The Seasoned Citizen

Sabotaged by the DMV

After living in Manhattan for the last few years, my grandson, Chris, and my wonderful grand-daughter-in-law, Silvia, have decided to move back to his hometown of Westfield, N.J. Silvia has just returned from a four-day visit with her parents in Hong Kong and they are bunking with my daughter, Lisa, while preparing their new home. Because they now have a daily commute to the city, I decided to give them my car.

Since Jason died, I haven’t been traveling much and if I do need transportation, I can always rent a car for the day or count on my sister and her red Mercedes! Three years ago, we leased a beautiful Subaru and when my lease was up recently, I decided to purchase it. In essence, it would cost me the same monthly fee as leasing and I wouldn’t be beholden to the laws governing a leased automobile.

I contacted my bank and was told that as long as I paid the monthly fee, they didn’t care who drove the car. I contacted my insurance company, who has had my business for the last 45 years, and they said, “No problem. Just have your grandson mention your policy and we’ll write a new one for him.” Nice and easy—or so I thought!  

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Since the car will now be kept in New Jersey, Chris needed Jersey license plates. No big deal...or is it? The first time he tried to get them, the DMV said he needed to bring my title with him, so I gave him my title. Once again he tried to arrange for new plates and again he was refused. The title was not enough. Now he needed a letter from me, notarized, saying I was giving him my car.

Still not enough. Now they want my license and proof of my residence, so he has to go back a fourth time.

Meanwhile, my insurance company cannot understand why, after 45 years, I am not renewing my policy, even though Chris and Silvia are now listed as the only drivers of the car.  

All I wanted to do was gift them wheels so they wouldn’t have any more expenses now that they will be paying for their new home and, if you remember, they did give me my house as a gift after Jason died.  

I’m just trying to make their lives easier and instead, we’re all wrapped up in red tape!! Once again, we are battling “layers.” Let’s hope four is the magic number!

Contact Adrienne at

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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