Monday, November 07, 2005

I've finally got my license back.

Only took 3 trips to the RTA, 2 trips to the truck repair place, and a trip to the bank.

Oh, and about 6 hours.

I was in at the RTA at 9am. It took almost an hour and a half to get my license back, because the fact that I had car Ls and motorbike Ps seemed to terribly confuse the NSW system, even though I had a license like that before.

The woman serving me spent the entire time on the phone to some help desk, because she had no idea what she was doing.

She entered my license as a Ps licence, which I don't believe to be correct, and it seems neither did the system, as she couldn't go past until she changed it to an open license.

Eventually, while still on the phone, I think the process she had to go through was to delete my car Ls, change my bike to open, then change the bike to Ps, and add the car Ls back on again, and then remove the car Ls again.

Each of these needed an "override", so we had to wait while someone, presumably who knew what they were doing, since this woman didn't, came and entered in some great long code to allow whatever the woman serving me was trying to do, to occur.

At one point, there was mention of me having to do a knowledge test. WTF?

Later to that, after I'd been standing at the counter for over an hour, the woman took my photo, to go on my license, and it conveys quite well how happy I was to be there at that point. I paid for my license.

So then I wait, and I'm issued with my license, a Ps license. WTF?

I politely argued that I felt that this was the wrong license, because I had held a Ps license, either in NSW or QLD, for over 2 years, at the point it was first suspended in March, so I should have received an open license, because I'd had a rider license for over 12 months.

The woman wouldn't even listen to me, and was telling me that the time my license had been suspended did not count, but that's not what I was telling her.

Eventually, after another few minutes of going back and forth, and me explaining several times that I first received my Ps license at the end of 2002, and held it concurrently until February this year, she went off to ask someone else about it.

I waited, for several more minutes, and eventually the woman came back, with another woman, who explained the same thing, so then I had to explain again, about the timeline of my license.

They then argued that it was my fault, because I had not upgraded my license when I was eligble. I then had to explain that there was no time that I was eligible to update it, because I only held it for 5 months in NSW, before I transferred it to QLD, and I only held it in QLD for 21 months.

They were then going on about a P2 license, but there's no such thing for a bike, at which point the woman agreed with me, and went off to find out again.

I sat and waited. She came back a few minutes later, and explained that because the QLD government had cancelled my license, the 26 months I already helf my Ps for, did not count.

I have to go back on Ps, for another 12 months. So bacially, I've ended up being on my Ps for almost 4 years, and will end up travelling about 150 000 km on my Ps.

What a completely useless system.

I feel like it was hardly worth getting my license back. I wanted it so I could go to and from work, but now I can only be a hazard, going 90km/hr on the freeway, while every other vehicle goes blasting past me, going at least 120km/hr.

Oh, and put a shitty looking P plate on my bike. Like the big yellow number plate isn't fugly enough.

I was just fuming, I couldn't even be bothered to listen to the rest of the woman's pathetic excuses, and cop outs for me getting screwed by their system.

I fucking hate the RTA. Forget fire and brimstone, spending eternity in the RTA is my idea of eternal damnation.

Anyway, before this spins off too much further into a rant (ok, maybe a bit late), I went home again.

I got on my bike, and rode around to the truck repair place nearby. The bike wasn't too happy, I think that fuel was pretty crappy, considering some of it is from 8 months ago, and some from over 6 months ago.

It got there though, and I asked the guy to look at it. I waited, and noticed that the blinker I spent about 2 hours fixing the other day had fallen off again, I quickly shoved it back on, before the guy noticed.

He came and looked, it was all fine, and he filled out the blue slip. I asked him to make sure that all 1s and Is looked like they should, so the RTA wouldn't send me back again, like they did when I registered my 250.

I saw they had a sign doing QBE green slips, so I asked about green slips, but he told me they wouldn't do one for me.

He finished filling out the blue slip, and then I paid, and because the office was closed, I guessed this was why they wouldn't do the green slip, because there were no office staff there, only the grunt mechanics.

I then got some fuel around the corner, the blinker falling off again as I left the truck place, buying fuel for the first time in over 6 months, and rode home again. The bike ran a bit better on the way home, no real surprise really.

I then rang up to get quotes on green slips. I rang Allianz first, they'd sent me an invitation to insure with them, a couple of years ago, just before I transferred my bike to QLD.

I spoke to a helpful guy on there, and after asking me about my driving history, which I answered truthfully, that I'd had more than 2 "moving violations" in the last 2 years, he quoted me $398, not too bad, the only issue is that they don't have offices, only agencies, and they'd have to mail the green slip out, and I'd be waiting 5 days for it.

Hmm, I don't think so. He suggested that some banks operate as agencies for them, so I could get it over the counter there, but didn't tell me who, only suggested that I call up some banks and ask if they are an agency for Allianz.

I then rang up QBE, because when I looked around for CTP a few years ago, QBE were the cheapest, not this time however, they wanted $594. I explained that I needed the greenslip today, and the guy told me they could sort that out, if I had a credit card
, but I had no intention of paying $600, so I told him I didn't have a credit card.

I then, for a laugh, called up NRMA, since they have always been the most expensive. I didn't even get to talk to a real person, just their crappy menu system, which quoted me $596.20.

Good to see they are the most expensive as usual.

I then tried to find an agency for Allianz. There's nothing on their website, that's a bit poor. I look on the invitation they sent me a few years ago, and noticed that at the bottom, was a slip for payment, through the commonwealth bank.

I had a look on the commenwealth bank website, for details about Allianz, but found nothing. I noticed something about insurance, and when I looked into that, I found that the commonwealth bank offer green slips.

That would be quite handy, I could just go in and get one from there. When I called up, to get a quote, the phone message explained it was underwritten by Allianz, and the chick who answered transferred me to Allianz again.

As soon as they answered, I explained I was just trying to find out if the commonwealth bank was an agent for Allianz, and that I'd already just got a quote from Allianz, but the woman asked me the same questions again, so I just answered them again, and got the same quote.

I then asked if I could get it over the counter at the commonwealth bank, and was told that I could, and then the woman went about find where the nearest branch was, but I already knew that.

I then had a go at fixing the blinker again, I grabbed a back plane cover, and use some tools to shape it to fit in to hold the blinker, and I shoved it in, it seemed like it would work quite well.

I grabbed my stuff, blue slip, old Allianz invitation form etc, and I took off.

I rode into town, noticed that the blinker had turned around, facing upwards (argh), and went to the bank. I got my green slip over the counter, and I left. I went and got some breakfast (only about 1pm by now), and then I went back to the RTA to do the rego.

I waited, got served, and the woman (who actually had a sense of humour) explained that I needed details of the purchase of my bike, and previous registration of my bike, the plate on it, a number plate form, and that they couldn't accept the blue slip, because the guy hadn't put the date on it.

So I left, and I went back to the truck repair place again, and the guy asked me what was wrong. I explained that the RTA wouldn't accept the blue slip, because he hadn't put the date on it.

He put the date on it, and then I came home. I collected the details of the purchase of my bike, and the previous rego receipt, and then I went back to the RTA, for the third time today.

I took the plate off, went in, filled out the number plate form, waited again, got served.

This time I was able to get it all sorted, without issue. I handed in the old plate, got a new one, paid the rego and the plate fee, and was out of there. If only getting my license back had been so organised.

I put the plate on my bike, and now I was almost legal, I just had to put the rego sticker on my bike now.

I went out to Jaycar, and I bought a pack of 4 2400mAh rechargable NiMH batteries and a charger, to use with my camera. Only $36 or something, unlike the ripoff Dick Smith had the other day.

I came home, on the way I got a tag to put my rego sticker in. I got my bag, and I went to the supermarket. It was so nice to be able to pickup things off the shelf, and not have to worry about how much it weighed, how big it was, and if I was going to be able to walk 4 kilometres carrying it.

I had another go at fixing the blinker after that, I used another backplane cover, but I had to rip out the metal I spent 2 hours putting in there the other day. It's still not fixed either, the blinker still floats around, so I need to have another go at fixing it.

I put the rego sticker on, grabbed my ipod, and I took off. Ah, back riding. This is where I should have been 8 months ago, minding my own business, riding around.

What a complete waste of the last 8 months it has been. I've done nothing but work, and feel angry and depressed. Oh well, the lesson I learnt from it all, is don't rely on anyone.

I'd had hints at this before, but this last 8 months has proven it several times for me. my new motto: "Do not rely on anyone, for anything. You will only be let down."

OK, I'm ranting again. On my way home, I stopped in at my mate's place. He's been having some trouble with his phone, and ADSL recently.

I tried to sort it out, but I think there's a problem with the DSLAM patch the exchange, the link doesn't seem to come up or anything.

He's going to contact Telstra, and find out if they're playing silly buggers with the patching.

So that's the end of my story. I wasted almost an entire day getting my license back, and my bike back on the road, and I had to spend almost $600.

It probably would have been cheaper and easier to fly to QLD, get my bike transported up there, and get my license and rego sorted up there, and ride home again. If I'd known dealing with the RTA was going to be such a nightmare, I would have investigated that more thoroughly.

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