March 14, 2008

How Appropriate: It's Pi Day and I've Been Going in Circles

Today, I was finally going to get done with moving to Worcester. I know, I know, I should have done this awhile back but I so hate dealing with bureaucracy and so like doing just about anything that isn't dealing with bureaucracy that today, finally, I was going to transfer the registration on my car to this state. No big deal, right?

Wrong. Because, you see, bureaucracy is involved and, in particular, ass-covering bureaucracy.

I found out today that somehow, between the time I paid my car loan off about four years ago and this morning that the state of Florida's DMV screwed up something with their records. They apparently lost some data and never fixed the problem or fixed it wrong. I was, of course, caught in this lovely techno-bureaucratic cock-up. I found out today that, according to the state of Florida, the large financial corporation that issued my car loan had never told Florida that my loan had been paid off and the title transferred to me. At least that's what shows in Florida's records.

Was I a little surprised by this? You bet! How did I find out it was Florida's screw-up? When I called the large financial corporation and they pulled up my record, the rep on the line with me immediately said in a low-pitched voice, "Oh. You're from Florida. We've been getting numerous calls from Florida. I bet you need a lien release, right?"

Well, yes, that's exactly it. Apparently I'm not the only one this has happened to. The rep knew what I needed before I asked based on where I had been living when I paid off my loan. Not good.

So, because of Florida's screw-up, my former lien holder has to send me the lien release. I then have to send that to Florida so that they can update their records. Then, and only then, I can transfer my car registration to Massachusetts. This is despite the fact that the Florida DMV sent me a title in 2004 that said that the car was mine-all-mine because I had paid off my loan.

There really is something in the water down there.

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