Tuesday, February 5, 2013

On the Road: Forget Something?

Ohio state welcome sign, along US Route 30, en...
Ohio state welcome sign, along US Route 30, entering from Indiana. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When I go on a long trip, I am fortunate to have someone who is able to house sit for me. If I need something from my home, that person can easily send it to me. Usually I do not forget anything and I have never had to have anything other than mail sent to me. I always say that all I need is my credit card, my prescriptions and some clothes and the rest I can purchase at my destination if need be.

This year I thought I did not have to complete an errand. On my list of "Things to Do" I reminded myself to get my car e-checked before I left the state. When I looked at the list, I thought that since 2012 was an even year I would handle that task in 2013 when the cars like mine that were manufactured in odd years are checked. I forgot I needed to get the e-check early so I could get my license plates while I was out of state.

I contacted the state of Ohio license bureau who gave me the phone number for the Ohio EPA. Since I was going to be in California, I was told I could get a smog check and send the results to Ohio. Smog checks can cost as much as $50 in California and I did not want to get ripped off since I was from out of state. I checked on Yelp and found a place where I could get the smog check for $30. The car passed and I sent the results back to the Ohio EPA via certified letter. (I always send important mail by certified mail.) Now my license plate stickers are being sent to me here, so I will have no problem when I am driving back.

Originally, I thought I would have to return to Ohio earlier than I had planned so I could handle this situation. I believed I had no other option.  However, contacting the state agencies helped me to solve the problem in a way that I did not know existed. My advice to other travelers is to seek assistance when unusual circumstances are encountered on a trip. Although they have rules, states are willing to help find solutions when special problems arise. Thanks, Ohio EPA!!!
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