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Should you trust those premonitions?

By JOHN HOWELL
Posted 6/18/20

I'm one who pays attention to premonitions . well, at least, some of the time. For some reason, I had a strange feeling when envelopes to renew both Carol's registration and mine arrived simultaneously from the DMV. It made perfect sense they should come

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This Side Up

Should you trust those premonitions?

Posted

I’m one who pays attention to premonitions … well, at least, some of the time.

For some reason, I had a strange feeling when envelopes to renew both Carol’s registration and mine arrived simultaneously from the DMV. It made perfect sense they should come together. Both registrations expire in June, and wouldn’t the DMV process all the renewal applications at the same time? That was logical, but somehow that didn’t compute.

Nonetheless, there was no reason to delay. I tracked down our insurance policy, found the required information and filled out the forms. Carol was a step ahead of me and had written a check for her payment. I got out my checkbook and wrote mine.

Forms completed and checks written, I reached for the return envelopes. They were identical – no code on the front that could be used by a scanner that would distinguish one from the other. The thought occurred I could mail them back in a single envelope, but the premonition red flag started waving. Was the DMV equipped to process two returns from a single envelope? The premonition side of my brain was telling me not to tempt such fate.

I was prepared to listen when I got a “sign” that convinced me otherwise.

“Have we got any more stamps?” I inquired of Carol after fishing through the glass jar where they are kept and finding a single cardinal forever stamp. Carol loves birds so I suspected the cardinal – one of her favorites – was the last bird standing.

“Just what’s there,” was her answer.

That sealed it. Premonitions aside, both renewal applicatio0ns were going in the same envelope.

Amazingly, only four days later, there was a return envelope from the DMV addressed to Carol. I had not expected such alacrity, such efficiency.

“Your renewal is here,” I said to Carol. She was equally impressed.

I leafed through the catalogs but didn’t find another envelope addressed to me as I hoped.

With hope, although premonition told me otherwise, I opened the envelope. No, it did not contain two renewals. That would have been too much to expect.

I waited another week for my renewal before deciding I better track this down. I went through the options – calling the DMV, visiting the DMV and visiting AAA, which is now processing registrations again. I crossed off the call and visit to the DMV. Preemption told me that would be hours of frustration.

So, I started with a call to AAA. I briefly summarized my situation and was told to go to the website and make an appointment to come in. OK, that was progress – but, as it turned out, not much. After navigating the website, I learned the Warwick branch was booked through September. I started looking at other branches to discover there was no chance of getting my renewal before my current registration expired.

The thought occurred that my renewal was still in the mail, or perhaps, was waiting to be processed. Was I jumping the gun to assume it was lost?

I went online to see whether my check had been processed. It hadn’t.

Now what?

Well, this is Rhode Island, and as the saying goes, things happen when you know someone.

I thought over my possibilities. I know Bud Craddock, director of the DMV, but it hardly seemed appropriate that I trouble him with this. Then I remembered a contact from years ago. Might she know someone? Indeed, she did. In no time, I had an answer – that there was no record of my check.

Should I be surprised? As it turned out, I was surprised, but not for the reason you might think.

The advice was that I go online to renew my registration and issue a stop payment order on the check.

My first surprise was the online registration renewal. It was a snap taking me less time to advance a single space had I gone to registry during pre-COVID times.

The second surprise came in the mail a day later. I couldn’t believe my renewal had been processed so quickly. I opened the envelope expecting to find a registration and the stickers for my plates.

Rather, it was a letter explaining I had written my check for the incorrect amount. Enclosed was the check and the renewal.

I looked at the fee and the check. I had mistaken a 3 for a 5 and written my check for $20 more than I should have.

That defied all premonitions.

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