In which I nearly get hauled off to the pokey

(This title is such a tease. You know I’m WAY too boring to go to jail for anything interesting, right?)

Sometime back in June, I got pulled over on my way to a doctor’s appointment. I was running late, the left turn arrow was already on yellow, and I tailed someone through the intersection even though I knew it’d be red before I could clear the intersection.

Of course, a cop just happened to be there. And he pulled me over.

He was going to let me off with a warning, but then he ran my license, and he found a notice that I had no car insurance, and that he was supposed to take the plates off of my car.

Important side note: I did have insurance. What happened was an overlap with my car insurance when I changed over from a joint policy with my ex-husband to a solo policy by myself. So I was basically double-insured for a while. Then I figured it out, my old joint policy was canceled, and the new policy was in effect. But, hey! Boring-but-critically-important detail: my new insurance company never informed the DMV that they were covering me. Whoops.

Apparently the DMV sends you notices about these types of things when they happen. But the address that they had on file was my old house, not the one I moved into after my separation. And even though I had a forwarding address, for whatever reason, those letters didn’t get forwarded to my new house.

So, yeah, it was basically a giant clusterf**k of miscommunication that led to that Wednesday in June when the cop got a screwdriver out of his trunk and took the license plates off of my car.

I called my insurance company in a panic, they apologized profusely and immediately faxed a letter to the DMV, I drove my plate-less car to the DMV, paid for my new tags, and that was that.

Or so I thought.

I sort of missed one important detail there: the ticket that the cop wrote for my lapsed insurance? Apparently the ticket didn’t disappear once I straightened things out with the DMV. Court system & DMV are two totally different systems. Which I guess I knew, but never really thought about?

There was a court date a couple of weeks ago. Which I missed, because I assumed that there was no reason for me to be there. You know, since I’d paid my fees with the DMV, proven to them that I was sufficiently insured (and always had been), and gotten new license plates.

And all of that boring backstory is what led to this tweet tonight.


I had gotten home with the kids, heated up dinner, and I was in the bathroom taking a much-needed pee break when my doorbell rang. I saw the cop car outside, and… well, my general rule is that I don’t answer the door for strangers, but if a uniformed cop rings your doorbell, YOU ANSWER IT.

He told me that I’d missed my court date and that because of that, there’s a warrant that’s been issued for my arrest. When I started to freak out that I was home alone with my two kids because I’m a single mom, he shook his head and said, “Don’t worry, I’m not taking you anywhere.” (He really was very nice about the whole thing.)

He gave me a card with the number for the district attorney’s office, and told me that I need to call and set up a new court date. He said that if I have proof that my insurance never lapsed & that everything is ok with the DMV, it’ll likely all get dismissed.

Moral of the story: I’m apparently an idiot and need to pay closer attention to fine print. But it’s fine. I’m fine. Not in jail. All is well. Just… that was not exactly what I was expecting for a typical boring Tuesday night in the suburbs.

3 thoughts on “In which I nearly get hauled off to the pokey

  1. Glad it’ll work out. Going to jail is such of fear of mine (even though I’ve never done anything illegal). I’ve watched too much Oz. 🙂

  2. I’ve never had a warrant out for my arrest (AFAIK) but I totally empathize. Everyone else knows how this system works. It was your first time getting off your ex’s policy so how were you supposed to know all the steps you had to make sure happened? In hindsight it probably seems obvious, but it sure is frustrating to try to do it all perfectly if you don’t actually know what perfectly is. (I might still be just a tiny bit bitter about my experience with insurance for the car I leased with my ex. heh.)
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