can’t drive a stick. So we call the parents at 1AM to come pick us up on the other side of town, while we wait there quietly, patiently, and awkwardly.

    3. It was last December. We were heading out of town the day after Christmas to visit family in El Paso. It was somewhere in the realm of 5 AM and the temperature outside was somewhere in the single-digits. We barely get out of town when one of my tires EXPLODES. The husband mutters words he knows I don’t appreciate and proceeds to spend the next 15 minutes putting the donut on the car. Like I said, it’s 5 AM and nothing is open. Nothing will be open for HOOOOURS. We drive 50 mph on a 70mph interstate for three hours until we finally get to a town in New Mexico at just the right time for a tire store to be open.

  • Lindsay
    July 20, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Oy! That stinks! My story: I failed my first drivers test when I turned 17. That was so embarassing because I had to go back to school that same day where all my friends were so excited to congratulate me – they had even gotten me balloons. My mom would not let me stay home for the rest of the day. I can distinctly remember crying to my AP History teacher. I was crushed. Recently, I almost didn’t pass inspection because my rear windshield wiper was not up to inspection standards. I had to talk my way out of that one…didn’t seem fair that I could fail for something that not even all cars have!!!

  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat)
    July 20, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Oh I had driven thousands of miles back and forth to and form school for that entire year with an expired license!!

  • JenniferfromLaJolla
    July 20, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Oh, I feel for you! Thankfully, we were warned about this by our attorney a year before we moved to California from Georgia. Didn’t really matter because taxes in Fulton County (Atlanta) were high too–so we paid–but only once, thankfully. The California driver’s test is no joke. I studied my behind off and proudly scored 100.

  • Julie P
    July 20, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    I can’t stand the DMV!

    Back in June, a girl friend and I had a trip to Savannah planned. Well, the day before we were leaving, the security guard at the liquor store informs me that my license plate and inspection are both expired (in April). I have the worst luck ever so I knew I had to get this fixed prior to the trip. Even better was that 2 days prior I had my oil changed and they didn’t notice. So I manage to get my inspection done the next morning and then left work early to go to the DMV. Wait in line FOREVER, only to be told there’s a tax block on my tag and they can’t renew it. I went outside and about 10 phone calls later paid the $5 I somehow owed and had the tax block removed. Then back in the DMV, stand in line forever, and finally get my tag renewed…just in time to head to Savannah!!!!!!

  • Sarah
    July 20, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    i despise the dmv. i think that if the employees weren’t mean people before they work there, they become that [at least at work] because of baaaaaaaad policies, customers, and management. oh government. my biggest horror story involves the new car my husband & i purchased in dec. long story short- we go to the dmv in early jan because we both need new licenses (we moved) and a real license plate. husband gets his license (after waiting 1.5 hrs), but because my name isn’t on enough of the bills, i can’t prove my address (even though his is sufficient, and our names are on things jointly) so i have to come back. but that’s not all. apparently the paperwork for our new car wasn’t right and so we can’t get our license plate… aka the dealership screwed up and we were penalized. i had to go back a week later and wait another couple hrs to get everything taken care of. ugh… but at least you got everything figured out!

  • Ella
    July 20, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    1900 dollars?! Jesus Christ!! I’m sorry girl. I hate the DMV too, when I went out for my license when I turned 16 I hit the cop car. I was on the parallel parking part of the test and I hit the cruiser. Yup. Needless to say I didn’t get my license hahahaha…..Oh well, I did on the second try!

  • Kristen
    July 20, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Welll…I got my original driver’s license in Florida…where you don’t have to parallel park for a driver’s test (at least you didn’t (gulp)12 years ago)so I get my license and go about my life. Until I move to Indiana, forget to renew my license in time, and have to take the driving portion of the test again right along all of the first time 16 year olds and I FAIL because I don’t know how to parallel park. Soooo embarrassing!

  • Nadine
    July 20, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    No DMV stories, but Delaware has a similar tax for newer vehicles. I used my parents address in Pennsylvania as a “permanent” address to avoid the tax. (This occurred in the year 2000, so I feel confident that the DE state officials will not come after me now….)

    Here’s a good driving story:
    I was driving home on a four lane highway in the dark, in pouring rain. Just as a passed a huge truck, my windshield wipers got tangle up and stuck together! I couldn’t see, cement barrier on my left and 18-wheel truck on my right…. Eventually I was able to blindly pull over on the left and pry the wipers a part. I drove home with one wiper pulled up (like you were washing the windows) and the right side working normallly. It was hell. I stopped half way home to untangle again, and some random guy tried to sell me knock off perfume in a parking lot. In the pouring rain with whacked out wipers, no, I don’t need your cheap ass perfume.

  • Angie
    July 20, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Not too bad of an experience, but the DMV person kept taking my photo because I was apparently smiling weird. It was an odd, DMV-like photo shoot.

    I want cookies πŸ™‚

  • Jen
    July 20, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I FAILED my behind the wheel test 3 times! Pretty sure I traumatized a few instructors and myself as well.

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg
    July 20, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Ohhhhh, I feel your pain. When I was 20, for CofC spring break, I took a trip home to Louisiana with some friends– we were going to Mardi Gras. It was everything you can imagine– drinks, beads, nudity (kidding!), more drinks, still more drinks, etc. ‘Twas a great time. Until the ride home. I’ve always had a bit of a speeding problem, and we were eager to get back to Charleston in record time. So, somewhere in East Jesus, Georgia (actually, I think it was Crawfordsville), I got pulled over. For going 100 in a 70. Whoops.

    Trust me when I say I abide by all speeding laws now. I promise. I got a HUGE ticket, paid it on time, and promised never to speed again.

    Anyway, fast forward 4 years. I’ve graduated from college, moved from South Caroline to Indiana for grad school, and need to get my license renewed. I’m a bit attached to my Louisiana roots, so, not wanting to get an Indiana license, I wait until I’m home at Thanksgiving to go to the Louisiana DMV. I make my way to the front of the line, take the eye exam, yada, yada, yada. Things are coming to the end and I’m about to be done, when the DMV man squints and looks at the computer. “Have you ever gotten pulled over in Georgia?” he asks. My heart starts beating quickly– yes, I tell him, a long time ago, but I paid my ticket! He shakes his head– “You paid the state ticket, but not the city ticket.”

    Apparently there had been a second ticket that I had never gotten (swear!!), and the city of Crawfordsville had been upping the billage on it for YEARS!!! By the time I found out about it, I owed over $2000.00, and the guy said that I was lucky they didn’t have a warrant out for my arrest!!!

    To try to make this already long story short, it took me over four months and countless trips home to Louisiana (from Indiana!!) to get my license renewed. I had to take an 8 hour defensive driving course AND log 20 hours of community service, all because of a ticket that I never got. Every time I’d think I was done, there would be another hoop I’d have to jump through. Oh, and I also definitely had to pay the 2 grand. On my graduate student salary.

    Okay, I just got really fired up telling this story again. so anyway, yeah, I totally feel your pain. πŸ™ Hope it all works out in the end!!!

    And I totally think you might meet LiLo if you have to go to jail. Although– is that really a good thing? πŸ™‚

  • Elise
    July 20, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    I’m soon going to have to deal with the California DMV. I hope I don’t have the same problems — you’ve made me quite nervous…

    As for the DMV…my horror story goes back to my 16th birthday when I got my license even though I failed parallel parking: I hit the cone in front and the curb multiple times and finally the tester sternly said to me, “just get out of it without hitting any more cones.” I’m pretty sure he only gave me my license as I was in hysterics and hyperventilating in the car when he told me to pull into the parking lot immediately after I got out. I’ve never stepped in the DMV since — I go to license centers to renew. I now can’t WAIT to go to the DMV in California. (laced with sarcasm.) Any pointers?

    • Rach
      July 20, 2010 at 2:10 pm

      Make an appointment on the CA DMV website! I know in San Diego it’s usually booked up a month ahead of time but if you’re able to wait a month or so to go it will save you hours and a lot of stress.

  • Lucy
    July 20, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    OMG, I just had this happen! I waited the obligatory hour and a half because I had to get a new picture. I finally get to the counter, provide my paperwork and get my picture taken. I receive my new license and am told the cost. I provide the money in cash and am expecting change. The clerk said that the money I provided was for the service PLUS gratuity. No, she was not kidding, apparently the clerks accept tips? WTF, who has ever heard of such a thing. Bottom line, I have to wait until the end of the day until she counts her drawer so I can receive my money back, plus all the employees are staring me down like I’m a cheapskate…is that not cookie worthy, I ask you?

  • steph
    July 20, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    California driving is INSANE, especially in LA… I was driving the little girl I nanny for to school and as I was approaching a red light, I saw a huge van behind me not slowing at all….I knew they were going to hit me so I ran the light and the van slammed its breaks- they would have for sure rear ended us if I didn’t run the light. Annnnd sure enough, 2 weeks later I got a red light ticket for $550 in the mail!!! YES $550. Of course, they got me running the light on camera, but I couldn’t prove that the van behind us was going to nail my bumper!! There was no way around it, I had to pay the ticket πŸ™ Makes me want to take the bus…well almost, LA doesn’t have public transportation down either!!

  • megs
    July 20, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    I was so excited to get my very first license at 16 years old… I waited eagerly for it to arrive in the mail. The day it arrived I was so excited … until I took a closer look and it said I was a male. Needless to say, I drove around as gender confused 16 year old until I had it changed…

    I dread the DMV like I dread jury duty.

  • sarah
    July 20, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    i went to the DMV to change my last name after i got married. I brought my marriage license…but after waiting in line for an hour during my lunch break, the person at the counter told me that my marriage license “wasn’t the right one.” I asked what she meant because this was the ONLY license I had, and she said, “I don’t know what it is called, but you need to bring me the yellow one.” Um, what? I said “the YELLOW one? how am I supposed to figure out what that is without its name? What is it called?” She said it was called a marriage license. I said, “but that is what this one is called!! see, look here!! Marriage License!” But she wouldn’t take it because it wasn’t yellow. I eventually tracked down the yellow one at the courthouse… Same info, different format. UGH.

  • andrenna
    July 20, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    This is a long story, but here goes. So one day I’m driving along in my old car, Judy Jetta, and I get pulled over for having a tail light out. Earlier in the day, I had sushi and sake. When I went to sushi, I walked because I live close and I knew I’d be drinking. Hours later, I decided I needed a coffee so I drove to the nearest coffee place. That’s when I was pulled over. The cops asked me if I had been drinking, and because I’m an (honest) idiot, I said I had sake earlier that day with dinner. The cops pulled me out of the car and made me do a sobriety test. Several sobriety tests. All of which I passed perfectly. They told me I stank like whiskey. It hurt. I mean, I’m a nice girl. I just graduated from law school and I was an Army Reservist. They could have been nicer. They ended up giving me a ticket for not having my license on me and for that tail light being out.

    I just moved to California from Austin, Texas and I didn’t have a California license yet. I was determined to take care of business and get these tickets taken care of. I called the DMV to find out what I needed to get my California license. I followed all the instructions and promptly showed up at the DMV. When I got there, it was a completely different story. They said I would have to wait a month for a driving test! I had a court date for the tail light and I needed that license!! I started crying. Somehow, they managed to squeeze in my driving test (which I almost failed because I was so upset!!!!). I have the worst driver’s license photo because I had been crying through the whole experience. I can’t help but think of that day every time I’m ID’ed.

  • Dorry
    July 20, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Nooo! So sorry. I am just like you in that i have to let financial news like that sit with me for a while…plotting ways to get out of it (now I’m marrying a lawyer – eek!)…ultimately swallowing the pain and making the payment. At least you are legal!! That would have cost you a lot more $$ in the long run.

  • Linds
    July 20, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Oh NOOOO Jenna!!!!! Horrible!!!
    I’ve had a few great times with both the DMV and the car dealership itself…. You see, I am a dual citizen (Canadian and American) and I just moved to the US 6 months or so ago and recently decided that it was time to take the plunge and purchase that first automobile!!!! However, thinking like a Canadian, I figured that all that lovely credit I had accumulated in Canada would serve me just fine in the USA. FAIL. First bad move, I give the dealership my Canadian SIN (equivalent to SSN) and they promise to search that number and get me approved to purchase that car. They have a deal for 0% financing going on for those with approved credit that only lasts for the month, so I’m thinking ‘perfect! I shall get approved and then save so much money on my car, because they ALSO are offering $1000 off to recent college grads!!!’ Well there’s fail #2, it takes a whole month of tears and them not returning my calls before I find out that no, Canadian credit will not allow you to be approved for financing in the US, and do you have any US relatives who could co-sign for you? Oh also you didn’t go to school in the US so NO you do not get $1000 off this car either. It would have been nice to have been forewarned of this. Anyway, to make a painful story short, Grandma from USA wound up co-signing for me but it was after the 0% financing window. Sooo I miss out on all promised discounts. They tell me I could get $500 back as an apology for all the trouble they put me through, which, by the end of it all wound up being 5 free oil changes. I was not a happy girl.

    Then converting my license from Canadian to US, I get to the DMV and they tell me they will NOT under ANY circumstance take my faxed driving record, even though the lady I spoke to on the phone reassured me they would. That’s where my provincial DMV came to the rescue- I called, they had a new record faxed to this US DMV within 5 minutes πŸ™‚ Oh the advantages of being from a small province…. So that tale ends well, however the result is that my driver’s license bears a picture of a very pissed off me.

    Have a great day Jenna!!!!!!! xo

  • Jes
    July 20, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    My worse experience comes from almost not being able to renew my license on my 21st birthday… My mom so wonderfully laminated my social security card (thanks, thats a BIG no-no)… and the lady was like 2 seconds away from not letting me get my license. Until I promised i would get a new card… (I have yet to do so 3 years later…ooops!)
    p.s. the cookies sound Ah-may-zing!

  • Dana
    July 20, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    This didn’t happen in the DMV per se. But it was so stuffy and clautrophobic in there that I went outside for some fresh air. Not 1 minute later, some guy comes outside and pukes 2 feet away from me in a trashcan. (Did I mention I’m a total germaphobe?) So I didn’t get the “fresh air” I wanted.

  • Jen
    July 20, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Wow! $1900? That is ridiculous!!

    My story is nowhere near that bad. When I was first getting my license, I failed the driving test 3 times (but passed the written portion with 100%). On my 3rd attempt, I was leaving the parking lot in a different direction than they usually made us go. I was at a stop sign waiting to turn. However there was a bush on the corner. I couldn’t see around it. So I came to a stop. Waited. Then I rolled forward a little to try and look around the bush to see if it was safe. I was told to drive around the block because I had failed for rolling out into the street without being able to see properly. Apparently X-ray vision is a requirement for passing your drivers test in Washington. Who knew?

  • Conni
    July 20, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    This isn’t a DMV story, but it does have to do with my car, Elliot. I was trying to start my car and it wouldn’t turn over. I called my dad and told him the sound that it was making and he said that I needed a new battery. My dad came over and charged it enough so that we could drive Elliot to Auto Zone. We go in and buy the battery and pop the hood and take the old battery out, then the drama starts. My dad put the battery in and latched it down no problem, but every time he tried to connect the red and black wires Elliot’s alarm system went off. The worker came out and told us we needed the key fob since it has the whole automatic unlock deal. So my mom comes and picks us up and drives us home and we spend 45 minutes turning the house and my bedroom upside down only to remember that it got lost when my sister had the car. So we drive back to Auto Zone and ask the guys if we can leave it there and have it towed to the Honda Dealership in the morning. 9.5 hours, $105.67, 5 million tears, and 3 panic attacks later I have my car back in working condition with the alarm system disabled. It was so stressful. All of that for a car battery!!!!!!!!!!!!

    **I know it wasn’t a DMV story, but it was definitely the biggest car drama I’ve ever had.

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers
    July 20, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    That SUCKS. At least you didn’t pay FL taxes though– I had to pay MD taxes on mine to get my mom off my registration when I moved to NC, then had to turn around and pay the NC taxes when I registered it there. Stupid DMV system.

  • Jackie
    July 20, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    omg now im so scared. i have no dmv horror stories- yet! but i’m only 16. i turn 17 on saturday and take my driving test then and reading all these stories about people failing has not helped me! ahh i need some cookies haha.

  • Therese
    July 20, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Aren’t all DMV stories horror stories? I moved to Kansas last fall and didn’t get around to the DMV thing until this spring. First I waited 30 minutes in line, only to be told that I needed my emissions test.

    I drove around, spent an hour waiting for my state inspection, drove back to the DMV, waited in line again, and was told that I needed Kansas car insurance and my Texas insurance wouldn’t suffice even though it was up to date! Why they couldn’t tell me that the first time when I plopped all my papers on the counter, I have no idea. At that point I quit and went home.

    I’m avoiding going back… and I still have a Texas license plate.

  • Michelle
    July 20, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    I can SO relate… I had just moved from NH to Mass and the same thing happened to me! I bought my condo and had everything lined up to register my car and was so proud of doing it all on my own and being an independent woman. So when I went to the DMV to register, the lady told me I would be paying $800 because of the sales tax issue. I left in tears and called my new boyfriend (now my husband) and blubbered like an idiot about how much I hated the state of Massachusetts. “So, if I buy clothes in New Hampshire and wear them in Mass, do I have to pay someone the tax I didn’t pay in NH? This is so stupid! Waaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!”. Unlike you, I decided to take the rebel route which ended up being very stressful and stupid… Until I moved back to New Hampshire, and everything’s better. Except that we’re moving back to Mass in the fall… oh boy.

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    July 20, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    I just got my first car in VA (previously I owned cars in PA, MD, and MA) and found out that we have to pay tax on the car, too. Hm woulda been good to know when we bought it. No other state I’ve lived in has done this. Ugh, taxes suck.

  • Alicia
    July 20, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Last Jan. 20 when I took the day off of work in remembrance of my father who passed away the previous year was the second to worst day in my life! I took off work and was going to take a nice relaxing spa/mani/pedi day. I was pulled over on the way to the spa and apparently my license was suspended because I moved but failed to update my address and I had 3 unpaid tickets, but I swore I paid them online. (I later found out they didnt come up in the system because the officer spelled my plates wrong on the ticket!) So I got my physical ID taken away and I had to abandom my car and wasnt even allowed to move it to a safe place. Began sobbing. I took a taxi (about $20 bucks) to the DMV, waited in line for 4 hours (sobbing), was told that my pay-by-phone ticket payments ($350!) did not go through their system (I had a confirmation number but they didnt care…why confirm? why?!) So, I had to take a taxi back to my house ($25)…saw on the way back home that my car was no longer there abandoned on the side of the road, (began sobbing again) found out it was towed and waiting in a lot ($150) and had to go back to the DMV the next morning. I got a ride from my BFF in the am ($0!) and waited in line for 2 hrs. (Began sobbing once they called my name and became convinced they were making fun of me at the counter for crying) I finally got my photo taken and it is obvious that I’ve been crying in it ($30). Then had to take a taxi from the DMV to the tow lot ($20) get my car out ($150) and finally got into work 4 hrs later and $500 poorer.

  • Jessie
    July 20, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    My horrible DMV story was that I got a letter in the mail telling me that my driving privileges for the State of Wisconsin had been revoked. My parents were divorced when I got my license and my mom signed for me to get my probationary license. After I moved in with my dad she was angry and decided to revoke her permission with the DMV without telling me. I had to start over with my probationary license and my driving record shows that my license was cancelled. I love cookies!

  • Bridget
    July 20, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Wow – brutal! That blows. Here is my driving tale of woe. Sept 2009: spent $3,000 on necessary car maintenance. Dec 2009: got in a car accident that was not worth repairing and bought a new car. Two weeks later: a xmas tree fell off the top of another car while driving on the highway and smashed up the front bumper of my new car…..I’m not paying to fix this one! So now I drive my dented car with pride πŸ™‚

  • alex
    July 20, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Last week I received 3 tickets from DPT(one per day, 3 days in a row!) for things that were out of my control. Ex: some a**hole decided to tear off my TABS on my license plate(2 tickets for that, each $65), so I had to head to the DMV and pay $18 for new ones, and now am disputing those tickets, but just to dispute them its $10 each! And my other ticket was because(even though I paid the $96 already and the DMV cashed the check already) my residential parking permit was expired… and the a**holes hadn’t sent me a new one! So there goes another $10 to dispute! All in all, last week cost me $48, and wasted time in line.
    I know I know, it doesn’t compare to $1900, but I just HATE paying for things that aren’t my fault! Argh! I feel your pain!

  • Erin
    July 20, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Oh, this is funny because I had one just recently:

    Two years ago I bought a new car and gave my old Honda to my brother to drive while he was in California at film school for a year. The car was always registered and titled to me. He drove it out to California (I live in NC), drove it all around CA for a year and then when he left CA to go to NYC for college, left the car there. He didn’t want to drive it back across the country and his apartment manager was supposed to buy it but didn’t have the money just then. Ok – not much I can do but I’m not that happy. I get him to bring me the license tag and I turn it in to the NC DMV so I can take the car off insurance.

    Fast forward a year – the car is STILL in CA and no one has bought it. So its just been sitting. My brother plans to go out there for a few weeks to finish a film and I tell him in no uncertain terms that he has to do SOMETHING with the car. It can’t just sit and rot. Sell it, give it away, whatever. I just can’t have a car in California with my name on it anymore!

    So, I go to the DMV here with the intention of re-registering the car in North Carolina and getting a tag for it so its driveable. I put the car back on insurance, I go to the DMV, pay my $75 and THEN the woman tells me that I can’t get a tag unless the car is inspected. And where is the car?!? In California! I can’t get a tag unless it’s inspected and I can’t get it inspected because it’s across the country.

    I really had no clue how I was going to be able to fix this – can’t exactly beam the car from California and no way was I going to ship it. Luckily, my brother’s apartment manager IS still going to buy it and so I got the titled notarized with my signature so the car can be sold to him immediately and re-titled in California, sent it to him and he’s in charge now. I am SO ready to have that car out of my name and not be my responsibility anymore!

  • Kt.
    July 20, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Wasn’t mine but my daughter’s she’s from Florida so hills are not her specialty. She drove from G-ville up to FSU to visit some friends for the weekend, she called early on a Saturday morning, I heard my husband ask, “are you okay”, she had gone up the only hill at FSU and couldn’t see the other side, and that cars were stopped, it had been raining and she crashed into the car in front of her, Dad said count to 10, she did, he asked if the other driver was okay, she said yes, but then proceeded to tell us, that that car hit another car and that car hit another car, 4 cars in total, Dad then said, okay, I’m now going to count to 10. Thank goodness everyone was fine, 4 years later we still tell this story, but now we laugh….

  • Courtney
    July 20, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    I went to renew my expired license a few weeks ago. I had my 8 year old, my 2 year old and my 4 week old with me. I had to wait in line (obviously) and when I finally got up there, they told me they didn’t take debit cards..which is all I had. She said they had an ATM I could get the money out with. So I walked down the hall and the ATM was broke. I then had to take all 3 of my kiddos with me and walk across the street to get money from my bank. I then had to walk back to the DMV and wait in another line. I was exhausted when I was done!

  • Laine
    July 20, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    I had to take a written driving test when I moved to CA, and the guy started using the wrong answer key to score it so it looked like I was failing. Luckily, I was standing over him and pointed out that he was doing it wrong.

  • Beth
    July 20, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    My license had expired so I went early the next day to get a new one. Unfortunately, it was pouring outside so I knew my hair would be a mess, but I was just to thankful to get a new license that I wasn’t going to be vain. However, I was wearing white and you can see right through my shirt in the license photo. I didn’t notice until I got home and couldnt’ believe it! Oh well, maybe it will help to get me out of speeding tickets πŸ™‚

  • Anya @ Fitness & Sunshine
    July 20, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    I also like to cook when I’m not feeling that great. πŸ™‚

    I was once driving and approaching a red light, so I stepped on the brake a bit to slow down my car. Except, my car JUMPED forward. It was only a millisecond but I freaked out and thought “I must be pressing the wrong pedal, better press the other one”. Which I did, and then it sped forward. I kept switching between the two pedals but finally managed to stop like one inch before the car in front of me. It was so scary!

  • Katherine @ Left Coast Contessa
    July 20, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    I actually failed my first drivers test out here. I failed because I didn’t merge into a bike lane before making a right hand turn and it was an automatic fail. I had to drive back to the DMV, hang my head in shame and tell everyone that I had failed. Who knew that you had to merge into a bike lane? Really Santa Monica.. why!?

    Also, once when I was 15 my mother was banned from a DMV. My brother was trying to get a state id and they were requiring more proof of identity than my mother thought was necessary (also complicating the situation was the fact that my mother kept her last name, thus my bro and I have different last names from hers). She threw an epic fit when they wanted to see her ID. Turns out she didn’t even have her ID on her. Then we were politely asked to leave.

    Don’t go to jail. Main reason: The food would be bad.

  • Diana
    July 20, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    The same thing happened to me!! (Well almost). I went to register my car after moving from NY to PA and first when I tried to get my new license they sent me home to scrounge up a piece of junk mail because I didn’t bring enough proof of my current address. Then when I got back and tried to register they told me that I didn’t have the right documentation that I paid tax in NY (which I did do). I had to drive around with a PA drivers license and insurance for a few weeks hoping I didn’t get stopped by a cop while my mom went back to the dealer we bought the car from in NY to get the one piece of paper they needed. THEN I went back to the original place and they still wouldn’t give me the registration. Instead, they told me to go to a different location (apparently the license place biz in PA is privatized) and the guy there finally gave me my plates. Sounds a little sketchy but no one has confiscated me or my car (yet). Anyway, there were definitely some tears involved and then lots of wine and chocolate to make it all better. So I feel your pain!! At least it’s over πŸ™‚

  • Natalie
    July 20, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Ouch, that price tag hurts!

    In college, I was driving home in the wee hours of the morning and got stopped for rolling through a stop sign. The officer found I had (unbeknownst to me) been driving with an expired license for 6 months and was going to make my roommates and I walk home. In the end he had mercy on us and just wrote me a ticket and allowed my roommate to drive us home.

  • Molly @FuelHerUp
    July 20, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    That sucks! I’m so sorry!

    My story is that when I went to take my driver’s test, I took the car that was going to be my car- the car that was our farm car. Little did I know that the last time I had used the car, I had ridden in the passenger seat, after riding my horse bareback, and had left a whole bunch of horse hair on the seat.

    The guy, who was wearing aviator sunglasses and probably 60-70 pounds overweight, yelled at me for the hair, about how much his laundry cost, about how no one appreciated him. I apologized, scared to death. Then he stood over my shoulder while I kneeled on the ground and removed every single hair. I went back to the drivers side. I kid you not, he said, “You forgot one.” I went back around, picked up the single hair left on the seat, apologized again, and he said, “If you apologize to me one more time, I will fail you.”

    I was completely scared out of my wits, but I managed to pass by literally driving flawlessly.

    Why do they hire mean people to work at the DMV when they know it requires interaction with people?!?!?!

  • S @
    July 20, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    longest. comments. ever. Good stories, everyone!

  • Jocelyn
    July 20, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Ugh, I hate the DMV, it is a terrible place! My story isn’t as bad as yours, but it was somewhat traumatizing at age 16.

    So, when I made the appointment for my behind-the-wheel driver’s test, to get my license for the first time, I didn’t realize that you had to make a different kind of appointment for the behind the wheel test. Turns out, when I got to the DMV, I couldn’t take the test because I had made an appointment for the written test.

    Since both my parents’ cars were manual transmission, and I didn’t want to take the test on a stick, I was using my aunt’s car for the test. So she had to miss work, again, so that she could take me to the DMV the second time. Also, I was missing school so that I could take the test, so I had to miss class again to take the test the second time. And I had to go back to school and tell everyone that I hadn’t gotten my driver’s license!

  • lz
    July 20, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    I was planning on getting my learner’s permit last fall – I had studied for the test extensively and everything. When I got to the DMV office, they looked at my paperwork and ID and said that I couldn’t take the permit test because I didn’t have an updated fingerprint on my permanent resident card.
    So much for that. Dejected, I contacted the state ID office to schedule a fingerprinting date… the earliest one was two months away.
    So two months I waited. And then I had to wait three more months before my updated permanent resident card came in the mail. By that time, there wasn’t going to be much of a benefit in getting a permit anyways (because you can’t get a license until 6+ months of having a permit), so I’m dispensing with the permit concept and just waiting until I turn 18 to get my license.
    Blah CT licensing policies.

  • Jen
    July 20, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    UGGGH, the DMV. My worst was the first time I had to register a car. The place that I was living had the DMV and City Hall in seperate offices, nowhere near each other, with little to no parking for each. Registering the car involved going to the DMV, waiting in line, being told that I needed to get X document from City Hall, going to City Hall, waiting in line, getting X document, going back to the DMV, waiting in line, being told I needed Y document from City Hall, going back to City Hall… you get the picture. I spent about 6 hours of my life that day bopping between the two locations. This experience made the $600 I had to pay to register my many-years-old car in Vermont after not paying sales tax in New Hampshire seem like a delicious spoonful of almond butter!

  • Sarah L
    July 20, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    We recently bought a used car. We went to the DMV to get the new title. They said that the dealership that sold us the car wasn’t actually a dealership and they couldn’t give us the title. We contacted the dealership and they told us to meet a rep at a different DMV. Turns out DMV #1 was just wrong. It was a long, frustrating afternoon. πŸ™ Your story is worse, but I agree that almost any interaction involving the DMV is frustrating!

  • Nadine
    July 20, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    So sorry, but can’t wait to see the EPIC dinner.

    My DMV experience also involves changing my name after getting married. Long story short, 4th time was a charm. I had incorrect paperwork to prove that I was an NYC resident. Second time I had incorrect paperwork to prove my new legal name (thanks social security). Third time DMV was closed (oopsie for not checking). And 4th time FINALLY got it. I think you can see my triumphant glow in the picture. Either that or the glow from the 90 degree plus humidity that I faced to get to the DMV! Compound that with the waiting, ‘friendly’ clerks, crazy NYers at the DMV, and no a/c=me happy it’s at least 5 years between licenses. Which reminds me, I need to renew next year. Uh oh!

  • ruby red
    July 20, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    That is soooooooo not right!! How can they charge you that?? I have a few driving tales of woe. One, I was backing my car out of my parents’ garage, and I have really bad depth perception (because one of my eyes is really dominant) and my side mirror hit the garage exit-wall. I panicked, and instead of stopping, I kept gassing it and decided to finish the breakage and tear the entire mirror off instead of pulling up and trying again. We do such silly things in moments of pressure…
    Two, I had a really rude girl in my driver’s ed car with me. Somehow I drove us into a ditch on my second time driving and she wouldn’t stop making fun of me for it. It really wasn’t that bad, but I got the last laugh… On parallel parking day, the rude girl hit and knocked over both of the practice poles to the front & rear of the car, while I parked perfectly. =)

  • Robin
    July 20, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    The CA DMV is awful, I feel for you.
    For 8 years I walked around with a license picture that made me look like a fat little boy. When my future in-laws saw the picture they teased me mercilessly until I finally went back to the DMV just to get a new picture taken.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes)
    July 20, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Hunni had to renew his drivers license right around the time we were going to get married. We were in NY attending seminary and he had an old Ohio license. So we go and sit in all the lines only to find out he doesn’t have his birth certificate with him which apparently was required. We call his mom and she doesn’t have it. So we had to call the hospital in Massachusetts to get a certified copy sent to us so we can go back. Turns out on his birth certificate his name is spelled wrong because his dad never learned to write (he was born in 1920).

    After sitting in the lines again NY DMV won’t issue the new license with the name he had used for 30 years without a legal name change. And without a license we couldn’t get married. So we had to pay $275 in court fees, $90 to publish it in the paper, and wait 6 weeks before the name change was official. Then we could finally go back to the DMV and sit in all the lines again to get a license with the correct last name on it. And then immediately go get our marriage certificate. Needless to say by the end of it we knew how to fill out the paperwork perfectly and our last name isn’t Crawson.

    I think the funniest part is that about 3 months later we moved to MA to start our new jobs and so we took ALL the paper work with us in addition to his NY license and they didn’t need any of it…just the old license πŸ™‚

  • Daisy
    July 20, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    I am not sure any of my annoying rants about the DMV here in MA can top your horrible awful painstaking DMV experience in the otherwise fantastic state of californ-i-a. those meals and views come with a pricetag. sheesh!

  • Amber K
    July 20, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    The worst thing was getting into an accident one week after getting my license. I was turning left and there were no cars coming. However, when my turn was almost complete a car come FLYING down the hill and when they saw me instead of hitting the brake, they gunned it and slamed into the tail end of my car.

    The worst part, was that the police officers did the report wrong and said she hit the front of my car, told me I’d seen her coming and tried to go anyway, and seemed to listen to everything she said since I was a teenager and she was middle-aged.

    I was so shaken up I didn’t even realize it until I read the report a couple of days later. It was my senior year of high school and I couldn’t take any days off to fight it in court so I had to pay I don’t even remember how much money, for something that was not completely my fault!

  • Gabrielle - In An Envelope
    July 20, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Okay girl, put your feet up for this one.

    I moved from VA to CA last year. My car, which was registered in VA did not come out with me. Instead, I parked it in my parents’ driveway in good ol’ Pennsylvania. Out in the country. Not a single way to get damaged by city life. It lived there while we figured out the best way to move forward (sell it, ship it, etc). I moved in May and in September, I get a call from my VA insurance company saying I needed to either prove it was registered in VA or get a new insurance policy in PA. Since I didn’t have an address for the VA, we decided to go forward selling it. Some one was interested and my parents were getting it ready for them to look at. Then the call came, a voicemail message from my mother saying I needed to call my dad, he needed to talk to me.
    I FREAKED out thinking I DID SOMETHING WRONG. I call.
    Ring, ring.
    Mom (Super serious tone): “Are you calling back?”
    Me (staring at the phone confused): “Yes…”
    Mom (Serious tone still): “Here’s your father.”
    Dad (In his european accent): “VELL, it looks like ve may not need to sell your car after all.”
    Me (nervous, hesitant): “Okayyy… why is that..”
    Dad (continued): “Vell, your car may or may not be totaled”
    Me (thinking oh my God, he crashed the car when he went to wash it or something): “Uhh… what happened?”
    Dad (continued): “Vell, I be cutting some trees down in the driveway. And wouldn’t you know it, the next thing I know, the son of a bitch is falling straight at your car.”
    Me (helpless. 3,000 miles away): *nothing.* *crickets*

    We call the insurance companies and get it all situated. Meanwhile my mother is screaming and crying. My 4 year old niece is chasing her around the house yelling “Nana! CALM DOWN! Papa is just going to have to pay Aunt G the 5 dollars to get her car fixed”. The car was beyond $5, clearly. My 8 months pregnant sister is in panic that my niece is there with a hysterical grandma and a chainsaw happy grandpa. And I’m 3,000 miles away.

    By the way, did I mention I bought this car not even 8 months before this happened, and I had been paying $100/month insurance on it for 6 months while I didn’t even drive it since again, I was 3,000 miles away?

    I miss that car.

  • Cyclist Kate
    July 20, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Hahahahaha, DMV is so ridiculous. It definitely deserves its reputation!

    I had to renew my license in June. The previous time I had gone to the DMV, I found a parking spot immediately, walked in, then walked out with my business completed in less than half an hour. Of course I brought this lovely DMV experience up (and by “bring it up” I mean “gloated about,” like “hm, I don’t know what YOUR problem is, Mr. Crankypants, the DMV isn’t that bad”) any time anybody complained about how hellish the DMV is.

    So, um, yeah.

    I go there last month. Circle the parking lot for over 10 minutes, waiting for a parking spot to open up, seeing people who haven’t had to wait AT ALL swing into the parking spots that had obviously opened up FOR ME. I’m practically raving mad by the time I finally swerve into a spot in front of a cute old couple because my morals and manners apparently go out the window when I’m stuck in a parking lot in the middle of the desert in June.

    Then I walk in and get in line, only to have the “line director lady” call me out and point to the real end of the line…30 people back. The line was so long that they had to make an official break so non-line-involved people could pass through. After standing in line for about five minutes, the creeper in front of me (visualize 40ish year old half bald man with a mullet, beer belly, and wife beater) starts hitting on me, hard. I have my nose buried in a book (my concentration abilities aren’t so amazing that I could actually read in that hellhole, but a book is a useful prop), but this guy DOES NOT CARE. He’s spouting all of this “look what a big, cool man I am” bullsh*t and preening himself and just does understand my pursed mouth, raised eyebrows, and totally uninterested air–apparently my initial “my mama raised me right” friendly nod and smile was enough to encourage him. And lucky me, I got to STAND ON MY FEET in that freaking line for over two hours, no joke, with Mr. Charming, no windows, and the smell of a couple of hundred of people. In Reno. During a heatwave. With no wine to soothe the spirits.

    At least the drivers’ license photo is cute.

  • Dawn
    July 20, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Several years ago, I moved from Ohio to Kentucky. In Ohio, the state sends your title back to the lienholder (i.e., the bank) until you pay the car off and give you a pretend title to hang on to. When I went to get Kentucky plates for my car, they asked for the title. I gave them what I had, and they said, “Oh not that one – the *real* title.” I called the bank and asked them to send the title to the Kentucky DMV and figured I’d go back in a few days.

    Two weeks later, I still hadn’t heard from the Kentucky DMV telling me they had my title. I called them and they claimed they didn’t have it. I called the bank and they claimed they’d sent it. The best part was I’d put off transferring the plates on my car until my Ohio registration was about to expire, so I was down to just a few days left before I was driving on expired plates.

    I wound up going down to the Kentucky DMV and standing there while the girl looked for my title. Happily, it was there (it was just… hiding? I don’t know) and I was able to get my new plates. I’ve sinced moved states several times and never had an experience quite that ridiculous – usually it’s quick and painless.

    I’m glad you got yours sorted out, but that totally stinks about the sales tax – ouch!

  • Betsy
    July 20, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Earlier this summer, I had driven from Madison to Minneapolis round trip, then Madison to Chicago and back, then Madison to Minneapolis, Minneapolis to norther MN, back to Minneapolis and to Madison, then Madison to Chicago, and back to Madison only to drive Madison to Milwaukee and back in a day to pick up a friend. I just reread that, and that is confusing. Basically, too much driving and Bill Bryson on tape. While driving to pick up my friend from the airport, I was seriously in a terrible, terrible place. I loathe driving long distances. The next day I was to drive to Chicago again, and continue to visit friends/figure out my future living situation. I picked up my friend at the Milwaukee airport during rush hour, then continued back to Madison. Finally free of traffic and closing in on Madison, I beginning to come down from my road rage. Driving into the sun was a bit annoying as well, but I chatted away with friend, not realizing the change in speed limit. As you can probably guess, I get pulled over, $188 dollar ticket. Completely my fault, but the insane amount of driving I had done in the past few weeks finally caught up with me. I went home, slept, only to get back on the road the next day to head to Chicago, where I get stuck in traffic for and hour and a half, moving only 7 miles the whole time. Traffic was bumper to bumper, barely crawling along when suddenly, I was rear ended. I had to shout out my phone number to the car that hit me, there was no where to pull over. Long story short, I am utterly sick of driving and having to shell out about $500 total for my car woes.

  • Megan (Braise The Roof)
    July 20, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    When I went to get my first driver’s license when I turned 16, I got there right when they opened in an attempt to avoid the hassle of waiting in line and making myself more nervous. Well, I did manage to beat most of the line but when the instructor went to take me out first I didn’t have the right insurance card with me (it was expired) so I had to get it and return to the back of the line. When he took me out again, he saw that my parents’ car didn’t have a front license plate attached (the guy at the dealership had told them that the car “looked more attractive that way”) so he wouldn’t take me out and I had to go home and SEARCH for the license plate. Once I finally got back and the instructor FINALLY took me out, he hit on me! Ew!! How inappropriate is that?? I passed my test but 10 years later I still have bad memories of that day!

  • Emily @ For Sweets Sake
    July 20, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Everyone’s stories are great! I can’t believe the stuff that happens! Sadly, my Florida experience wasn’t that fun either! This may be a long comment and it’s the quick version: I moved to Florida in August. I was told September 1st car registration fees were going up so we were in a hurry to get everything done, while I was working full-time and getting settled. We went to the courthouse to do a super secret thing, they said I had to be a Florida resident. Over to the DMV we go. I didn’t have my social security card on me, so after an hour of waiting they sent me to the social security place. An hour of waiting there we lost interest, went back to the DMV to beg for forgiveness. They said ok, but you need proof of residency. Over to the realty place to get a copy of paperwork saying I lived in that house. They gave that to us…reality office is the nicest place? who’d have though. Back to DMV, no you need your social security number or proof of it. Back to the social security office. Our original number still hadn’t been called. We cheated. They called in 10 minutes later and we went up to the window. People around us looks furious. We got a quick copy of proof of my social security # and ran. Back to the DMV. another hour wait (we’re now almost 8 hours into this process). FINALLY I get my license. Back to the courthouse. Finally legally “attached” πŸ˜‰ that’s all I’m going to say about that. Next day: Back to the social security, and DMV to get things changed and then to the tax collector. I had a loan on my car. More paperwork to the bank. 2 weeks later. Now we’re a days before the fees get higher. Still more paperwork. Not good enough. Paperwork requried because of our legal attachment situation and the guy being active duty military. Day after the fees go up…finally, my car is registered in Florida. I paid $300 more than I would have the day before. Most stressful, ridiculous month of my life. And now, less than a year later, we’re leaving Florida and I’ll have to do it all over again in another state. Super awesome. I’m pumped.

  • Astar
    July 20, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    I hate the DMV and cars for that matter! My husband must have run something over sometime last week and when he went to fill his tank the other day, all the gas poured out from the bottom of his car! So he drove home and took mine. Halfway to work, MY CAR BRAKES DOWN ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD!!! Talk about a sucky day. Long story short- both cars are getting fixed to the lovely tune of $2000. Can I have a cookie please?

  • Lisa
    July 20, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Oh man! I’d be sobbing too! $1900 is TOO MUCH!! That’s almost as much as I paid for my previous car!

  • Brooke
    July 20, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Oh I have a LIST for YOU!!!!
    1. Lived in Morocco for a yr. in 2006. When I returned I moved to Nashville, TN and found out that my lisense had expired so I had to take the written drivers test. I failed the first time and called my dad sobbing. Passed it the second.
    2. I then bought a car after I had recieved my drivers lisence. When I went to get my plate they told me that there was a Lean on my car title and that I could not get my plate for the car. I left SOBBING AGAIN. I was supposed to go visit my now husband in Kansas City, but couldnt drive my new car so I had to borrow a friends.
    3. My current job requires me to get my CDL lisence and so I went to take the test a couple months ago and they said that I didnt have enough forms of ID. (after I had been there and hour)
    4. I went back a second time with the “right” forms of identification and they said that my husband would have to be present since our bills were in his name!!! WHAT?!?
    5. After I registered for a new voting card I finally had all I needed without dragging my husband with me and I DIDNT PASS THE TEST! Sooooooo
    6. I have to go back in two weeks and sit in the dirty, busy, smelly, DMV again and take the test for the second time!


  • Anne
    July 20, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    the boy
    the boyfriend

  • Molly
    July 20, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Not a DMV story but, I ran out of gas on the way to the gas station and pushed my car (without power steering, mind you) down the road and across traffic into the gas station… When I got into the parking lot I had to go inside and ask for help pushing the car up the little hill to the pump. Not my best day.

  • Midgetkeeper
    July 20, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    I called the DMV in TX (my Husband is stationed in RI) what I needed to about renewing my license in another state. They informed me that my driver’s license is suspended, for unpaid tickets since 2003!!!

    Um what the hell, I had no clue. I was never informed, not to mention I had paid the tickets for inspired inspection the day after I got the tickets.

    Of course they wouldn’t take my word for it unless I could prove it with a receipt, because they don’t mess up! HAH!!! After nearly 2 weeks of me hounding them about this we had to settle in my paying $475 instead of $1800 BUT still. I never should have had to pay πŸ™

  • Cyndi
    July 20, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    oh man. So I am 21 years old, a month away from graduating college and entering adulthood and I buy myself a brand new pretty blue car to replace my old beater. I mean, it was so beat I actually left it running in the dealer’s parking lot when I traded it in (for less than $500). Not one week later I am driving home from work around midnight in the pouring rain and hydroplaned, wrapping my car around a light post and totaling it!!! The upside? The car was so new, it didn’t depreciate! The downside? With a broken wrist and ankle I couldn’t drive a new one for months!

  • Alyssa
    July 20, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Five days after I moved from NY to MD someone broke into my house and stole my wallet with my ID and SS card (I know, I know, you are not supposed to keep it in there). So, basically I was stuck in a state where I knew no one, had no ID, no local bank account (hadn’t switched that yet!) so therefore no access to any of my money. I’ll spare the details but it took MANY trips to various Maryland MVAs, MANY hours spent calling and on hold with NY DMV, and many tears before I finally had a new license. I would have just driven to NY and got a new one there and then just converted it later, but, oh ya, I couldn’t afford any gas because I couldn’t get to any of my money. That was a special time. Oh, and I had to pay an astronomical amount to register my car here for a similar reason to yours. Glad you are an official CA driver even though it was tough getting there!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    July 20, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    oh my – car rego bills are not fun at all >:(

  • MMiller
    July 20, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    I loved reading all these comments! I don’t really have and HORROR stories…Just failed my drivers test the first time because the instructor told me twice not to let the steering wheel turn back on its own, I had to turn it back myself! I still to this day let the wheel go back by itself! I had a girlfriend who had her permit numerous times and knew how to drive, but just couldn’t pass her test! She got her license finally about 2 years ago at 38!

    My first thought when I heard the $1900 for Calif. was for you to just move back to Florida! I’m glad we don’t have state inspections down here! To have to go through that every year would make me want to take the bus! We had to do that when we lived in PA! And they ALWAYS found something wrong! Usually the stupidest things!

    My only other story was the one accident I was in! Someone turned in front of me through traffic and I couldn’t stop in time and I hit her! We took each others info, and went on our way! An hour later I get a call from MY insurance company because she wanted them to pay to fix her car! After my side of the story, they called her and told her it was her fault and they would not be paying! And I promptly called HER insurance and they paid me well to fix my car! My husband got what I needed at a junkyard and did the work himself, so we actually made out in the deal! Her insurance company drove by the accident site and knew immediately that she was at fault! I just couldn’t drive my car at night for a few days until my headlight was fixed!

    I just love your blog Jenna!

  • Jenny
    July 20, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    So as an avid stalker of your blog, I felt I had to comment because of the possibilty of getting cookies and the fact that the DMV hates me too!

    I originally leased a new car in Ohio a few years ago and then moved to Washington for a job. Fastforward 3 years later and I decided to purchase the vehicle at the end of my lease. WELL, the car company (who will go unnamed) PUT THE WRONG PERSON’S NAME on the title. So here I am, nervously purchasing my first vehicle, only to receive the title with someone elses name!!!! After literally 2 months of hair-pulling, swearing, threatening, crying, and literally spending everyday at the DMV, it finally got resolved. While the customer service of the car company was horrible, the requirements the DMV imposed to prove that the car was mine, was even worse. Everyday, I would go to the DMV with new and improved paperwork to show that I purchased the vehicle and the name on the title was a mistake, and everyday the DMV would reject me. Finally, I set-up and appointment between the DMV and customer service of the car company. That day, I got to gleefully write a 300 dollar check for my license plates. After all of that, I finally became a legal resident of Washington, only to get called the next day with a job offer in Colorado I couldn’t refuse! Hopefully, I’ll have better luck here registering!

    I feel your pain! Misery loves company especially when involving the DMV!

  • Katherine
    July 20, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    You win! And you should bake yourself some cookies for that one. I’ve only had to wait in line far to long…

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape
    July 20, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    My dad actually surprised me with the trip to the DMV to get my license. He said we were just going on a drive and then directed me over to the DMV office. This was in the middle of August and we had no air conditioning. My tester, wearing a thick brocaded suit (in August-why???) was not happy about this. Then during my test I was so nervous that I drove like a spazz. Oh, and I also turned into a turning lane from the wrong direction. Yes, that means I turned into a lane that had oncoming traffic careening toward me. And yet somehow I got my license. Go figure, haha. I swear that I am a proficient driver now!

  • Erin
    July 20, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Oh man, I feel your DMV pain!
    I moved from CA to NV. I kept my CA license for like 4 years before I decided maybe it was a good idea to be legal. Here lies the first problem. I misplaced my Social Security Card. You need a Social Security card in order to get a new license in NV. I needed my original Birth Certificate in order to get a SS card. My mother of course held onto this for safe keeping. She overnighted me the birth certificate, then I went and waited in line at the SS office. 4 hours later that work was done and I just had to wait for it to come in the mail. Finally 10 days later I was able to go to the DMV. I was pushed through to the eye exam, which I passed! Then my dreams came falling down when I failed the computer test by 1 question! Crying I walked over the an employee to realize I had the registration paperwork for a different car as well.
    Long story. Bottom line: I GET IT!

  • Catherine
    July 20, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Ouch. $1900 for tax on a car you bought elsewhere seems really unfair. πŸ™

    I’ve never really had a super terrible experience with the DMV but I have to somewhat humorous tales.
    First, when I took my practical driver’s test at 17, the woman from DMV who was testing me, was really unpleasant. At one point, I came upon a mostly flattened cardboard box in the middle of the road, so I went as far around it on the right as possible, to avoid running it over completely, but still got some of the edge. The woman hollered, “There could have been a kitty inside that box!!”

    Then, about… 4 years ago or so, I was visiting my parents in San Francisco for Memorial Day weekend. I had a little too much to drink at some point during Saturday evening and lost my drivers’ license (and dignity) somewhere between The Abbey Tavern and Mel’s on Geary. I had to stop at the DMV in Daly City before I could drive back to Los Angeles, and explain to the DMV worker that no, I didn’t know where I lost my ID, and no, I didn’t think it had been stolen from me, and yes, I did attempt to find the lost ID but was unsuccessful. They don’t take too kindly to drunkenly losing drivers’ licenses. =X

  • Tasha
    July 20, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Ah! I’m so sorry =( I hate the DMV. Mainly because of the waits and how inefficient they are. I’ve been sent to 3 different lines everytime because people claim that what I’m asking for is not their “assigned” job. But of course, it’s nothing as bad as yours. I’m convinced that we have the most inefficient state in California. Even the public universities hire idiots.

  • Jamie
    July 20, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Oh, I have a driving tale of woe!! My lovely hubby bought me a very pretty mercedes. One morning after dropping my daughter off at school, I was driving home and crashed it into my neighbors car. Totally my fault, I admit that. Not only did I get two tickets from the accident, my little fender bender (I was seriously going like 10 mph) did $10,000 worth of damage to my car. Thank God for insurance. After dealing with the accident report and getting a rental car I was running late to class. I drove a little faster than normal because it was a maymester class and if you missed one, you failed. I sure did get pulled over and was given a $275 speeding ticket. Awesome. Oh yeah, it was also my second wedding anniversary. Very expensive day for me.

  • Ilana
    July 20, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    I have two car stories but I’m apt to think the first influences the second…

    When I was 10, my mom was getting ready to drive my brother and I to school. We were in the car when she had to run back and get something. I noticed the lights were blinking on the car, so good daughter I am, I climbed into the driver’s seat to locate the switch to shut them off… except I shifted the car into reverse instead. We backed out of the garage with both front doors open, which smashed into the doors of the garage and nearly tore off. We would have gone down the cliff at the base of my driveway had I not hit the emergency brake. And I don’t like cars anymore.

    Just six years later, it was finally time to take my ROAD TEST. I’d taken driver’s ed, practiced up the wazoo, but I just got the bitchiest facilitator in all of NYS DMV. She got into the car and I asked her to put on her seatbelt, to which she replied, “I will when I’m ready.” She then got settled, did not put on her seatbelt, and told me to go, so I asked again, and she said, “Trickyyyy I thought you’d forgotten.” We got through some of the test ok but once we got to parallel parking, she asked me to park next to several garbage cans. I told her I thought I was going to hit them and asked if I could park elsewhere, and she said, “You won’t hit them.” When I hit them, she informed me that the test was over and to take her back to the start site. So now here I am, 23 years old, and all I have is my learner’s permit. But I live in New York City, so “I have an excuse.”

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write
    July 20, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Yes, you are now officially a California citizen. This is how it goes in our fine state. We pay sunshine tax on all things. God forbid you EVER get any ticket worse than a parking ticket, because you will seriously pay, seriously. Unfortunately, all there is to do is to get used to it. This is Cali in all its glory.

    I have to go to the DMV tomorrow. Thankfully I already know what to expect and will be packing a very large book, a lunch, and some kind of drug like prozac. :p

  • Jin
    July 20, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear of your troubles with DMV. I’m 17 and I have my road test this Friday!
    I just started taking lessons last week and I’m scared to death about the test. I thought I drove pretty decent but not at all up to the ICBC(I live in Vancouver)’s standards!!!!

    I don’t know why, maybe it’s a girl thing but I really do not like driving. Well, I don’t mind driving at my leisure but to think that I’m obligated to take a test that I don’t want, it gives me headaches! But then who can survive without a license these days(esp. in a city)!?

    I’m trying to suck it up and forge on with the lessons and not to bring myself down too much just in case I fail….. I rather do another course of biology in school two times over than do this!

    I’m secretly hoping that I live in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s days where you ride a horse. I’d much rather do that thank you very much! πŸ˜€ Cheer up Jenna!

  • Allison
    July 20, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Long story short, I was driving a rental car back to college from home at the age of 19 and got pulled over going 80 in a 55… at night… in a construction zone. And I’d never been pulled over before.

    I told the officer the truth – on the way home from college our car had broken down and my parents got a rental car to finish the trip. It had to be back on a Monday morning, when they were working, so I (with my spotless driving record) was supposed to drive it back to the rental place. Since it was such a nice car I honestly did not notice how fast I was going and I sped right by the officer. I was so freaked out I didn’t even cry… just managed to spit the truth out.

    Fortunately he let me off with a warning – and I thanked God for the next hour and a half back to school!!

  • Shelby
    July 20, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    When I was taking my driving test, my cell phone started ringing. Not knowing what to do, I just let it ring because I knew I’d fail if I answered it or played with it to shut it off. This would be perfectly normal if my ringtone hadn’t been Baby Got Back. The person giving me my driving test was an elderly man named Steve who was wearing a crucifix around his neck and had mentioned Jesus at least 4 times before the incident. He apparently does not listen to Sir Mixalot. For the remainder of my test, Steve proceeded to tell me why today’s youth is going to run this country into the ground. I passed, but I’m sure that he was not very happy about that πŸ™‚

    …yay cookies πŸ˜€

  • Shelby
    July 20, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    ringing. Not knowing what to do, I just let it ring because I knew I’d fail if I answered it or played with it to shut it off. This would be perfectly normal if my ringtone hadn’t been Baby Got Back. The person giving me my driving test was an elderly man named Steve who was wearing a crucifix around his neck and mentioned Christ at least 4 times before the incident. He apparently does not listen to Sir Mixalot. For the remainder of my test, Steve proceeded to tell me why today’s youth is going to run this country into the ground. I got my license, but I’m sure he was not very happy about that πŸ™‚


    • Shelby
      July 20, 2010 at 2:49 pm

      Ah BOO FOR DOUBLE POSTS! Sorry about that πŸ™‚ I’m not trying to cheat for cookies. It just took a second for my post to show up apparently.

  • Katie (Life Discombobulated)
    July 20, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Oh, geez! That’s a LOT of $$! πŸ™

    I have had so many bad experiences at the DMV, I don’t even know where to start! lol Probably the WORST (and saddest) was after I got a new (to me) car when I was 22 and went in to license it. My naieve little self figured it would be around $50. It was $537 and I had to use the entire check my mom had given me as a graduation present to go travel somewhere! I walked out of the DMV, got in my car and SOBBED. It still makes me sad to think about it – I totally feel your pain. πŸ™ Good thing your bf took you out to that lovely dinner!

  • nina
    July 20, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    So sorry to hear about your troubles – I’ve had adventures with DMV’s in 3 states, and even one big, fat tax bill just like yours, but my hands-down worst DMV experience has to be my very first – when I went to take my exam. I actually HIT the back of the DMV building with my car when parking for the written portion of the test (fortunately I was going at 0.02 mph so there was no damage to building or car), and then during the driving portion, I screwed up the parallel parking so badly that I got one of the little orange cones physically stuck in the undercarriage of my car. The hilarious thing is that I actually PASSED!

  • Erin
    July 20, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Well, I don’t have a DMV story, but I do have a wreck story. When I was in college, I was driving home from class a little preoccupied. I was in a line of cars that was backed up and barely moving. The car in front of me began to move and I slammed my foot on the gas. I plowed right into his car and my face plowed right into the steering wheel. I jumped out with blood pouring from my mouth. Nearly four hours later, still bleeding, the oral surgeon discovered I had a hole in my face- he stuck his scalpel through it to show me! He stitched me up and sent me home- the proud honor of a jaw bra. I am a much more careful driver now.

  • Ashlee
    July 20, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    That’s horrible! The worst story I have is the time I had to evacuate because of hurricane Rita. Since I live south of Houston, my family and I were under a mandatory evacuation notice and had to leave our homes. So, thinking we were going to come back to nothing, we loaded up all of our cars (we had a caravan of 5 cars-big mistake) and left the city. We were only going to a lake three hours away but those three hours turned into 26 hours. To make a long story short, I had to drive for 26 hours without a break and pee behind buildings and on the side of the road. It was easily the worst driving and hygiene experience I’ve ever had.

  • betsy
    July 20, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Running right through a stop sign on my drivers test… Lucky for me my grader was my best friends mom

  • kyla
    July 20, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I hated my drivers ed teacher! I’ve always been older in my class so I was lucky enough to get Drivers Ed the first time around in the fall of my Sophomore year. I was paired with a transfer student who had had his permit in Ohio but then moved to Illinois so he had been driving for most of the year. When we were learning about reverse, I was getting all ready to back up and look behind me when I smacked my teacher straight across the face knocking off his glasses. Oh, and then the week before I almost got into a car accident(not my fault). I think at one point my teacher said he could not trust me to drive on a “busy” road and I had to stick to side streets. He was not very clear with directions and would yell at me, a nervous and scared 16 year old girl, when I wouldn’t follow them. He gave me a D on my driving final but passed me anyway. His advice? Don’t go get your liscense right away. He made me so nervous to drive that I didn’t get my liscense until that March about a good 5 months after.

  • Dynamics
    July 20, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Sorry to hear about your ordeal. If only! My horror story was an 18 year old girl who was 9 months pregnant in the DMV to do a name change. The DMV was packed with people and hot, really, really hot inside. The extra bodies made the air very stale. Down I went. I passed out and hit the floor. I came to with all these faces staring at me saying, she’s pregnant, she is so young, where is her husband. I sorta got a feeling of what it would be like to be on drugs. The only good thing about passing out…. I went to the FRONT of the line!

  • Meredith @ An Epic Change
    July 20, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    A month after I got my license (at the tender ate of 16 and 3 months, according to the laws of VA) I backed into the police chief’s convertible in the church parking lot. In front of the whole church. Just as the 11 o’clock service was ending and everyone was walking out.

  • Michelle
    July 20, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I totaled my roommate’s car! I borrowed it to go to the beach and the wheels locked up. I spun across a highway and actually took out a whole section of the guardrail! It was fairly horrific telling her and then going with her to tell her parents.

    Oh and insurance.

    That blows about the 1900 bucks. πŸ™ At least it’s over and done with.

  • Christena
    July 20, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    I failed the written portion of the drivers’ license test twice. My DMV has this big fat loud metal stamp that says FAILED in bold red letters that they use to stamp your application after you fail the test. I swear the sound of that stamp echoes off the walls in there. Since the door is in the back, and everyone knows when you get “the stamp,” it is a long walk of shame back out to your car. Of course there is the pause at the door while you shake your head “no” at whichever parent drove you (waiting in the car)….and will be driving you back home.

  • Sarah
    July 20, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    No DMV horror stories yet, but loads of car accident stories.

    The only accident I’ve been in when I was driving was hardly a month after I got my license. I had lied to my boyfriend (now ex), telling him I was going home when I was really going to go visit another boy at work. I ended up rear ending someone, halfway between my boyfriend and the other boy. It cost me $1700! That’s what I get for lying!

  • Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen
    July 20, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Once, while driving my beloved (but decrepit) old Volvo, Winston, through the mountains of Virginia, a heavy summer rainstorm suddenly came upon me. No worries, right? That’s what windshield wipers are for. Oh, sure, WHEN THEY DONT FLY OFF OF YOUR CAR!!!

    I somehow managed to get over the mountain and to a gas station with just half of the passenger side windshield wiper without barreling off of a cliff. I don’t know how I did it.

  • Janna@Janna's Keeping it Real
    July 20, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    adorable post! I am sorry for your recent luck, though! =0(

    driving woes? oh, lady…i could have a whole blog about those alone. i’m going to keep this simple (accountant in me, black and white)

    1) week after i got my license, side swiped…my fault
    2) age 17, driving to work during a storm…telephone fell on my car. mother natures fault
    3) age 18, leaving boyfriends house (after curfew) wedged my car against a giant planter…BF’s dad had to come “unwedge”. my fault
    4) age 18, driving home late from said BF’s after a school dance…ran over a wooden pallet (the kind used in costco) my AND the lametard that let it fall of their truck’s fault
    5) age 24 (yay for a gap in accidents!) side swiped, again my fault…think i can claim left eye impairment? obviously that must be the reason
    6) just two weeks ago (age 26) backed into a pole at the bike trail…didn’t realize what had happened (car again wedged AGAINST the pole) so i gave the car gas…engine revved and car didn’t budge…i looked like a fool yo! finally, a nice Samaritan from the trail starts yelling and waving frantically….my fault (and my parents for giving me such Awesome at Life DNA)

  • TraciJ
    July 20, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    My DMV horror story also took place in the Bay Area when I first moved out there from OH. I flunked my driver’s test two times (almost three, if the lady behind the counter would not have helped me) – SO Embarrassing, since I had been driving for MANY years! I was almost hysterical………Then I went to register my car (from OH) – They had some kind of “Out of State” fee, since I didn’t buy the car in CA (not sure if that is the same thing you are describing, since I did pay sales tax). You are also supposed to register your car within 30 days or there are more penalties. Thank goodness I knew about this, because I read about it, so I told a “white lie”, but still had to pay $400 for bringing my car from out of State (this was back in 1996). Don’t get me started on how much it costs to register your car in CA, pure insanity!!! We moved from CA last year to TN, my husband’s truck would have cost $600 to register – REALLY?!?! I’m happy to report that both of our vehicles were registered here in TN for $48.00 total. Rant over………..

  • Sydney
    July 20, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Don’t have a DMV horror story, but the first time I got pulled over was pretty frustrating:
    Last summer, I got up bright and early one morning to run. I left the house wearing only what I planned to run in like I did every morning – a sports bra and spandex shorts. As I was driving to a dirt road to run on, I was singing to the radio and pumped to watch the sun rise as I ran and I actually CHECKED my speed because I realized my pre-run excitement might have been making me drive a bit fast. I saw a 40 mph sign and I was going about 45. Close enough, right? Wrong. A police officer suddenly came around the corner and turned on his lights. I pulled over, crying of course since I’d never been pulled over. Then I realized what I was wearing and that I had no t-shirt to put on and cried even more. I think he thought I was some crazy delinquent roaming the town half dressed at 5:45 am but I explained that I was just going out for a run. He informed me that I was going 45 in a 30 mph zone!! WHAT?! The 40 mph sign was literally RIGHT in front of my car, but apparantly that doesn’t take effect until you pass it…NOT when you can see it. Needless to say, I got a pretty big ticket. And ran really fast to get out my anger πŸ™‚

  • Erin
    July 20, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Oh wow… well, mine can’t compare to yours but I had to take my younger sister to the DMV *three* times not because she failed her test, but because she never had the right paperwork. This was just to get her learner’s permit and we sat there forever, got called to the counter, and then discovered she was missing some key document. Sigh.

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie
    July 20, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Holy crap that majorly sucks!!!! I haven’t had an experience that bad but I rarely, if ever, have any good ones.

  • Kayla
    July 20, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Oh hun that sucks!!

    I don’t have any horror stories (knock on wood) but I did work there during the summer in college, that was pretty sucky.

  • Katherine
    July 20, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    When I was little I remember we had this little red jetta, brand spanking new. We went up north for a vacation and we were staying at this cabin in the woods and we heard a loud noise and looked outside to see a black bear on top of our car.
    It was insane.

  • Jaclyn
    July 20, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Oh man, I feel you on the car issues. Yes, the DMV sucks and that is one thing, but I could more relate to your post about getting your car broken into and window smashed–happened to me about a month ago. Lost was my computer :P, textbooks, backpack and my car’s dignity…

    And then, last week, I was parked at Whole Foods, getting coffee before and when I came back outside, ready to go, I was greeted with a gaping hole in my car! A semi truck had *tried* to pull in, parrallel parking in front of me, but had clearly missed and left instead, a nice hole in my car. Best part? She, the driver denied doing it at first! Ooof, car troubles! Sometimes I really think it would be easier to not have a car at all!

  • Suzanne
    July 20, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    The CA DMV is ridiculous. The fines are really steep if you don’t register your car (from another state) within a certain number of days. We were late with ours and it cost over $300 instead of the usual $100 or so.

  • BethT
    July 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    We narrowly missed having to pay that when we moved here because our car was barely more than a year old. It sucks, I agree. But when I went to get my driver’s license, I forgot to bring my NC license and was told by a very nice CA DMV person that it was ok and to stand in line anyway. An hour later, another DMV person told me to march my butt back home and get the NC license because I couldn’t get a new one without it.

    P.S. you should bake me cookies anyway because I am with child.

  • Amelia
    July 20, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Wow…sticker shock! To think I complained about SC taxes of $300 on our new car this past year in taxes! I will take that any day over $1900. Eat some Lindt dark chocolate with a touch of sea salt. It will make everything better. πŸ™‚

  • hilary
    July 20, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    First of all…$1900 is ludicrous.

    My DMV horror story involves a 92 year old man getting his license renewed for 7 YEARS. Now I ask you, does this sound like a good idea to anyone?!

    Not that it even compares to your story…but scary none the less!

  • katie
    July 20, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    A similar thing happened to me with having to pay taxes on the car when I moved from one state to another…thankfully it was only $313, not $1900! Maybe because the car is 10 years older than yours…but still running strong!

  • sarah (this is it)
    July 20, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    When I registered my car under my name after college I had a rough time with the registration lady. I had all of the paperwork in order and my parents were “gifting” me the car so I could put it in my name. She accused me of stealing it and said that I didn’t pay for it, therefore I stole it. She then told me that I shouldn’t be there anyway because I didn’t look old enough to have a license. She said “what are you, fifteen?” Then asked for a copy of my license. I cried when I got home because I felt about two feet tall. It was my first experience doing “big girl” things.

    • sarah (this is it)
      July 20, 2010 at 4:39 pm

      I forgot to mention that when I went back this spring to register my new car I wore a dress, some extra make up, and tried to look older. I have a tendency of looking realllly young if I am not dressed up.

  • Courtney
    July 20, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    When I moved back to Indiana after being gone for 8 years in New York and Wisconsin, I went to the DMV to get my license renewed – it had expired in WI. I had my 4 week old baby with me. They couldn’t find any of my information in their system from before – in fact, they told me that even though I had my social security card and all things that said I was who I was (it was my married name that was the issue), they told me I didn’t exist. I explained I was sitting here in front of them, existing, but they didn’t buy it. So they made me retake the paper exam. But they forgot to change the paper to my married name and proceeded to tell me I was going to have to retake it again – all because I didn’t exist (which they told me about 5 times as I sat there in front of them – with all of my documentation proving that indeed I was who I was.) It was a nightmare. After asking about 25 times for a supervisor, I finally got the supervisor of the supervisor and with the push of a button, I suddenly existed, and was getting my picture taken. It was awesome.

    The DMV is never a good place.

  • Courtney
    July 20, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    $1900. Ouch.

    When I took my driver’s test for the first time, the very intimidating female instructor told me to take a right, and I took a left. I don’t think that was enough to fail me, but the fact that she began screaming at me and I slammed on brakes in the middle of the road did the job pretty quickly.

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    July 20, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    That just sucks–big time. But—look at it this way–you’re NOT Lindsay Lohan. 30-90 days in a 8′ x 12′ cell 22 hours a day!!! That would not be worth saving $1900! Plus jail food–probably rodents/lice etc, too. She was so cute in ‘Parent Trap’. Hopefully she’ll take the ‘down-time’ to consume self-help books/tapes/journal and do some serious reflection.

    The DMV is just one of Dante’s Rings of Hell–and need to just try to channel Mother Teresa while in there and give yourself credit for good behavior if you emerge not having strangled any body. πŸ˜‰

  • Jae
    July 20, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    I’ve onl been to the DMV once, but when there…. on my permit they put M in the gender section…
    The only problem is… I’m a girl. Im pretty sure I know this because if not, oh dear, I’ve been mistaken for the past (then) 16 years of my life. I realized this fact though, after I’d gone out the line and into freedom. I proceeded to glance at my ID because y’know OMG IT’s MY FIRST ID. I screamed bloody murder, and we eventually went back to get it fixed… three hours later.
    So there you have it, my tale of being a man for three hours. I cant say that it was very pleasant, because it WAS rather nerve wracking to have people believe that I look ugly and masculine enough to be a man, but I took it in stride, and after three hours, I was a woman again.

  • Sara
    July 20, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Ugh, the DMV. I have a few driving and DMV horror stories.

    1) I hydroplaned and bounced my car off two concrete walls. My sister and I were fine, but she still finds it funny that I got out of the car, walked all around it, and cried, “It’s smaaaaaaaaashed!” It was.

    2) I walked out a door at the DMV…by accident. I was too embarrassed to go back in and start again, so I went the next day.

    I forgot the other story I was going to write!

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    July 20, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    PS–one of the worst things about the DMV (at least in San Francisco County, I don’t know about elsewhere) is that they give the courts name/address records for selecting jury members. I lived in SF 20 years and still have a biz address there. Have mail forwarded once a month. REPEATEDLY get nasty letters saying since I didn’t show up for jury duty (which am not obligated to do as don’t live in the county–and never rec’d their notice until after the jury date) that I could be subject to arrest!!! I have contacted the DMV and the Courts many times saying take my name off I don’t live in the county. But continue to get these threatening letters that are really upsetting since I didn’t do anything wrong!!

  • suzie
    July 20, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Jenna, I think you are the one who needs the cookies. I moved from Michigan to San Diego, Ca this year and they orginally told me I would have to pay thousands in sales tax. I flipped out and then the said just joking. You have had you car for over a year. The worst thing that happend is my licence never came in the mail. I then had to wait at the DMV again. For 2 months while I sat and waited I had to show everyone my paper licences and my hole punched Michigan one. While visint a friend in Seattle they wouldn’t let me drink at a bar on the 4th they said I didn’t have a real licence and to get my stuff taken car of before I left on vacation. I travel every week for work and I really tried honest. I sat at the DMV for 4 hours over two months ago but still no drinking.

  • Jenn
    July 20, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    My driving test was rather horrific when I turned 16. I ran a red light and upon returning to the DMV I tried to park and hit a car. I was so flustered that I had to get out of the car and the tester had to park the car for me. Fortunately I have not had any other horrific DMV experiences since that time. Thanks for sharing your DMV horror tale.

  • courtney
    July 20, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    My worst incident was with the state of CT. I went to school there and lived off campus. I’m from NY and my plates are NY. One day I get a letter (in a horrible snow storm mind you) and it says I’m evading my taxes by living in CT and having my plates in NY. I spent two hours on the phone with this man who goes around scanning out of state license plates to see if they have dual addresses. I now am paying property (from 2009) taxes in a state I don’t even live in anymore.

    it’s horrible!

  • Jennifer
    July 20, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Not an interesting story at all but I did fail the written test the first time I took it. On my actually 16th birthday… Happy Freakin’ Birthday right? Also I have not changed my weight on my driver’s license since I got it 16 years and 2 kids ago. I promise it’s still the same…

  • James M
    July 20, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    As a Canadian, I’ve only dealt with the DMV once, and it’s been one of the most demoralizing moments of my life.
    After University, I decided to go to Syracuse, NY to work for a year as an intern at a theatre (I’m a dual-citizen). My vehicle registration was up at the end of the year, but I knew I would be coming home for Christmas and thought I would renew it then.
    Christmas comes around, and I was supposed to leave Syracuse at 6am and get home by noon. My flight was cancelled because of no flight attendant available (!!!) and had to find another way home two days before Christmas. I didn’t make it in until 2am, and missed my opportunity to renew my registration.
    I returned to Syracuse thinking that I could just register in New York instead. I’m a citizen, have a job, live there, how hard could it be? After one trip to the DMV, and a long wait, I was able to get a NY driver’s license. After another trip and long wait, I found out that since my vehicle is not from the US (even though it was built in the US), it would have to go through a broker to get certified that it’s drivable in the US. When I managed to find a broker, it was going to cost me over $2,000 to do that, plus the fee to get registered, plus the insurance. So instead, my parents helped pay for the Jeep to be transported back to Canada ($1,200), I had to sell and dump a lot of my belongings, and packed up two duffle bags to take the Grey Hound back (30 hrs just to get to Chicago, and a whole other story – talking with a ex-convict who had just been released after 15 years in Cleveland at 2am? Creepy).
    Considering how common vehicles are, you would think the whole process of insuring and registering would be much easier.

  • Rika
    July 20, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    I had to go to the DMV 3 TIMES just to get my license! It was SUCH a pain in the butt because I just got my permit(which only lasts a year), summer was ending,and I was going out for college in a month weeks! So the pressure was building up on me with the time constraint!
    The thought of driving made me cringe. I even had multiple nightmares, no joke. But I knew I couldnt live off biking forever- especially in California (or can I?). So I went with a very little brave heart but low and behold, my back lights were out so they didn’t even give me a chance!
    2nd time: I thought I was blessed for having such a nice grader! But now that I think about it, I realized that he was just being super “chill” and “cool” so I can let my guard down and do all my stupid careless mistakes! Doh! And my mother told me to NEVER, never ever never NEVER make a right turn when the light is yellow (um,.. yeah) so I froze when it did, cars were honking at me, the instructor yelling at me, I was causing the traffic: frustrations and tears.
    3rd time happened when I had already entered college because my summer ended. The instructor was a mean person and I passed by 1 πŸ˜€ (So that means I made 14 mistakes, I think? Haha….)

  • M.S.
    July 20, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    I don’t have a DMV horror story, but I can say they never make things easy. At least you’ve taken care of everything, and now you’re a legit CA driver! πŸ™‚

  • Lindsay
    July 20, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Oh boy, do I have one for you. Here goes…

    Shortly after my 20th birthday, I went to the Virginia DMV to get my license renewed. When my number was finally called, the clerk took my license and pulled up my record.
    “Miss, are you aware that you’ve been driving on a suspended license for the last 2 years?” he casually asked.
    “Come again?!?”

    As a junior in high school, I made a pretty serious traffic violation and had to complete a driving class to work the points off my record. Apparently my certificate of completion never made it to the DMV. Over the next three days, I frantically tracked down the company I had used for the class, only to find they were no longer in existence. I did some more digging, and I eventually spoke with someone over the phone who was able to tell me they still had boxes of documents stored in a warehouse that HAD NOT YET BEEN SHREDDED. She volunteered to send an employee over the following week to hunt for my record.

    One week later I got a call with the beyond lucky news that my certificate was found unharmed. They faxed it to the DMV, and my license was returned to me after passing a written exam. The kicker? As my new license was handed to me, the clerk behind the counter says
    “Oh hey, can you believe this? I just flipped to another page in your profile and found the original notation for your class completion! Someone just uploaded it to the wrong page, but it was here the whole time!”


  • Janet
    July 20, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Lets just say I haven’t even made it to the DMV yet… I still have the drivers ED horror stories (and yes, im 20 years old, in college, with no license).
    My drivers ed experience was so bad, I wrote a play about it and it won a competition for being a great comedy…
    I was nicknamed “whiplash,” crashed into a handicap sign, and never even learned to parallel park or 3 point turn because we ran out of time.

    So at least you know how to drive πŸ™‚

    July 20, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    the government and their taxes. actually it really sucks to because u had bought it in florida without being aware that california would have taxed the hell out of it. sucks majorly. yes, hopefully dinner will be a mighty revengeful meal with tasteful rage! haha <3


  • Mom
    July 20, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    From the amazing responses ~~ I would say ” You are not alone” …

  • Rachel
    July 20, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    I know the feeling of sobbing your heart out in a car place. Mine happened to be the car dealership, where I was told my transmission was busted and it would be 4000$. I ended up in the bathroom sobbing to be parents.

    In the end, we fought the dealership (we found a manufacturing recall that explained my car’s problem), and got the new transmission for free.

    Unexpected financial blows are hard, especially when like you and me, you’re just starting out on your own and your “nest egg” is very tiny.

  • jen
    July 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    My story is a doozy……
    So I go in to take the actual driving test. I had been practicing FOREVAH and thought I had it in the bag….UH NO!!!

    My mom and i get up at the crack of dawn to beat the line and I’m second in line (Yay!). But then I realize I forgot to bring some form of ID (Fail!). SO we drive back home, get lost, get my ID, hit traffic, and in the middle of all this my mom is yelling and complaining (Bleh!)

    We finally get there and the line is HELLA long and we wait about 2 hours. Finally, it’s my turn and the stress of the morning hits me like a ton of bricks. I get in the car and the guy giving me the test seems grumpy. I shrug it off, take a deep breath, and start driving, BUT then he points out that I start driving and he didn’t have his seatbelt on (D’OH! I was suppose to tell him to put his seatbelt on). He reprimands (kind of harshly) and i’m on the verge of tears. I come to this little curb and can’t think straight. The next second I’m off the test course and driving into the grass. The guy hits the emergency brake and then turns to me and says: “Are you kidding me!”

    He then proceeds to escort me of the test course.
    I wish I was lying.

    Oh and I STILL don’t have my license :/

  • Krit
    July 20, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Something similar happened to me but my cost was $2500!! I almost pee’d my pants right there in their office!

    But the worst was when I took my driving test at 16. We were pulling out of the parking lot and my instructor was looking the mirror getting something out of her eye. The next thing I know a kid runs in front of my car and I had to slam on the brakes and she poked herself in the eye! At least I knew I had passed the brake test πŸ™‚

  • Lauren
    July 20, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Awww, that is so sad! I can’t believe it would cost almost 2000 to register your car. I guess that California for you!

    Okay, here is my horror story…..

    When I got married, I needed to change my name on my license. I went to the DMV, waited for about an hour, and finally was able to talk to a real person. They told me I didn’t have the right forms filled out and told me to “go home and try it again.” I asked why I couldn’t just fill them out there and the girl looked at me and said “Because we don’t have time to wait on stupidity!” What a nightmare! I hate the DMV!!

  • Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life
    July 20, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Awww man, that’s a lot to take at once – yikes!
    I don’t really have any DMV horror stories, but I have dealt with my fair share of driving woes. I’ve been in 5 fender-benders, only 1 of which was my fault! And I once got stuck in a glare from the sun so bad, that I accidentally ran a red light (which I never even saw) and did some pretty pricey damage on my car. Luckily, everyone walked away ok, but sheesh, that sun can be dangerous!!

  • Jordan
    July 20, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Geez, talk about crappy! That’s so not right of them to make you pay so much.
    As for woeful driving tales, I’m pretty sure the Arkansas police are out to get me. Is it something about my car’s appearance? Is it because I look like a 12-year-old behind the wheel? I’m not sure, but in the six months I’ve lived here, I’ve been pulled over four times. Okay, twice were because I was speeding, but one time was because “it looked like I didn’t have my seatbelt on [I DID, thank you very much] and, oh, my windshield has a crack in it.” The other time was because I had a brake light out. Of course, that time, when he asked for my license, registration, and proof of insurance, all I had in my car was an expired insurance card. Mind you, I HAVE CURRENT INSURANCE. I just didn’t have the right card. My mom did not give it to me. But I got a ticket for not providing proof of insurance. So ridiculous. I was so frustrated I started crying as soon as I drove away.

  • Meg
    July 20, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    I almost got stuck in a foreign country because while overseas, my license expired..although i had my passport naturally they thought i was some illegial alien because i had an expired driver license! hefty hefty fine (i hear ya on that one!) i swear, i had blue flames shooting from my ears and fire engine red eyes. after being harassed at an international airport and many many tears later, i finally made it to my destination..home, after 30+ hours traveling time. long story short, i was very jet lagged after that fiasco! phew, im tired just writing that! πŸ˜› oh and i hope i win some jenna cookies!

  • Sarah
    July 20, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    My goodness, that is just awful! At least it’s over with now, right?
    When I was 20, I finally decided I wanted my driver’s license. I had been putting it off for years because I was terrified to drive. On the day of my driver’s test, I was a nervous wreck. My stepmom wanted to give me her anxiety medicine because I was so frazzled. Needless to say, I didn’t do so well on the parallel parking. I rammed right into the cone and the DMV evaluator let out a chuckle. At that moment I started sobbing uncontrollably and the old man had to escort me put of my car. To make things better, later that evening my 7-year-old sister managed to roll my brother’s spare tire that was in the garage up the hill in our backyard. Of course you can imagine what happened next. She lost control of the tire, and it rolled smack into the right, front corner of my soon to be car. Oh what a day!

  • Tina
    July 20, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    I am sorry about all your DMV trouble!

    My horror stories-
    At the end of my drivers test I was so nervous I tried to turn the car off several times in front of my instuctor but, I didn’t put it in park. Embarassing!

    In college I borrowed roomate’s car, hit another car and totaled her car! The guy I hit was a doctor, it was right before Christmas and his kids, gifts were scattered all over the highway. He ended up taking me to the hospital he worked at, I skipped the ER wait and he checked me out and released me! He was so nice and I him and made him lose all those Christmas gifts!!

  • KatieTX
    July 20, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Don’t hate me…I have never taken a driving test but am a licensed driver. So in Texas your parents can teach you to drive and sign off that you are a good enough driver to be on the road. I only took the computerized permit test at the DMV and then my parents signed that I was ready to drive shortly after I turned 16. The line at the dmv suck, but I am so glad I have never taken the driving test, sounds scary! Sorry you had to shell out so much $$!

  • Elizabeth
    July 20, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    I failed my driving test twice … that was pretty sad. πŸ™ However, not even close to as bad as yours! I am so sorry you had to pay that much. ):

  • valen
    July 20, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    That is awful news Jenna!

    Oooo I’ve got a hankering for cookies!

    I had to take the driver permit test 10 times, I don’t do well with memorizing facts. And once while there to change something on my drivers license I waited for 3 hours and right when I was called to the desk someone tried to take my spot! How dare they!

  • Becca P
    July 20, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    I got a call from the CFO of my company saying I couldn’t work for the company if my license was suspended….I had no idea what he was talking about! I was living in TN with a FL license so I called the state to see what this was all about. Apparently my license had been suspended due to the fact I had run a toll, 2 years before, and never paid the ticket! I had a toll transponder that just didn’t work and they were sending the tickets to the wrong street address, East instead of West, so I figured I could get it all taken care of. Nope I was going to have to go to court in Miami if I wanted to get it fixed! So I ended up paying $500 dollars for a .75 cent toll and to make matters worse the day after I got it all cleared I got $160 ticket for tinted windows! Glad I never got pulled over in the 2 years it was suspended because I would have been taken to jail!!!

  • Mar
    July 20, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Ugh $1900 totally stinks πŸ™

    Mine is a ticket which turned into a DMV nightmare.

    In college I was coming back from my parents house and trying to make it back to my dorm to meet all my friends to go to a party. Me rushing ended up meaning I spaced out on a stop sign and ran it. Instead of making it back in time to meet my friends I got pulled over for running a stop sign ughh. I then mailed the ticket in, but my stamp wouldnt stick so I taped it. The mail got returned to me (evidently you cant tape a stamp on). I forgot to resend it.

    A couple of months later my mom called me saying the police had a warrant out for my arrest and my license was revoked for not paying the ticket in time. I had to beg my friend on a Friday morning to drive me to the police station to deal with my warrant and made him come in because I was petrified they were going to arrest me. I then had to beg my sister to drive me to the DMV twice to deal with my revoked license. NEVER AGAIN!!

  • Ilene
    July 20, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    I am so sorry! California sucks money out of everyone πŸ™ I don’t have a horrible DMV story, but my friend went to take her driver’s test for the 3rd time, but she had to reschedule since the girl before her crashed the car head-on into the DMV building at the end of the test :/

  • amanda
    July 20, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    In Virginia you have to pay personal property tax on your car. So even if you own your car outright you have to pay a tax based upon the value of your car. From August-Dec 2009 for my Prius I paid over 300 dollars!! I am not looking forward to paying a full year for 2010 for my car. Uggh πŸ™

  • Emily
    July 20, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    I went to take my driving test as a very nervous 16 year old. There were two employees doing driving tests that day, a woman who seemed very cheerful and an incredibly grumpy man. Yup, I got the grumpy man. Who proceeded to tell me that he was having a bad day, he was tired, and he wanted to go home, so hurry up already. He had me so flustered that when he asked me to turn right I got into the left lane. He repeated himself in a loud voice about 4 more times, and I managed to get back into the right lane & turn right, but my whole body was shaking! I passed the test….by one point, no thanks to the incredibly grumpy man!

  • Maura
    July 20, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    If you meet LiLo will you tweet about it? πŸ˜‰ haha I kid, I kid. No horror RMV (Yes, MA is weird. Registry of Motor Vehicles up in this joint) stories here. I avoid that place, like I avoid HFCS!!

  • Kaye
    July 20, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Well…..I don’t think mine is the worst, but it’s pretty bad. So, a few years ago, I competed in a pageant and won a spot on the court. After an appearance event one night, I had eaten too much…and decided that my dress was too itchy and uncomfortable to make the 1 hour drive home in. It was about 1:30AM and I just wanted to get home and as I got off the freeway to get to my house, I rolled through a stop sign and was pulled over by an officer.
    So… I am, wearing just a jacket and undies, being pulled over for rolling through a stop sign….nice.
    The officer takes my license and comes back 5 minutes later and asks me, “Did you know that your license is suspended?”
    It seems that a few years ago, I was in a car accident and the insurance company didn’t file the paperwork that ensured the DMV that it covered me. I never saw (maybe never opened…) the letter from the DMV (what? those things are no fun!) and had NO IDEA I’d been driving on a suspended license for over a year.
    I called my ex-boyfriend to pick me up (wearing just a coat, because I didn’t want the cop to know I was clothing free underneath) with his friend and take my car home. THEN I spent the next few months trying to wrangle with the DMV HQ and my insurance company because apparently, they can not play with each other.
    It was horrible.

  • Shannon Fox
    July 20, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Poor Jenna! My story is similar to yours. I moved from Texas to Louisiana. Even though I bought my vehicle two years ago, they still made me pay the sales tax difference between the two states. By the time it was all said and done…I had a new Louisiana Driver’s License, a registered vehicle, and a state inspection. All for the low, low price of $1100. Craziness! Thankfully, my husband’s vehicle was taken care of by his company. *sigh* Sometimes I hate paying Caesar…especially when he’s a greedy, little bugger!

  • Kristin
    July 20, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    I was adopted as an adult and this always causes problems at the DMV. Especially because my debit card is still in my old name .. 3 years later. I fixed this after I turned 21 and the DMV thought I was trying to illegally get a license that stated I was 21 in a different name. I spent FIVE hours there on my 21st birthday. I wanted to do it myself and be a big girl. And then my picture sucked and the lady told me it was beautiful and I should be happy with it. My priorities are straight.

  • nadia
    July 20, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    My first (and only – thus far) accident… I was 17, and looking for a parking spot on the side street near my high school. I drove past a motor home, realized there were no spots in front of it and so proceeded to back up. Only my wheels and steering wheel were not correctly alligned. I thought I could clear the motor home. I did not. My side view mirror ended up scraping along the back end of the motor home and pretty much getting stuck. I bawled and they told me I was an idiot (I deserved it). I then called my mom who got the car un-stuck. The van I was driving was an ’87, so was written off… I’m now surprisingly good at parallel parking!!!

  • Molly
    July 20, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    The driving tale of woe that still makes me bow my head in shame was during my senior year of high school. I was driving home from school on the route I knew too well, and I was listening to my ipod through my radio. I didn’t like the song that was on, so I leaned over to change it and got into a rear-ending. The first thought through my head was “my dad is going to KILL me!!”. I hate that i got into an accident over the stupidest thing ever, and ended up having to pay a lot for the repairs on my car and the other car involved. I’ve since become a MUCH more cautious driver, but luckily I now live in NYC and do minimal driving πŸ™‚

  • AmyJoGo
    July 20, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Ha! Sorry for your troubles. The DMV can be an intimidating place.

    When I bought my car a few years ago, I purchased it in the town where my parents lived which happened to be 4 hours from where I lived. The dealership was supposed to mail my new license plate to me but being a small dealership in a very small town, they only ordered plates maybe twice a year. There was some kind of stipulation where I couldn’t just go to the DMV to get my regular plate…it had to come from the dealership. So about 5 months went by and still no plates. I had to go to the DMV in my town to get the temporary paper plate in order to stay legal. I should say that I worked in Santa Fe and lived in Albuquerque and going to the DMV is easily a half day adventure as it is but when you have a long commute to and from work, it’s best just to count on not going in to work. So I took 5 days vacation leave to sit at the DMV. Not cool.

    In the end, my Mom (Mom’s are such great advocates!) went to the DMV in the town where I’d bought the car and threw a hissy fit right then and there. As she turned around to storm out of the office, she noticed there was a police officer pulling into the lot!!!

    Fortunately he was there for other business but she was red in the face out of embarrassment and anger and busted buns getting outta there. πŸ™‚ From that point on, she was so ashamed that she drove nearly two hours to the next closest DMV anytime she had to renew her license or tags. lol I eventually got my plates in the mail.

  • Eliza M.
    July 20, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Oh my, I was looking for an excuse to share my driving terrors with the world, and I think I might have just found the perfect place!

    So, I just recently graduated college and have been working only part time trying to find work just about anywhere so I can pay my bills. My car was having troubles and I got it fixed. For 500 dollars. Thankfully, I had graduation money for that.

    A week after getting my car all fixed and perty, I am driving to an interview for *hopefully* another job to help pay the bills. Making a left hand turn, I am crashed into by a young girl. She gets out of the car starts wailing and proceeds to get back in the car and drives off.
    Luckily, I had gotten the license number and am right now in the process of finding this girl to pay me the 35000 dollars I had to pay for fixing the car AGAIN. Some people.

    Anyway, I could really use a cookie. Or 7. πŸ˜‰

  • Sara
    July 20, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Glad you got things figured out! If it makes you feel any better I was so nervous for the written test that I got the pre-question wrong (you know, the one that is only there so you know how the computer test system works). Apparently I don’t know the capital of my own state…

  • Charlie
    July 20, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    I’ve actually done okay with the DMV, but when I go for my 21 license next week, we’ll see how it is.

    I do, however, have some car horror stories. I’ve been in one slightly serious accident. I had gotten my license that day, and my mom and I decided to take a trip to Macy’s to celebrate with some new clothes. On the way out of their parking lot, I accidentally clipped someone’s bumper. Instead of letting me pull over, the guy RAMMED ME OFF THE ROAD, and up onto a guardrail, bending and breaking various parts of my new Honda Accord (he drove some kind of generic pickup truck). It was a nightmare, because there were four different witness accounts and none of them were similar at all, the guy was a total road rager and the cops did NOTHING (I have a family member who now works for that branch of the 5-0, and it’s no trip in that town), and here I am, a brand new driver with a point against my license and a smashed-up first car.

    Luckily, the insurance nightmare in finally ending, four years later πŸ™‚ back to normal prices and all that. It almost rivals the time I took the car (same Honda, it just won’t die somehow…) into the shop for a new timing belt, maybe a $300 fix. I got charged $1000 because something crazy had happened to my antifreeze cap, and it took four hours for the mechanics to chip it off of the container.

  • elaine
    July 20, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    i am more than happy to share my driving tale of horror if it helps you feel better! this happened to me in high school when even wearing the wrong colored socks can be grounds for a week of hysterics. how did my parents ever put with me??
    it all started during my senior prom when my pimply dork of a boyfriend broke up with me right then and there during the last song of the night. the only regret i have is that it has turned me off of boyz II men for life. fast forward to the Monday after prom, which also happened to be the first week I started driving to school and the day I found out that said now ex-bf has already found himself a new squeeze. So it was no surprise that i found myself in quite the lousy mood as I pulled out of my parking spot in the student lot and right into the rear right fender of said ex-bf’s new squeeze. It just had to be her right? i’ll spare you the details of the crazy fight that ensured, but I assure you it was like something out of an episode of Jersey Shore. It also didn’t help that for the rest of the school year i was known as the girl who tried to kill her ex boyfriend’s new girlfriend.

  • Becky
    July 20, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Keep your chin up! Sometimes being an adult is just no fun!

    My worst driver’s story happened to me when I was about 17 driving with my cousin and her two friends in the back seat. It was a rainy February night and we were driving across town. One of her friends thought that it would be a funny joke to write “Send Help” on the back window in the condensate. Not a minute later we were pulled over by the police and we had a hard time convincing them that it was just a stupid teenage prank and that we had not kidnapped her two friends in the back seat. We were so embarrassed and horrified that we immediately went home and never told our parents till years later:)

  • Lillian
    July 20, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I killed a duckling on the way to yoga this evening. ):

  • Laura @ youngDCliving
    July 20, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Ugh, I hate the DMV with a passion. My story is that they got my birthday wrong on my license (even though they told me they would fix the computer error before it printed) and then, lo and behold, my birthday is wrong (one day off, but still)–it messes me up every time someone compares my passport and license. So frustrating!!!

  • Katie
    July 20, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    I don’t really have a bad DMV story but those cookies sound great! Make some for meee!!!! Hehe!

  • Kelly
    July 20, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    That is absolutely RIDICULOUS. I am so sorry you had to pay $1900! This makes me feel a lot better about the fact that my license expired 2 weeks before I got married and changed my name so I had to go to the stupid place twice in a two week span haha…obviously nothing compared to $1900!

  • Neena
    July 20, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    I hate the DMV! Sorry about your awful and expensive experience! My horror story is one that I have to look at for the next five years — the worst, frazzled, half-closed eyes and half- open mouth picture on my license that you have ever seen. What a nightmare!

  • Me-Linh @ Sweets and Sweat
    July 20, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    The DMV is like hell on earth. When I failed my driver’s license test twice. I swear California just makes it hard for us. The first time I ran over a curb (oops, my bad) and the second time I supposedly “ran a red light.” Yeaaa rigghhtttt. But the third time’s the charm?
    A week later a guy rear ended me and I got whip lash and had to wear a neck brace for a week.
    Actually, bad drivers suck more!

  • Maria
    July 20, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    I’m sorry to hear about that πŸ™ California has ridiculous tax rates! My story would be when I went to take my driver’s test and nearly hyperventilated from being so nervous. The poor guy who was testing me asked me if I was going to be ok. Sole reason why I don’t want to move to a different state πŸ˜‰

  • Christina
    July 20, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Awesome comments, I am ROTFL…might wake the kids, I need to quiet down. πŸ™‚ Thanks for all these stories, so glad to know that I am not the only one who thinks a trip to the DMV is a cruel and unusual form of TORTURE!!

  • Ameena
    July 20, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    About a week after I had major surgery on my left hand I got the stomach flu. As my husband was on his way to see me at my parents’ place (because naturally I still retreat to their house when I’m sick) someone smacked into his car and totaled it.

    So there I was throwing up and my husband was being taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Well, other than a broken foot and a burst artery he was thankfully able to go home after a few days but we had to move in with his parents because he couldn’t drive. The day after we moved in with his parents my father-in-law didn’t notice my car in the driveway and smacked right into it, crushing the entire driver’s side door, plus ruining his own bumper.

    Basically we went from having 2 cars to 0 cars in literally a week. It was pretty sad.

  • Lizzie
    July 20, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    My DMV story. Since I am not a US citizen I had to retake all the tests (even though I had held a licence since I was 16 in my home country). So my husband came as my sponsor driver and I had to do the practical exam with a state trooper. It was (seriously) 100 degrees on the day, the cop was this huge burly guy and the second he sat in our Jeep he looked at me with a withering stare and said, “Leather seats? Great.” Then I had to show my hand signals – I knew them all . . except I forgot to wind the window down and do them OUTSIDE the car. It took me 3 goes before he informed me what I was doing wrong. Then we drove to the first intersection which was this insane 5 way doozy and he told me to go right, but he really meant a hard right and so he leaned over, grabbed the steering wheel and yanked it in the right direction. After that he made me drive down the street to the police station and wait in the car while he went inside. I was left bawling my eyes out – but I passed! And as soon as he told me that he became all friendly. Ha! πŸ™‚ So sorry that you had to pay that tax . . definitely not fair!! Hope some of these stories are cheering you up!

  • Adria
    July 20, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Two months ago I lost my almost expired driver’s license. Who knows where it went. No big deal, I just had to get it replaced.

    I googled where the DMV was in my middle-of-nowhere, largest town, with 50,000 residents, in an hour each direction, Kansas home. They have a separate driver’s licensing building!

    But, I have to say that I cannot share in your DMV misery. Once I got there I was immediately helped by a nice woman who helped me out on the eye exam, got me a discount on my new license, and reminded me to take my sunglasses off of my shirt before taking my picture. It was a nice surprise since I was expecting something similar to your experience.

  • courtney
    July 20, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    This is not my DMV horror story–it happened to my boyfriend’s dad–but it is worthy of sharing. Basically, he renewed his license by mail, but never got the card. So, he went to the DMV to get a new one, but they said they could not issue it without 2 valid forms of ID. The expired license did not count even though it was obviously a form of ID, and his passport was also expired. So, he got his birth certificate and his social security card. But, he names did not match (say your name is Charles but you by Chuck; the b.c. said Charles and the SS card said Chuck), so after waiting in line a second time he still did not have a license and was driving around with an expired license for weeks. I think he finally got a note from his health insurance provider and was able to use his birth certificate, but it was definitely a headache. So sorry to hear YOUR horror story; that is definitely crummy! Hang in there, and let Almanzo buy you dinner again to console you πŸ™‚

  • Danielle
    July 20, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    I’ve been pretty lucky with driving so far (knock on wood)…did have a flat tire for the first time 2 weeks ago and drove for a decent amount of time before I realized it…the driver of the car next to me had to flag me down and tell me! D’oh!

  • Rosey Rebecca
    July 20, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Not a dmv story, and not sure if it’s even fitting, but a couple years ago, I had a car follow me from my boyfriend’s house to my parents’ house 40 minutes away. The driver pulled up behind me in the driveway. My father ran out, flung open his door, and asked him what the heck he was doing. He drove away, but my mom got his plate number. The police tracked him down a town over and he told them he thought I was a girl he knew. They didn’t arrest him and I slept with the lights on in my room for months.

  • Dione
    July 20, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    My worst experience was when I went to renew my license, I had to take another picture. Just as I was standing there waiting for the lady to take the picture a guy came up and started yelling at the DMV employee. She quickly snapped my picture, looked at it briefly and was like, yeah that’s fine. I get my license in the mail a few weeks later and my picture totally looks like I’m stoned! I’m cheap so I kept it for the next 4 years and made sure my eyes were WIDE open the next time I went.

  • Courtney
    July 20, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    At the beginning of my freshman year of college, I got a new license for some reason and didn’t even take the time to look at it. About a month into school, we had to take our licenses out in my Statistics class. Since I went to school in a different state than the state in which I lived, the guy next to me (that I was just getting to know) asked to look at mine. A minute or two after passing my license to him, he started laughing hysterically. I didn’t think my picture was that bad. But, when I looked next to me, his face was a red, puzzled-looking, contorted mess. When I asked him why, he simply pointed to the letter under “Sex” on my drivers license–M. I am a female. After my license got passed around the room, I was determined to get it changed. I had to wait until I went to my home state again, and by the time I got there, I had received my letter asking me to register for the Selective Service. As if the situation weren’t bad enough, when I went to the DMV and asked them to change it, they told me I would have to bring my birth certificate to prove there actually was an error, and I would also have to pay $10. It was both the most expensive non-mistake I’ve ever made and the most expensive sex change I’ve had.Β 

  • Jenn
    July 20, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    So, I was 22, and scared of driving… but come on, I was getting too old to have my parents cart me around everywhere. So, I got I driving instructor. Terrifying man. I had never driven on anything but a parking lot. He guides me to I-95 (right outside of philadelphia). I was literally shaking! I mean who takes a new driver onto one of the busiest and craziest highways around? And then, whenever a crazy Philly driver cut me off, he would reach in front of me and honk the horn! And he would yell, “this is when you use the horn!!” All I could think was, please don’t kill me drivers, please…. it’s not me, it’s this crazy man who’s supposed to be teaching me how to drive! Thankfully I survived and am now quite a good driver. But I wonder if he’s still instructing students…. and if they have survived!

    Sorry about your DMV woes – crazy state laws, always make things difficult!

  • Megan
    July 20, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    My worst DMV story happened when I went to register my car last year. I never received my renewal notice and so I went to the DMV to see what was going on. I was totally sure my car registration had lapsed and I was going to get a ticket for it so I knew the best would be to get a number, stand in line, and deal with the problem. Well, when my number was finally called and I got down to the bottom of it all I found out my registration had been canceled. Turns out somebody had canceled the wrong registration and the wrong one happened to be mine.

  • Michelle
    July 20, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    I grew up in California and went to take my driving test on my 16th birthday. I was very confident since I had lots of practice. I made plans with my friends to meet them with jamba juice at the high school following the test, solo in my mom’s minivan of course. During the test I had only missed one point, and was making the final right hand turn back to the DMV. Suddenly, my back right hand tire bumped the curb. I had cut my turn a bit too tight, not enough to actually go over the curb, but enough to touch it. In California, that equals automatic fail. As you can imagine, I was completely devastated (and had to call my friends crying explaining why I wasn’t going to show up with our smoothies). So sad. At least I passed when I took the test again 3 weeks later.

  • Katie
    July 20, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Lady, I am so sorry about your car drama, but I can totally relate! In the same week, I had my car broken into twice. After the police said there was nothing they could do, I was pulled over and given a ticket for not wearing my seatbelt correctly. You read that right: CORRECTLY! I had the lap belt on & buckled, but I had tucked the shoulder strap behind my back . . . I was not pleased!

  • Lindsay
    July 20, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    I was in treatment for an eating disorder and I turned 16, so my parents got me a pass to go home to get my license. Well, when we got to the DMV, they said that they didnt have any openings that evening… so they sent us to a smaller town 45 minutes away. I proceeded to fail the driving test twice. I was completely freaked out and my parents didnt take me back to treatment that night and kept me home so that I could pass my test the next day. Luckily, when I went back in I had a much nicer tester and I actually tested, but it was a very bad experience.

  • Brianne
    July 20, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    I went to the DMV on the birthday and they said that both of my forms of identity cancelled each other out. I sat there crying because I couldn’t get my lisciene on my bday

  • Meg
    July 20, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    I just got pulled over on GA300 in the middle of the night on my way back to Tallahassee. It turned out to be the perfect time to find out that my drivers license expired on my last birthday… which was in November. Thankfully I only got a ticket for speeding, not the license part (still haven’t found out how much that will cost.) That’s not the bad part though. Now that I know my license is expired I have to get a new one because, you see, I’m moving to Senegal to serve in the Peace Corps in about 2 weeks, and I can’t get on a plane without a valid ID. My DMV happens to be booked until August 4th. So now i get to sit in line, an hour before they open, every day until I get in to get a new license.

    .. I guess at least I didn’t find all this out at the airport?

  • Jackie (Peaces of Earth)
    July 20, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Ughh!! That damn CA DMV sucks the life right out of you! I’ve spent way too many early mornings there. I’m sorry you had to pay that. That is so ridiculous!

    Oh, I have so many tales of woe when it comes to my car, so I will leave you with the best one. To start, my very first car that I had JUST paid off died, completely died. I got $100 dollars for it. $100!!!! In a mad dash to get a new car so I could move a week from the incident, I bought a car from Tony with 9 kids who totally took advantage of my naivety (looking back, total stupidity). I ended up spending wayyyyy too much for an okay car and am still paying it off 3 years later. As I pulled it out of the lot I got pulled over. For what?? Oh, because the cop scanned my car and it came up as STOLEN. I had to go back to the dealer, ending up straightening it out and finally got to take my car out on the road. That very night my tired exploded. You would think they would have checked these things. I called AAA to come and save the day and the lady asks, “you’ve called AAA 3 times in the past couple of weeks, are you okay?” NO, I was not. I had to drive on a donut and get it fixed the next day. It was not a fun couple of days…

    ps. thanks for this, how sweet of you!!

  • Julia @ Brit Bride
    July 21, 2010 at 2:46 am

    LOL @ would I meet La Lohan! HA HA HA! You always seem to make a bad situation funny.

    Keep up the good work Jenna.

    Julia x

  • Tammy
    July 21, 2010 at 5:37 am

    My worst DMV story is actually about my girlfriend.
    She got into a major car accident when she had her permit, So she never got her license, When she turned 21 she asked me to take her to DMV to apply again for her permit. We get there and she has to take the eye test. I was sitting half way across the room and she starts screaming at this poor old lady. I walk over and ask her what’s wrong, she says this wacko is wrong and she can see fine. So I look into the machine and see something totally different from her. Needless to say, 15 years later, she still has no license and has horrible eye sight.

  • Coco
    July 21, 2010 at 6:02 am

    It may be too late to post, but I just got back from vacation. My horror story involves getting my driver’s license when I was 16. In Maryland, you take the test on a course out back behind the MVA (DMV). There was a long line, and I was in my crappy 1995 Saturn waiting for hours in the hot sun. Finally, when it was my turn to take the test, my mom went inside because she didn’t want to watch. So, the guy gets in the car and says his little spiel and tells me to start the vehicle.

    So, I put the key in the ignition….and….it won’t start. I try it over and over, and it just makes garbling noises and will not start. Well, this pissed the guy off because there was a long line, and he started yelling at me, and I started crying, and my mom was inside and had NO IDEA all this was happening. So the man behind me (with his terrified daughter about to take the test as well) jump starts my car for me. A good half hour later, the car finally starts.

    At this point I am sobbing and the rude old man is yelling at me and finally he says “Just get in the car and let’s get this over with!”. So I took the test! He took 5 points off right away for “inability to start vehicle”, which I found rather unfair since it wasn’t exactly my fault the friggin battery died.

    The miraculous part of the story??? I PASSED…by 1 point. He told me I was going to be a terrible driver and would probably get into an accident. What a jerk. So far, my record is clean.

    Also funny–after all this happened, I was still crying in the bathroom and trying to wash my face off before my photo was taken, and a lady comes in and says “Aww…you failed?” and I sobbed “NO…I PASSED!!!” hahahahah.

    the end.

  • Lindsay
    July 21, 2010 at 6:09 am

    When I was 16 and taking my test, I had to make a left turn at stop light in a really busy intersection. I inched out so I would be able to go but the cars just kept coming, and the light turned yellow then red. I thought about going quickly as it turned red like people normally do but thought I would fail for doing that, so I waited for the next green. The guy failed me for being beyond the white line during the red light, and he wasn’t very nice about it. I still don’t know if I was supposed to turn on yellow or if I just shouldn’t have inched out beyond that stupid white line! I ended up bawling hysterically and peeling out of the parking lot. I cried the entire drive home. My dad thought it would be a nice idea to make me some spaghetti before going back to school to try and make me feel better. The spaghetti was yummy, but I ended up getting an illegal absence for missing “way more hours than it takes to complete a driving test”. So, I cried again. It was pretty awesome. haha!

  • kelly
    July 21, 2010 at 6:54 am

    This post was awesome! Sorry you got stuck paying that money…but the post was worth it:)

  • EL
    July 21, 2010 at 6:56 am

    When I moved back to MD I had to get a new driver’s license. I called the DMV and since I had been out of state for less then a year, they said they could reissue my old license because I was still in the system. I just needed to bring my NC license to the DMV. Once I got there, I was told I needed my SS card and/or passport. So I drove the 30 minutes back home to get them. When I got back to the DMV a different girl waited on me and told me all she needed was my NC license. I was steaming!. Then I had to register my car. Since I had tint on the windows, I had to have a trooper inspect and certify that the tint was not too dark. I had certification from the place that tinted the windows that it was legal tint, but the officer insisted it was too dark and made me rip the tint off while he watched. I now had sticky gross windows, but I was able to register the car. I promptly drove to my father’s office when I was done and bawled. My Dad surprised me the next day by having the windows tinted again for me.

  • Julie
    July 21, 2010 at 7:40 am

    I have awful car luck. Even though I’m an awesome driver and never gotten in an accident, trouble seems to follow my car. I worked and saved all through high school to buy it. Shortly afterwards, it got broken into. Then It was hit and run by the guy living across the street. Then I was hit and run from behind while stopped at a red light. Then it was stolen. (It was recovered with damages) Then it was rear-ended AGAIN while I was stopped at a red light and the girl that hit me claimed she was “hit from behind and pushed into me”. Which is bogus because her bumper didn’t have a scratch and mine needed to be replaced.

    And not a single thing has ever been covered by insurance.

  • Beth
    July 21, 2010 at 7:58 am

    When I moved to California I got pulled over bc my TN plates were “about” to expire?!? So I got a conditional ticket even though I tried to explain that I was just there temporarily for a job he wouldn’t hear it. So I went to the DMV and since I didn’t come to them within 10 days of moving to CA my plates cost over $600!! Then when I moved back to TN I discovered the CA DMV had lost my title and it took me two years to be able to get TN plates again. The CA DMV is nothing but trouble!!!

  • Richard
    July 21, 2010 at 8:01 am

    I don’t understand “why” you didn’t pick the (1) go to jail, (2) meeting Lindsay Lohan route. That would have been the California thing to do. Then you could have gone on Oprah, and discuss what Lindsay was like in jail, and how you’ve been so traumatized by the whole DMV situation that you’re moving to Paris to go into “culinary rehab”. Anyway, that’s what I would have done. πŸ™‚

  • Lauren
    July 21, 2010 at 8:24 am

    I know this is past the deadline, but I have to share my horror story.

    At the end of 2008, I got pulled over for talking on my cell phone. The cop was nice about it and didn’t give me a ticket. When he looked at my license, he asked me if that was still my current address. Having moved a couple weeks earlier, I said no (I should have just said yes!!!), so he proceeded to give me a fix-it ticket to update my address. He said it would cost $10, and to send in proof of the fix to the DMV and pay the fee to the Superior Court. Okay, great. I got all of it taken care of, sent in the fee, and that was that.

    Ten months later, I was driving home from class when a motorcycle cop pulled me over a block from my apartment. I had no idea why. Turns out, I was wearing my seatbelt wrong (tucked under my armpit instead of across my shoulder where it scratches my neck). Okay, not too big of a deal, I thought. He took my license and registration, went back to his car, then returned with this news: “Did you know your license is suspended and has been revoked?” Whaaaat??

    Cue big tears and ugly cry face. I asked him why, and he said he didn’t know, I had to figure it out with the DMV, and that he was going to take my license. Like, literally walk away with my license in my hand and leave me an illegal driver.

    Sobbed the whole block home, sobbed as I called the courthouse, and sobbed even harder when they told me I owed them $550 for failure to appear in court. Um, what? Turns out the $10 fix-it ticket was actually a $25 fix-it ticket, and since I never paid it in full or showed up at the court house to contest it, my penalty kept increasing over time…until it reached $550. I never knew the actual cost of the fix-it ticket because the cop wrote down my apartment number incorrectly so I never received notice of the correct amount to pay; I just assumed it would be $10, as HE SAID.

    I had the money I needed in savings to pay off the fee right away so I could get my license back “quickly” (you know speed isn’t what the DMV is known for), and then I could contest it and get my money back.

    A week later, it finally registered that I had paid my fee and could go to the DMV to get a new license and get cleared by the courthouse. It turned out I also woke up with a 102 fever that day, but I NEEDED my license back. So, there I sat in the DMV, loaded up on meds, for 2 hours. When my number was called, I was informed that I needed to take a new picture for my license.

    Now, whenever I show my license, there is 102-degree-flushed-faced-bed-head me smiling back πŸ™‚

  • Jordan
    July 21, 2010 at 8:24 am

    I live in the city, and the parking people are hard core. Apparently I’ve gotten 3 tickets that I mysteriously never saw on my windshield in December. I’m guessing some 2am bar patrons thought it would be cute to remove them? Fast forward to yesterday, I happen to be home for mail delivery and I am handed 3 notices that the tickets are about to get to a collection agency?! I went from OMG to WTF to FML in a half second. $60 to $700, which should be no sweat, ‘cuz I have cash like that just laying around my teeny apartment.

  • Noelle
    May 9, 2013 at 10:24 am

    So basically i went to takd my on the road driving test went perfectly until he asked me to drive vertically across some broken horizontal white lines in a parking lot. He kept telling me to just ignore the lines and pretend they werent there so something just didnt seem right and i told him i couldnt do it cause i learned to never cross a white line and it didnt make sense to just pretend they werent there, they had to be there for a reason. All he kept saying was to just ignore them, he never said no its okay to cross them or its okay to pretend they werent there. So i refused to cross them. So basically i failed cause i refused to pretend there werent lines on the ground. He also kept mentioning how the dmv was sueing the driving school i went to and how going there was a huge mistake. Great instructor, right? Btw i tested in waterbury ct