It is official! I have new plates on my car! The funny thing is that even with multiple state moves I have never been able to get rid of my New Jersey plates. I feel as if they have followed me everywhere I have moved, haunting me with the idea of moving back to a state that was my least favorite. My first NJ plate came once I was able to clear my driving record. When I first moved to NJ my driving privileges were revoked due to a stupid decision I made in North Carolina. NC was kind enough to grant me some leniency issuing me a specific work and emergency license. I quickly learned that I could not transfer this unique license to NJ, so I refused to change over my beautiful First in Flight plates. Eventually I finished my terms and mounted onto my car it’s first set of New Jersey plates.
A few years with these golden yellow monstrosities we learned we would be relocating to South Dakota. The idea of having 4 giant stone heads grace my car plates was exciting, but by the time that I arrived and we had settled we learned that we would be relocating back to New Jersey. Only my husband changed over his plates, living there two months before we arrived, before receiving the sad news. I decided to remain as a “guest” in SD and hold onto my NJ plates since they would be relevant again shortly. Those Jersey plates stayed on my car for another two years, while living in NJ, before the offer of relocating to Arizona was accepted.
In Arizona they charge a great deal to change over your license, plates and registration, but with good reason. Anyone who has ever lived in Arizona and gone through this process knows that you pay a great fee that can last up to 20 years before being faced with renewal. It is kind of awesome to have a license that doesn’t expire until 2035. Not unlike SD my husband, who arrived first, changed over his plates to AZ and then learned of relocation within 30 days of my arrival. So on the New Jersey Plates stayed.
In New Mexico I spent months going back and forth with the DMV receiving temporary registrations and paper plates to be placed in my glove box while they figured out how to issue me true plates. They kept claiming that they needed Toyota to send them a copy or fax them my Title before issuing a true plate. Toyota claimed that they had faxed it multiple times, on each request, and sent me snail mail verification when they snail mailed it to NM DMV. For 8 months we played this game of back and forth. We lived in New Mexico a year and my plates remained New Jersey despite all my efforts.
I have been in West Virginia for 20 days and have found that like New Mexico they needed a copy of my Title faxed to them before proceeding, which was done within 10 minutes of getting off the phone with Toyota. This only confirmed that the previous incompetence was not on Toyota but that backwards little town I used to call home. After spending half the day at the DMV I walked out with a plate that would happily replace one that has followed me around for years!