Monday, July 20, 2009

California Riders Beware!

Fenris' (my Street Glide Autobot) registration was up for renewal in May. Just before the registration was due, I received a notice in the mail, on State of California, Department of Motor Vehicles letterhead, stating my registration would be suspended effective July 16 if proof of insurance was not provided.

Apparently, carriers who insure California drivers are now required to submit proof of financial responsibility ELECTRONICALLY to the State. The notice advised that my insurance company had not submitted electronically (despite the fact that we have 6 vehicles registered in California and only Fenris was at risk for suspension).

Instead of paying my registration renewal online, as I was able to do, I took a day off and went to the DMV. My insurance was verified, my registration renewed, and I was assured that all was well.

On Saturday I received a notice, again on DMV letterhead, indicating that Fenris' registration was suspended as of July 16.

Outraged, I called the number listed on the notice and advised of the steps I had ALREADY taken in order to avoid this bureaucratic SNAFU. I was advised that the "OFfice of Financial Responsibility" was a "third party" and NOT affiliated with the DMV. Which, of course, prompted me to ask why the notice of impending suspension and the notice of suspension itself were both printed on letterhead clearly stating "State of California, Department of Motor Vehciles?" And why the instructions on said notices detail that payments should be made to the Department of Motor Vehicles, and not some "third party?"

The singularly unhelpful "third party" representative provided me with a fax number and adivsed I should fax my proof of insuirance right away, then immeidately call back for verification. Which I, of course, did. When I called back for verification, I was told by yet another "third party" representative that it takes 24 to 48 hours to verify my fax and enter the information into the system. They would not even verify that my fax had been received.

The moral of the story: if you receive a notice that your registration is going to be suspended because your insurance carrier has failed to electronically provide proof of financial liability, DO NOT go to the DMV to submit. Submit proof of insurance as instructed on the notice and CALL YOUR INSURANCE CARRIER to ensure that the information they have on file for you and your vehicle match the information the DMV has on file.

This has been a public service announcement from one who's spent the day being ass-f**ked by a "third party." You know that means no reach-around.


*~kAy~* said...

man, that sounded like it was so inconvenient.. :/
I don't know why they make notices so confusing like that...

sorry to hear that you had to go through so much frustration...
was nice of you to warn us so we won't have to go through all of that.. thanks :)

J Leona said...

Great Blog! Great tips. I have had some issues with the DMV when I first bought my bike. It was a pain.

Just wanted to say hi, I’m a new rider. Took the course in April, bought my bike in May. I have a 04 750 Honda Shadow Aero. I love it soo much! I’m learning every time I go out and ride. Lucky for me I live in CO and every weekend has been a great experience of Mountain riding. I don’t really care for city riding. I know I need to continue to learn and get comfortable with it. I just hate all the stop and go! I just want to go!

Daughter of Night said...

Hey J! Thanks for stopping by!

Congratulations re: your Shadow! I had a Shadow 750 waaaaaaaay back in the day. :-)

I was born and raised in Boulder, CO and still miss it every day. Many of my friends were able to ride to the Black Hills this year for the Sturgis rally, and all commented on the breathtaking beauty of our home state!

As for the city riding: practice, practice, practice! At YOUR pace and at YOUR comfort level. Push yourself a little bit every day. You'll be manuvering through traffic in no time!! :-)