The DMV can screw you even if you don’t drive!

I have learned the hard way that you are never really outside of the grasp of the Department of Motor Vehicles.  We are all familiar with them.  They are that perpetual time suck of an agency whose ineptitude is only surpassed by their inability to recognize their own incompetence.

As you can tell, I’m more than a little aggravated as I post this.  As the great orators will tell it, the story is simple and classic.  I decided that part of my 2012 CarFree Lifestyle would require me to “bite the bullet” and get myself set up with Zipcar. I know, I know “how could I have not already done this?”  That’s a story for another day.  As the excitement and pace of the launch of Freight Farms increases exponentially each week, it was time for me to be slightly more mobile so I put in my application.

It turns out, I was denied based on this:

We are sorry to inform you that your application to Zipcar was denied for the following reason:

— Your driving record does not meet our insurance requirements at this time.

According to our policy, applicants need to have had no more than 2 “incidents” (moving violations plus accidents) in the past 3 years, no more than one incident in the past 18 months, no alcohol violations in the past 7 years and no major violations in the past 3 years.

Major violations include:

— Excessive speed (20+ MPH over speed limit)
— Operating to endanger, reckless driving, etc.
— Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
— Leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage
— Operating a motor vehicle with a suspended or revoked license
— School bus stopping flag violations (or similar)

You are welcome to apply again once your driving record meets our insurance requirements.

To dispute this decision, please contact your DMV and obtain a copy of your record.  Then compare it to our requirements, which are listed online, and fax the record to attention Insurance Approval at 1-800-818-8439.

It needs to be said, that I don’t blame Zipcar.  That last paragraph points to the fact that this probably happens all the time and they are just as annoyed by it as I am.  But let’s look at the list of and just knock off all the obvious ones.  Any of the “majors” are out as I’ve not been arrested for drunk driving, suspended license, etc.

Not more than one incident in past 18 months.  Considering, I got rid of my car 11 months ago that one should be out.

Two moving violations in past 3 years.  This is the only area I have a doubt.  First because I can’t remember 3 weeks ago never mind 3 years. Second, I remember a speeding ticket but that was at least 2 years back but would I totally forget 2 others?

In summation, I’m upset because I love Zipcar but will have to deal with the DMV and record correction(which is like another level of hell inside hell) to get to them!  Therefore I’m upset with everyone!

Venting done!

3 responses to “The DMV can screw you even if you don’t drive!”

  1. Not that I love them or anything but Enterprise beats zip cars pricing almost any day of the week in any city. I would love to use zip car if they could be competitive because I don’t like dealing with the sales agents at enterprise but in all reality that is the only thing zip car offers over Enterprise. $74/day plus application fee plus annual fee. Plus minimum of $750 out of pocket if you get in an accident. My credit card covered all the damage to the one rental vehicle that I had a problem with. I am not sure they would do the same with ZipCar. Sorry Zipcar you are just a novelty and I am glad you are there but I don’t depend on you or use you.


    • I’m looking at Enterprise’s prices right now in my area and they’re more expensive for a 24 hour Zipcar. Enterprise also doesn’t include insurance, gas, etc. and that also doesn’t include a $10 under 21 fee that they add. It ends up being around $40 more expensive per day over Zipcar. The $750 deductible is negated by a $9 /mo waiver, or cut in half for $5 /mo. More than that, there’s several dozen Zipcar’s available within 2 blocks of where I live, making it quite perfect.

      That said, I imagine rental prices are regional. Shopping around is always a good idea. However, even if Zipcar were slightly more expensive, the convenience of their system alone makes it superior to most/all other rental alternatives imo.


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