Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I stumped the State of Texas!

Unique is a word sometimes used to describe me (odd, weird, strange, funny, special are used as well). I have had personalized license plates for over 10 years. My mom bought my first set "DJ BYRD" back in 1998. My parents used to get personalized plates often (before they had kids!). There is a stack of them in the garage of my dads house. "DJ BYRD" stood for my name (well part of my name... I have two middle names). Some people thought I was a Disk Jokey. Ummm no.

After  "DJ BYRD" I bought "GEEEKY". I wanted "GEEK" or "GEEKY" but they were taken. A little over three years ago "GEEK" became available. I bought it right away and added my alma mater, Stephen F. Austin State University, to the plates as well. There are only two extra options one can get for license plates in Texas, personalization and an affiliation. I had both which is rare because it's expensive.


Most cars in Texas cost $60 a year to register. My car cost $140 a year. I pay $40 a year for personalization (which is a rip off as I don't get new plates each year!!!!!) and $30 a year for the affiliation. Part of the $30 goes into a scholarship fund.

This year I decided I wanted to save $30 and drop the affiliation. I scoured the state of Texas websites to see how to do it. No information. I called the hotline yesterday. The clerk said she had never encountered this situation and she has been at this job for years. After being placed on hold for a few minutes she said I would have to go down to the local Tarrant County Tax Office and tell them.

Most of the time I wait until the end of the month to register my car. I can do it online....but always wait until it's too late. This means there are long lines as everyone else waits till the last minute as well. Today being the middle of the line.

I brought in all my paperwork and told the clerk what I wanted. She began typing into the computer and stopped. The computer wouldn't let her reissue new personalized plates (I needed new ones to remove my affiliation) as "GEEK" was already taken. She called over a supervisor. She began pointing while the clerk began typing....and then stopped. Phone calls were made and shoulders were looked over. Literally 15 minutes later the problem was fixed.

I will give them credit. In the past I had to write two separate checks for my plates. Now just one. Also in the past the new plates would arrive in downtown Ft. Worth. I would then call and have them transferred to the office in Hurst where I would pick them up. Now they will be sent straight to my house!

I don't think I will ever have "regular" plates again. Gotta keep up my adjectives.

Yesterday on the way home I passed 7777's soooo time for Vegas!


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