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Friday, September 16, 2005

Registration Conundrum

I feel like I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe. ~Author Unknown

I have a car here in DC that was quite useful when I lived down the street from Maryland and a mile away from the metro. I used it for groceries, babysitting and for trips to Georgetown. Since I was in college the whole car thing-insurance, registration, inspections, accidents, random transmission leakage-was all covered by my parents. Then there was that event May 8th that we will not speak of, in which immediately after, I became obsolete to any insurance company I had up until that point. Including the wonderful car insurance people. I also had a car that needed to be driven to Albany that needed to be inspected.

BS BS BS…fast forward to now.

At my former apartment building, there was an outdoor parking lot with not enough spaces for every car in the building. So the times that I showed up late and didn’t get a parking spot at the building I had to park on the street. The thing about street parking is that you can only park on a certain side of the street during certain times of the day. Like if I were to park on the right side of Mass avenue headed downtown, I would have to move my car by 7AM. Twice I have forgotten to move my car by 7AM and then my car goes missing only to be found later with a lovely $100 ticket under the windshield wipers. (Side note, my car once got towed when I parked in the fire lane of my building. It was towed to South East DC, I lived in Upper NW. This is very very far. The people who towed it charged me $150 for storage fees. I never asked them to store it!)

My new apartment is located downtown where there is plenty of street parking. The problem is that to park on the street requires a permit. I can’t get a permit until I move my insurance to under my name. Also getting a permit requires a DC license and inspection and a whole bunch of other stuff I don’t want to deal with. I also have a minor problem where I’ve managed to ‘misplace’ my birth certificate and social security card.

Here’s the conundrum part: I don’t want to get a license in DC. If I do this, that means that I lose my NY license/identity/ability to vote in a real election for people who actually vote in congress. I don’t want to be a registered DC voter. Repeat: I WANT A VOTING MEMBER OF CONGRESS. While this may not be important to most normal 21 year olds, it is terribly important to me. I like having two real life Senators who actually VOTE. And a Governor. I like governors, and state legislatures and all that good stuff. I also don't want to be a permanent resident of anywhere yet. And if I stop voting in NY then go back to run for office I'll be labeled a carpet bagger, and that's not fun for anyone.

So now I have a car parked 10 metro stops away from where I live and that I can only use during the weekends. And this arrangement will only work until mid-February when my parking permit at the former apartment building finally runs out. Then I am shit out of luck. But thankfully I can get a temporary permit for 6 months, but I’ll have to find my social security card and birth certificate.

All of this hell just so I can keep voting in NY. Because I like to vote. Yay democracy and voting rights.

Next up: watch me pay $150-$200 a month for a parking space near my apartment because I really don’t want to register in DC.


Blogger Lizzie said...

Are you sure you can't get a DC driver's license and still be registered to vote in NY? I have a Virginia license and am a NY voter and I don't actually live in either place. No one's ever said anything to me about it, even when I show my VA license at a NY polling station.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

Are you sure? Because that would be amazing. From what I've heard,If I got a DC license I would then become an actual DC resident and I just don't want that.

And if you have any insight on this, email, comment whatever.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Lizzie said...

I'm sure that my voter registration and driver's license are in 2 different places. I'm probably supposed to change them since I don't live in either of those places, but I don't think it's illegal. I mean, some people have homes in 2 different states so they would have the same issue in a way. I don't think there is any law that says your driver's license has to be from the same state that you're registered to vote in. If anyone gives you any trouble about it though, tell them Lizzie from the blog said it was ok! :-)

5:03 PM  
Blogger mysterygirl! said...

What a pain. I have friends in a similar situation who are forking over the cash every month for the parking space, and it sucks. Doing all the DC paperwork is an incredible timesap (and semi-expensive), though, so you're gonna have to pay either way. Grrr... :)

6:18 PM  

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