Tuesday, September 23, 2008

9/23/08 A Whole Different Kind of New Season

Today, is the first full day of Autumn. It really feels like it: The air is chilly and dry and the skies are sunny and blue. A new season. Today, I finally got my Maine license plates and registered to vote in Maine. And that's a whole different kind of new season in my life.

It only took me 13 months. I think that means I was illegal for 10 months (or maybe 12?). It wasn't easy (lots of paperwork and visits to the town office) and it wasn't cheap (you pay excise tax as well as registration fee so it was over $200 and will be every year for a while until it's old enough to get a cheaper rate) but mostly it was emotional.

Once I got the plates, it only took 48 hours to get them put on. And that was trickier than usual. 10 days before I left Texas back in August 2007, I was rear-ended at a red light. It did a little damage to the back bumper and the passenger side tail light sticks out a little further than usual, but it's all cosmetic. The same force also pushed me into the trailer hitch of the pickup in front of me and that bent my license plate and plate holder and put a little dent in the front bumper. When I took it in for the insurance estimate, I told the estimator that since I had just moved to Maine (yes, the accident was in Texas but after talking with several insurance people we all agreed that if it was safe and driveable, I might as well wait) and didn't know if I might get a few more bumps and scratches driving in snow, I'd rather just take the money and not get the repairs done and he said fine. So that's what I did. Then we talked about my license plate. He said I could probably find someone for $10 who would just jerry rig something for me. On Tuesday, when I ran into my landlord and we were just chatting, I told him I had just made the big move and gotten my Maine tags (he's been ragging on me about it ever since I started parking in his driveway). Then I told him the part about finding someone who would jerry rig it for me. He said he would take a look at it. And he fixed it! I didn't even have to buy a new plate holder. And while he was at it, he just went ahead and replaced the back one for me, too. I already liked my landlady and landlord, but you gotta really love a landlord who will help you really feel like you're at home.

So here's my landlord taking off the Texas tag (he asked not to be in the photo) and below that is my cute little Saturn with its new tags.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good to know that you're no longer an "illegal immigrant" to Maine! When I moved here from Kansas, I was puzzled by the whole plate at the front of the car thing--we only had one in Kansas, on the back, and that was good enough for us! I had to buy a plate holder and have it installed before I can be an official Maine resident.