More motor madness

By Megan McArdle

David White of Inside Washington Weekly sends along an email proving that Pennsylvania isn't the only state capable of wild illogic:

When I moved to DC from Virginia two years ago, I did exactly what I new resident is supposed to do: I got my car inspected, and then went to the DMV to both register my vehicle and get a license.
 
When I got my DC license, I surrendered my Virginia license (as required by law). At this point, the DC DMV is supposed to inform the Virginia DMV that I've surrendered my Virginia license. It even says so on their website. But that didn't happen, as a DMV staffer forgot.
 
So, Virginia still had me in their system as an active driver. But soon, my no-longer-existent Virginia license expired. As did my Virginia car registration. As did my Virginia car insurance. So, the State of Virginia had me in their system as an active driver with no license and an uninsured, unregistered car. Needless to say, that's a problem.
 
So, when pulled over for speeding in Virginia, the police officer kindly asked (after I showed him my active DC license and DC registration) if I was the same person who once lived in Alexandria, VA. At that point, he informed me that, despite being a legally licensed driver in DC, my privlege to operate a motor vehicle in the state of Virginia had been revoked. Although he admitted that it was likely a bureaucratic error, he had no choice but to force me to abandon my vehicle because of what the "computer said." This was, as you would say, a Rule That Must Be Followed No Matter What. He informed me that, had I not been so polite, he would have been forced to cuff me and have my vehicle impounded. I was, after all, operating a vehicle without a license.
 
When I returned to my office (via an expensive taxi ride), I called the Virginia DMV -- and as soon as I faxed over my DC registration, they fixed the error. Nonetheless, I still had to show up to court a month later, as technically, I was arrested for operating without a license. The judge dropped all charges. 
 
I can't wait for the government to take over our healthcare system.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2008/08/more-motor-madness/3969/