January 4, 2010

Never Going Back Again

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:35 pm by dgcombs

Katie with her new Georgia TAGWhat an ordeal it’s been. I’m never going back again!

Early in November, my daughter, Katie, called me and asked me whether I’d seen the car tag renewal form for her car yet. I would have seen it because we bought it together back in April, 2006 and I’m still on the lien. Since I’m listed first, I own the car but she is the co-owner – and the one making the payments! We performed a group shrug and figured that the tag office would be able to present her with a tag whether or not we had the reminder slip.

So, on November 24th, just three days before my birthday, she had the emissions tested. Her husband took the information to the local tag office where I live (still first on the Lien, remember?) and was told that the title was no longer in Georgia, but in Kansas. Then he heard a refrain which we were to hear a lot over the next four weeks, “I can’t do anything.”

Over the next four long and grueling weeks, we both made efforts to get this situation resolved. It was not for lack of trying, calling, talking to people, being nice, being grumpy. The answer from almost everyone either of us talked to was, “I can’t do anything.”

* 9/2007 Katie moved to Kansas. She and Sprint, her employer had agreed on a career path that would be very nice for her. However, a few months into the deal, Sprint backed off.

* 10/2007 Kansas issued Title and Registration Receipt. This was sent directly to the lien holder. Their understanding was that this was provided in lieu of an actual printed title. As a result, the lien holder representatives told us, “I can’t do anything.”

* 10/2007 Kansas Tag issued and title fee paid. Regardless of what anyone says, Kansas believes you can provide a tag and license plate without their issuing a title. I know that’s true. Katie still has the Kansas license plate in her kitchen to prove it.

* 10/2007 Kansas Inspection completed. This is an interesting inspection. Apparently they do not care about emissions or the safety of the car. They are only looking for valid VIN number and matching it to the VIN number on the paper work. When Katie and her friend Tim visited, they compared Georgia vs. Kansas inspections. When the guy went under the car, they assumed he was looking for rust. He was actually looking for the VIN number affixed to the underside of the car.

* 1/2008 Katie moved back to Georgia. We went out there, rented a truck and packed her up and moved her back. Her son, Tyler and I took the dog, Akira while Katie’s mom and she drove the truck with the little Honda in tow.

* 2/2008 Soon after arriving back in Georgia, Katie went to the transfer the car back to Georgia. She was told at the Fayette County Tag office that Kansas hadn’t completed the transfer. The worker issued tag for Georgia. This is interesting in that the clerk at the tag office indicated that he could do something.

* 11-24 Georgia emissions inspection completed. It passed!

* 11-25 Katie was working that day and her husband came to the Fayette County tag office. He was ready to pay the Georgia Ad Valorem tax and collect the new tag. We all figured this would be a quick painless visit since last year’s tag visit was a non-event. What we found out was that there was no Georgia title for the car. The computer said, “Cancelled to another state, Kansas.” Because of this (you guessed it), “I can’t do anything.”

* 11-25 What the tag office did eventually do was issue a temporary tag for 30 days – expiring on Dec 28th. This allowed for a full month to get things straightened out. We both hoped that would be sufficient.

* 11-26 Thanksgiving

* 12-01 The Kansas form TR42, a request and consent for Kansas title, was faxed requesting title be issued and sent to Fayette County GA.

* 12-11 I received a copy of the Faxed Kansas form TR42 requesting that the an authorized signature be affixed and the form be notarized. This didn’t make a lot of sense to me but I figured I’d call to find out.

* 12-14 I made a call to the Kansas tag office. During the course of this call, I discovered that the Kansas inspection for 2008 had not made it in person and on paper to the proper folder at the Kansas DMV. For this reason the title transfer was place in the Pending file and apparently was still there. Without that inspection document (matching the VIN number to the paperwork), the answer I got was, “I can’t do anything.”

* 12-14 to 18 I made several more calls to Kansas DMV and Georgia DMV. These calls elicited a lot of, “I can’t do anything” but no offers help.

* 12-17 Finally, I spoke to a supervisor in the Kansas DMV. She suggested that I send a letter requesting they stop generate a Kansas title. So I faxed a signed and notarized letter to Kansas Department of Revenue, Division of Vehicles as directed requesting that the title transfer be *incompleted* and returned to Georgia.

* 12-18 An inquiry on the status of the fax to Kansas DMV discovered that the request was *already* marked INCOMPLETE and had been moved to microfilm because the 2008 inspection hadn’t taken place. However, Katie, and the car were in Georgia, with a Georgia tag in 2008.

* 12-22 Frustrated by the lack of progress I penned an email to the following people:

In the email I explained the situation as follows:

In April of 2006, my daughter bought a 2002 Honda Civic (VIN number above). I signed the loan for her and she cosigned with me. In September of 2006, she moved to Kansas City, Kansas hoping to move forward in her career with Sprint. Within 30 days of moving, she got a new Kansas license plate and initiated the process retitle her car in Kansas. Included in this process was completing a car inspection for 2007. On October 10, 2007, Kansas provided a Title and Registration Receipt to the lien holder with the new Kansas tag number on it. (see attached file)
Unfortunately, the job situation did not pan out for her and she returned to Georgia in January of 2008. She went to the local tag office in Georgia and was told that the transfer had not been completed by Kansas. They provided her with a Georgia tag to put on her old Georgia plate which she had kept.
This year, 2009, she tried to renew the tag in Georgia in November (my birth date). However, she was told the car did not have a valid Georgia tag. For the next several weeks, she attempted to straighten out the issue but no one could help get to the bottom of the problem.
Last week, I received a letter from Kansas asking me to complete a TR42 form, consent to title in Kansas. However, since the car is actually in Georgia, this is an improper form. I’ve called and talked to Motor Vehicle Division in Georgia at some length. The status for the car in Georgia is, “Cancelled to Another State – KS” as can be seen on the attached file. As a result, the Georgia department cannot do anything. My understanding from Kansas is that the titling process has been “incompleted” and sent to microfilm because the inspection information has not been presented for 2008, after the car was moved back to Georgia.
Kansas’ position is that since Georgia was the last titling jurisdiction, that it must reissue the title. Georgia’s position is that it has sent the title on to Kansas and Kansas must issue a title. LGE, the lien holder, says that it received a receipt on the title from Kansas and therefore Kansas must initiate a move.
At this point, the status of the car is clear: it has no title. Since it has no title, it can have no license plate. That being the case, it is illegal to drive. This is not a good Christmas present for my daughter. I am including the paperwork I have accumulated over the last couple of weeks as an attachment which shows that Kansas was in last possession of the title, whether the paperwork to license the car was complete or not. I would therefore respectfully request that Kansas send a title to Georgia or that Georgia reissue a title so that my daughter will not be deprived of her property any longer without due process.

If the bold faced portion looks familiar, it’s because I extracted it from the Bill of Rights, the 5th Amendment which covers a good deal more than simply incriminating one’s self.

* 12-23 I got a short, but to the point response via email from Joan Wagnon, the Secretary of Revenue in Kansas.

I will attempt to get our T&R department to straighten this out for you ASAP.

* 12-24 I got emails from Michael McLin, Bureau Manager for Kansas Titles and Registrations. He directed the supervisor in charge to contact me with two options:

  1. To send a letter indicating that a title was not issued in Kansas or
  2. To issue a Kansas title if we could fax them the Georgia inspection

I immediately opted for the latter. I did not trust that Georgia could respond to a letter. After all, they had already cancelled their version of the title and “could not do anything.” I was told that FedEx would not pick up on Christmas Eve. However, the freshly printed title would be sent out on the first pickup Monday, January 4th.

* 12-25 Christmas Day

* 12-28 The Georgia tag extension expired on this day. But I did get a phone call from Kansas Tag office indicating that the title has been printed and set out for FedEx pickup. It should be at the Fayette County Tag office on Tuesday. I head back to the Fayette County Tag office. I explain the situation to yet another person there. After a brusque response from the supervisor, a one week extension is granted.

* 12-29 The tag office calls Katie. The title has arrived. I go to the tag office to get the paperwork prepared. It is unfortunately too late in the day to get Katie and me in the same place. So we agree to meet there first thing on Wednesday morning.

* 12-30 The next morning, we both arrive at the tag office. We get in and get to a clerk. She finds the Kansas title. We believe we are done. I start writing the check for $38 to pay for the transfer. And then, we hit a snag. They need a binder from Katie’s insurance company. Now, Katie had them fax one over the previous day to make sure it was available when we arrived. But this morning, they could not find it. Katie calls the insurance company again. They fax the insurance binder again. But this time, the date shows the dates when the insurance is in force and not today’s date. This is not acceptable and without it, yeah – “I can’t do anything.” So Katie calls the insurance company back one more time. They change the date and fax again. This time when we receive the fax, the clerk says, “This isn’t for you, it’s for someone named Katie Albers.” Sigh, now we need one more thing… a copy of Katie’s marriage certificate. Katie is about to cry. The check I’m filling out now has a scribble on it where there should be the dollar amount. We are both a bit upset and it shows. Just so we don’t feel so bad, the clerk tells us the computer won’t accept the name change without the certificate and therefore she, “can’t do anything.”

We take a break. Katie comes up with an idea. We’re in Fayetteville, the County seat. We head over to the court house and it takes fifteen minutes to get a copy of her marriage certificate.

Back at the Fayette County tag office, get back in the line, sign the paperwork and THIS time, she “could do something.” We got the tag.

I have yet to hear anything at all from Tom Shields or anyone from the Georgia Motor Vehicle Division. My guess is they are quiet because they “can’t do anything.”



  1. EzraSF said,

    Bureaucracy at its finest. Important things get lost in it causing a nightmare for every day people. Paying representatives based on the number of cases like this they solve could help. Maybe that is why Russian bureaucrats make so much money?

  2. Emily said,

    Oh, this is a terrific example of ‘can’t do anything’

    Scary. Thanks for blogging!!!

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