I’ve been driving, what, 34 years now? And I would say I’ve owned my own car for about 30 of those years. And in those 30 years, I can’t recall a single time when I paid my annual car registration on time. Some years I’ve gone up to three years without registering. Granted, that was a little extreme, but most of the time I’m at least several months out of date.
Why? you may reasonably ask. I mean, it’s really not so hard. A few months before your registration is due, you get a notice in the mail, and in theory you can simply mail in your check and then you get back your little sticker and you’re good to go. Now granted, here in California, every other year you have to have your car pass a smog check before you can register, so that adds a bit more complexity. But, really, doing your annual vehicle registration isn’t all that hard. Yet, for whatever reasons I can’t seem to manage to do it on time.
When I was younger, I did have what I felt were really valid reasons: I was either too depressed, drunk or broke to deal with it. I also had a really bad habit of accumulating vast amounts of parking tickets which always caught up with me when it was time to register. I’d be so proud of myself that I was finally going to the DMV to take care of my registration, only to discover I first had to pay off several hundred dollars in parking tickets. Doh!
But, those years are pretty far behind me. I’m a responsible adult with a good job, not struggling with finances, and I pay most of my bills on time. Yet, when it comes to the Department of Motor Vehicles I’m like a belligerent child. I don’t wanna pay!! And you can’t make me!! So what gives? I mean, I have nothing to gain from it. When my car is not up to date on registration, I have to constantly be on the look-out for cops, and when I see one, then have to maneuver or take a detour to make sure that a cop never gets directly behind me. Of course, in theory, if caught, they could impound my car – or so they always tell me when they give me my $10 fix-it ticket – but they never do.
Today, though, I’m so proud of myself. I finally paid my registration and it was only 3 months out of date. I’m no longer a scofflaw, but a good law abiding citizen. Hmmmm. Maybe that’s it. I like being a scofflaw. I mean, how boring is it to always follow the rules? But, I can’t help think that there has to be a more appropriate way to rebel and raise a little hell than avoid the DMV.