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Phase I of Operation: Lawful Citizen is complete - Peter Hentges

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November 13th, 2004


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01:33 pm - Phase I of Operation: Lawful Citizen is complete
Went off to the Dept. of Public Safety office this morning to see if there was anything that could be done about getting my license de-suspended. No dice. I'll have to deal with the court and they won't be around until Monday morning.

Then gave a call to minnehaha and K, being the helpful sort, came and took my friend, Philip, and I down to the the City of Minneapolis Impound Lot to get my car out of hock. Before heading down, I checked their web site in order to be sure I had everything I needed. They take credit cards; check. Need a picture ID; check. Need the VIN number; check. Need proof of insurance. Whoops. I have insurance, but get all my documents delivered electronically and didn't have a new policy card. No problem, though, I just printed the latest one out from the company's web site.

When we got down there, though, the drone-lady behind the bullet-proof glass tried to tell me that what I had was not legal proof of insurance. I had to have the "original" insurance card. I tried to explain that this was the original as I don't get any hard-copy mail from my insurance company but she wasn't buying it. She eventually told me that I'd have to call and have the company fax a copy of the policy down. So I call them, they fax it.

It looks identical to the one I printed out.

Still, I have my car and am safe at home where I will remain until I get ahold of the district court offices on Monday. Unless, of course, some enterprising soul wants to swing by and spirit me off for some reason.

Some have wondered how I could have my license suspended and not know. You have to go to court and they tell you it's suspended, right? Apparently not. I won't have the full story until I talk to the court people, but here's the sequence of events as I suspect they have happened: Last October I forgot to renew my license plate tabs. I received a ticket for this sometime after January. I immediately renewed by tabs. I thought I paid the ticket at the same time. I am now thinking that I failed to do that. As a result, on June 12, 2004, my license was, apparently, suspended. I received no notice of this action by mail or phone. First I heard of it was when I was pulled over Friday night. So I am currently intending to go to traffic court and see if I can't get some portion of the fine for that offense reduced. Depending on the schedule, I may not do that, but think it's a screwy system in any cas.
Current Mood: accomplished
Current Music: Dies Ist Unverschämtheit--The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets--Spaceship Zero

(5 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:sraun
Date:November 13th, 2004 12:11 pm (UTC)
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I immediately renewed by tabs. I thought I paid the ticket at the same time.

FWIW, as I recall it (I went through a similar thing 5-10 years ago), you pay for the tabs in location A and the fines location B. So, I can easily see that you payed one but not the other.
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:November 13th, 2004 05:10 pm (UTC)
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Indeed, they are not at the same place. I thought I mailed in the payment for the ticket but could have easily lost track of it in the mix.
[User Picture]
From:laurel
Date:November 13th, 2004 01:14 pm (UTC)
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I think I remember more details on that news story I heard a while back. I think MN was doing something bizarre where they sent out letters or postcards or something to a percentage of licensed drivers to contact them with proof of insurance. Those who didn't contact them within the allotted time, had their licenses suspended.

And some people (like, say, those who moved and didn't notify the state) were darn surprised to find this out. Others just forgot to respond. Anyway, I forget what percentage of drivers they estimated might have suspended licenses and not know it, but it was a rather large number of people the state contacted that they never heard back from. May not apply in your case, but I found it interesting.

I've had tickets for expired tabs at least a couple of times. And one of those times, I couldn't find my proof of insurance and they threatened to suspend my license, but I managed to get it straightened out in time. Was a major pain, but nothing not as big of a pain as what you've had to deal with.
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:November 13th, 2004 05:17 pm (UTC)
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I remember reading something about this too. The one experience I had with a "no proof of insurance" ticket (which was given to me in lieu of a speeding ticket) was that it seemed, at least in Ramsey County, they really, really don't want you to have that ticket. If you are a schlepp like me and don't come up with proof on time, you are called in to court. If you show up at court and don't have proof, you are given a second court date to come up with it. If you haven't come up with insurance by then, they have a special program of state-provided liability insurance to sign you up for.

This feels different than that experience. (I didn't have to go through all those hoops, thankfully, and just showed up in court with my proof of insurance.) I'm not sure if the difference is Hennepin vs. Ramsey or if it's the type of offense.

In any case, while expensive and unplanned, it's not been all that bad due, largely, to the help of friends.
[User Picture]
From:mgs
Date:November 18th, 2004 11:46 am (UTC)

could be worse

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I've taken people home after they've spent the weekend in jail for exactly the situation you were in. One guy, his seperated wife had gotten a parking ticket on his truck and never told him.

I once got a letter saying I had an unpaid ticket, and it turned out to be for failure to properly shovel the sidewalk. I'd never seen the original citation. Who knows where they put it.

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