Car Tags and a Tenner


After I dropped off the last Fourth of July visitor at the airport I headed to the DMV. I had investigated the DMV website to make sure that I had all proper paperwork with me. Earlier in the month we took a specific paper to be notarized and I had looked at the mileage of the three vehicles a week ago. I prepared all of the papers, found my registration, and made sure of the address.

The traffic was horrible on the way to the Charlotte-Douglas airport and I was beginning to wonder if my latest guests would have to come back home with me, which would derail my DMV plans. I got them there in the nick of time and, as they are young, they made their flight. My trip was not as quick however, as the traffic continued to pile up along the highway. Listening to the radio I found out why. Airport One was landing at the airport five minutes after the scheduled departure of my kids. I am uncertain, exactly, of why this would mess up the traffic but it did on several roadways.

As I made my way to the DMV in late afternoon I could see thunderclouds rolling in. The sunny skies gradually changed to a smokey, blue-gray. Lightening was in the distance but I was almost there. I got into the building to find a surprisingly short line. “My lucky day” I thought. Guests on the way home. Made it out of the airport complex. All of my paperwork completed. And only a few in front of me. I was feeling very positive about things.

I listened to the men behind me discuss the weather and the men in front of me talking on their cell phones. The line inched up fairly quickly and the woman called, “Next!” I trotted over to be told that I had to go to a different line. Luckily the nice folks in the now longer line let me back in front. I got the next woman at the counter with the bright pink, plastic glasses and she began looking at my documents.

She made copies of some, rejected some, and I made a list of the correct things I needed for the other two vehicles.

I had the notary thing wrong but for five bucks she could notarize another one. I said “OK” and opened my wallet for the money. I found a ten dollar bill and laid it on the counter between us. Suddenly, a loud thunder clap ripped through the air and buckets of water came down disguised as rain. I was very thankful that I was inside. The crowd got a little nervous and started talking about storms. Personally, I thought it would end fairly quickly.


I texted the kids to tell them a storm was headed their way and to bring in their things from the deck. I assured them that I was nearly finished and then I would be home. All was well until the next flash and crack. The electricity flashed on and off accompanied by a universal groan. The computers blinked and groaned, while the clerks tried to decipher the messages on the screens. My lady was so nice and I reassured her that I was fine with waiting a few minutes. The ten dollar bill remained on the counter between us.

Finally, she handed me a paper to sign and I recognized that it was the notary thing. She signed and stamped it and began work on a different one. Finally she said, “Which plate design do you want?” I gasped. I might have actually made it through the process! Plus, the rain had blown through and it was down to a trickle. I made my plate choice and she typed some more.

With her hand on the ten dollar bill she said to me, “OK, we are all set. That will be three ninety-six.” I raised my eyebrows in surprise and was pleasantly pleased that it was not going to cost an arm and a leg just to get new registration and plates.

I smiled and said, “Oh, just take it out of the ten.”download

She adjusted her pink glasses and looked back at me. “Pardon?”

I smiled again. “Just take it out of the ten with the other five for the notary.”

She pushed her glasses up and stated, “Three-hundred, ninety-six dollars and fifty-three cents” as she pushed a five dollar bill back over the counter to me.

Sheepishly, I wrote out the check and pocketed the five.

Would have been so nice if she could have taken it out of the ten but at least I got my choice of plates!


About Fawn Musick

Writings to make you Smile and Think. Fawn is an award winning newspaper columnist. She is an avid writer, blogger, and mom. Her advice comes from her years of mothering her eight children.
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3 Responses to Car Tags and a Tenner

  1. Bambi musick says:

    I love this one!!!!!


  2. Bambi Musick says:

    I love this one!


  3. Glenda Hicks says:

    Don’t you just hate it when that happens three ninety six! Others than that you did have a great trip!


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