As many of you may know, I'm planning to thru-hike from Key West, Florida, to Springer Mountain, Georgia. I expect to start January 1st and end April 16th.
I've been trying to get my affairs in order. Sounds like I'm about to die, huh? One thing I wanted to do--get rid of my car. I can't drive it on the trail, and I rarely ever drove it when I'm not on the trail. Half the time I did drive it, it was because I hadn't used it in two weeks and I didn't want to run the battery down completely! It had to go!
And off it went. I drove it down to Eugene, gave it to fellow letterboxer Spiral Seeker, and we had a grand little impromptu gathering where we laughed, swapped stamp images, and I carved a quick and dirty event stamps. Signed over the title of my car, and jumped a train at 5:30 this morning back to Seattle.
So I called about adjusting my car insurance--most notably, the fact that I did not have a car anymore. I figured that might save me some money, eh? =) Turns out, I couldn't just drop the car from my policy since policies are tied to the car, but there was another form of insurance--don't remember what the woman on the phone called it anymore--licensing something something whatever. But it would insure that I would be covered if I drove someone else's car. Cool! I'll take it!
Believe it or not, that actually cost $2 more than my existing car insurance! Now that's just stupid.... Anyhow, turns out I wasn't eligible for it because there's still a car registered at the address. Nevermind that Amanda has a stick and I don't know how to drive a stick, so there's no way I'll ever be driving her car. My "home away from home" in Oregon also has a car at that address. And of course, my mom in California has a car, so that address wouldn't work either. In a nutshell, you can only get this special kind of insurance if there are no cars at your address, and alas, all addresses I'm associated with have a car associated with them, so it turns out that wasn't even an option.
Screw it! Just cancel my policy. Most cars I drove should be covered by insurance anyhow--the car is insured, regardless of who drives it--and most of the time I drive now, it'll likely be a rental car company which are always happy to provide car insurance for you. Usually I'd tell them no since I was already insured, but that probably won't happen anymore. By golly, yes, insure me! =)
But WOW! I just saved a TON of money on my car insurance! By canceling my policy, they're giving me a refund for the part of the year that I won't be using it, AND I won't have to pay HUNDREDS of dollars to renew it--it was due to be renewed December 8th. (I always paid the whole year in advance since it's usually cheaper than paying month-to-month.)
Now that I'm freed from the shackles of a car, I thought, "Hey, maybe this would be a good time to finally become a legal resident of Washington?" So I surfed over to their website to see about getting a Washington state driver's license. Turns out, I can't! I don't have the documentation to prove I'm living in this state. Ironically, one of the forms I could use to prove my Washington residency is an auto insurance policy in Washington state. Ha! Like that's going to happen now! *rolling eyes*
There's a whole list of documents that can be used to prove my residency, and would you believe it, but I don't have a single document they would accept. Not one. Zip, zilch, zero. They won't accept me as a Washington state resident.
Part of the irony lies in the fact that I'm not really an Oregon resident anymore, despite my driver's license that says I am. I can probably count on one hand the number of days I've spent in Oregon this year (well, maybe two hands are required....) At this point, I don't see myself ever going back to Oregon. I love Oregon and would love to move back there, but Amanda would have to come with me! And she's a working stiff, and it's easier for her to fly into and out of Seattle. So I'm stuck in Washington, but find myself in this odd predicament where I can't prove it.
Even more odd, I'm actually breaking the law since I'm supposed to notify the state within 30 days of establishing residency. Well, I'm trying.....! But it's going to take more than 30 days to get all the documents I need in order to prove it. They won't let me say I'm a resident, then I'm illegal because I haven't notified them. ARGH!
So it doesn't look like I'll be getting a new, shiny Washington state driver's license anytime soon. But I'm going to file taxes in Washington for this tax year, since taxes are good proof and an acceptable form of proof. Being a registered voter is too, so I thought, "Hey! I'll register to vote!"
Except technically speaking, that won't work either since I can't register to vote unless I'm a resident of Washington. ARGH! That seems like a double standard. I can't register to vote unless I'm a resident, but I can't be a resident unless I'm registered to vote.... HELLO?!
So I'm stuck with my Oregon driver's license a bit longer. One of these days, though.... One of these days, I'll have the proof I need to show that I really do live in Seattle now. =)