Government is so STUPID!
Friday Nick received a piece of mail from DCSS (Department of Child Support Services) claiming that his license had been suspended because he was in arrears for child support. For those of you who don't speak law, this means that DCSS was claiming that Nick was behind on his child support payments and if he was pulled over for any reason, he'd be in a lot of trouble.
We were clearly annoyed and confused by this for many reasons. When Nick and I remarried in June, we CLOSED THE CHILD SUPPORT CASE. There are no more payments to make, so how could he have missed a payment to be in arrears? Another reason this just seemed like a big misunderstanding was because HIS WAGES WERE ATTACHED, meaning the government automatically took the money from his checking account each month. How could he be behind?
Since the government likes to mess around with you, the paper came too late to call and get it figured out on Friday, so we had to worry about this all weekend. I called right at 7am this morning, determined to get answers and to have this fixed. If only it were that easy.
The first lady I spoke to told me that the month he was apparently in arrears was August of 2008....yeah, over two years ago. I asked her how Nick would've known about this. I was told that Nick would've received a letter in mail about it. I asked her if DCSS would've sent more than one letter; nope, only one. (So heaven help you if you didn't receive the one and only letter!) She told me that to fix it, I would have to call the DMV.
After speaking with her, I reread the paperwork. It clearly says that we can't go to the DMV until we get a paper from DCSS that "releases" his license. So she didn't know what she was talking about. When DCSS suspends your license, it's basically a warrant for your arrest. Nick would've known if he had received a paper informing him that he was in arrears and would've fixed it immediately. And again, how could he be in arrears when his wages were attached? So I was off to the phone again. Luckily getting through to DCSS is a lot easier than trying to talk to someone from the phone company...I got through quickly!
The second lady told me that since the case is closed, he's no longer responsible for that money, and she can send us the paper that "releases" his license. We can then take that paper to the DMV and pay to have his license reinstated. The con: it could take up to 3 weeks to get the paper in the mail leaving him vulnerable that much longer. This was better news, but I was still not happy. Three weeks until we get the paper? And we still had to pay to reinstate his license when it wasn't our fault to begin with....I DON'T THINK SO!
So, I made my third attempt to get answers and called DCSS one more time. I was blessed, lucky, whatever you want to call it: I was finally able to speak to a very nice lady who knew what she was talking about. This lady told me that when a child support case is closed, (like in our case) they send out a driver's license release form to everyone. If you had ever been in arrears you would then have the opportunity to go and fix the problem with the DMV. So the paper I was holding was the actual release form.
I asked this lady how I would know if Nick's license had been suspended or not. Well, if it had been, his license would've been what they call "flagged" and anytime he went to pay for DMV tags, or renew his license, or when he bought his truck, the DMV would've told him then and there about the issue and made him solve it at that moment. So clearly Nick's license wasn't suspended. (Huge sigh of relief!)
The paper that was sent to Nick was a "just in case this happened to you" paper. Nowhere on the form did it say that he didn't need to worry about this, that it didn't apply to him. The paper implys that you've had your license suspended and gives instruction on how to fix the problem. I informed the nice lady that they need to put a header at the top of the page that says, "This paper is in the event that you have ever been in arrears and had your license suspended by the DMV". That one line would've cleared up EVERYTHING and not freaked us out all weekend.
The most frustrating part about this is that it took THREE PHONE CALLS to THE SAME OFFICE to get the story correctly. If I hadn't called back the second and third time, we'd be needlessly standing in line at the DMV, (which is ALWAYS fun) only to hear them tell us we were in the wrong place to fix a problem that never existed!