About three weeks ago, on my first day in Washington, a pick-up truck smashed into my parked car while I was looking at an apartment. I got the license plate, writing it down after begging some kids returning from school for a pencil, and contacted the police.
After they did some heavy police work (looked up the plates, contacted the house) they discovered that some unlicensed kid took his mom's car out for a wild ride that Sunday. I talked to the mom--who was very nice--and we decided not to contact the insurance agency. She didn't want to deal with the higher rates and would pay for the repairs; I didn't want to operate on the insurance company's schedule. Thus we settle a different way. This is what we call a substitute. To those that think people have to get insurance, remember that.
While I waited for the parts to come in, three different strangers offered to fix the damage. Even though the mother found a place to get it fixed, I have to appreciate how the market steps in just in case I didn't get the plate. Soon I will need to make a trip to the DMV. Somehow I imagine that if I wore a shirt that said "I need to get a Virginia license and registration," government workers wouldn't be offering to set up an appointment while I'm getting gas.
Currently my car is being repaired and I am discovering how much I hate taking the bus.