Blogs > From The Bleacher Seats

A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Monday, October 29, 2012

A license to screw up

I’m not sure where to turn on this.
But rest assured, I will properly use the turn signals on my ’97 subcompact.
I was at the Secretary of State office recently to purchase new license plate tabs and to renew my driver’s license.
I could not renew my driver’s license.
“Your license was suspended in New Jersey,” I was told.
“That’s funny,” began my retort. “I have not been in New Jersey since 1977, and I did not even own a car then. I took the bus to and from work.”
“You’ll have to clear that up with New Jersey,” I was told.
So much for the Welcome Mat out front of the Secretary of State office. Service with a smile or was that a sneer?
She jotted down a phone number.
I called that long distance number when I got home. A very pleasant lady from New Jersey was sympathetic, but told me I had to call another number.
I did and was greeted by another sympathetic ear. But sympathy did not equal a solution. Sorry, I can’t help you. Here’s another number to call.
I called the third number and was greeted with a recording. Leave a message and someone will call back within five business days.
A handful of days later, I got a call back. A man took my home address and said a letter would arrive in the mail informing me what had to be done.
I got the letter. New Jersey wanted a birth certificate. It wanted additional information. It all had to be notarized. I’m not sure, but I think New Jersey wanted our first born, too, who is now 35 years old.
The traffic violation by some other guy named James Evans occurred in 1995. He failed to appear in court. His license was suspended.
Only that James Evans is not this James Evans. And James Evans is not exactly an uncommon name. Just ask the millions of folks who used to watch the television show “Good Times.” The dad’s name was James Evans.
This has definitely not been a good time. If I get stopped by the police before this is resolved, they’ll see my license has been suspended in New Jersey. I’ll try to explain that New Jersey’s James Evans is not Michigan’s James Evans.
They probably will not believe me. I’ll be taken to jail and I will be allowed one phone call. It won’t be to New Jersey. It will be to Geoffrey Fieger, Sam Bernstein or home so my wife, Kim, can bake me a cake with a file in it pronto.



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