Ran into some trouble trying to update Pearline’s license plates this week.

I went to pay for my Oklahoma tags today and the tag agent informed me that Pearline’s title was cancelled. That was a bit of a surprise, to put it mildly. I’ve known the tag agent for 25 years and she was familiar with Pearline from the family member that originally owned her. She said she couldn’t help, but gave me the number of the State vehicle records department.

I called the Oklahoma vehicles department and eventually was transferred to someone that looked up the title by the VIN. She said someone in the State of Illinois had transferred the title in May 2022 and then gave me the transferred title number.

From there, I looked up the number of the Illinois department that handles vehicles. Over the course of an hour, I spoke to Sarah, Geraldine, Ashley, someone that didn’t give their name, and finally another Sarah. Second Sarah understood the problem and had the solution. At least, I hope it’s the solution.

I will have to get an affidavit from our local PD, stating that the vehicle is indeed in Oklahoma and that the VIN/engine block numbers agree with the Oklahoma title that I have in hand. Sarah said this sometimes happens with older vehicles with 13-digit VINs, when the engine has been sold separate from the body. That isn’t the case for Pearline, but alright. Sarah said their system pads out title numbers with 0’s when they have a 13-digit VIN, which could be how it got duplicated.

Once I fax the affidavit and the original title to Illinois, they will release the title back to Oklahoma. Sarah said she will contact the person with the transferred title to confirm that the VIN for whatever vehicle they think they have.

Not sure if all this will happen by the end of the month when the plate stickers are due, but I can hold out hope that 2 state government entities will operate at some efficiency. Otherwise, there’s a $100 fine for letting plate stickers expire. If it does work, I may need to buy a lottery ticket.