Shiny Metal Tiger

Experiences in Baltimore, MD

Fuel My Fire

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Finally, after three entire days spent at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, I’ve managed to procure a Maryland license and get my car registered. The trouble comes from the amount of paperwork required to get anything done, the arbitrary way in which the validity of said paperwork is evaluated and of course the amount of people needing to get something done there. To get a license, you need:

  1. Source documents proving your age and identity
  2. Documentation of a valid, verifiable social security number
  3. Source documents for lawful status in the US
  4. Two source documents proving Maryland residency

The first time I went, I’d called in advance to ask whether I could have my bank print out a statement to use for item #4, which was fine they said. Only when I got there, it wasn’t fine. So I tried to get my vehicle registered at least, but alas, I was missing another document, the release from lien obtainable from Toyota Financial Services. So I had to wait to get a bank statement in the mail (and the letter from Toyota), since I didn’t have access to any of the other documents for residency (credit card bill, tax returns, voter registration card etc.). Back to the MVA to go through the famously rigorous US driver’s tests, which I promptly proceeded to fail. My written test was flawless, as was the parallel park etc., but leaving the training course I screamed past a stop sign at a ludicrous speed of approximately 2 inches per hour, which was an instant fail condition.

Note the stolen hubcap: Baltimore style.

So I got to drive home, in the same car I’d failed the test in (perfectly legal, since my Danish license was still valid), and think about the error of my ways. Went back the next day, better prepared this time, and got the license. Which in my mind marks my official status change to a rolling stone on the American highway, and thus prompts me to post a picture of my pimp ride.

It’s a far cry from the 1969 Corvette Stingray I’d imagined myself in during my stay here, but on the bright side I can do two normal work weeks on a 25$ tank of gas (which of course gets even better for roadtrips). And more importantly, given the way people (myself included) park here, I’d be living in constant fear of scratches if I had the ‘vette. So for now, this is a great solution.

So I’ve got a ride now, how about driving? Ok, waay too obscure… I’m referring to the song by Incubus, which is basically about remaining true to yourself, choosing your own path in life and following it with integrity. Great song. In fact, I’m going to listen to it right now…

Written by Martin

2010/03/31 at 17:17

Posted in New toys

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