got stuff?
shimmy, shimmy, shake..

Italian seeks asylum in my house

  who didn't know it was casual topcoat day? 

 -Overworked U.S. Customs agents take a break to pose for their new Facebook profile photo-


My Italian scooter is in the country illegally.  I didn't receive any cleared paperwork from U.S Customs when it arrived a few weeks ago.  The cycle continues to hide out from authorities while I go back and prove it's cleared inspections.  

I learned that U.S Customs sometimes clears shipments but never officially stamps every cleared document.  That's what they did with my cycle.  No explanation was given as to why they didn't hold the paperwork until they could stamp it.  They just sent it onward to a shipper anyway.  It's like mailing a letter without a stamp and being surprised when it's returned.

So the shipping company returned the paperwork to Customs and asked how soon they could stamped the paperwork.  Customs response was; "When we get around to it.".  Customs said they have new shipments now, that are a higher precedence over mine. 

There's an example of "job security" in action for you.  Guarenteed duplication of work, with a nice little buffer of wasted time in between.  Touché, Customs. Touché.

Once all of this is settled, there's still a small matter involving ownership.  I left Australia with my cycle and the understanding Australia does not use a title to signify ownership.  You register the vehicle with their local Roads and Traffic Authority to say you're the operator of said vehicle.  But if someone decides to steal your car, you don't actually have any proof that it's yours except for a receipt saying you payed for it.  Good luck with proving it's not a forged receipt.  The judge will see you now.  Here's your car 2 years later.

The Virginia DMV tells me Australia does use a title.  They just couldn't tell me what it's called. So the next time I go to the DMV, I'll bring my faded receipt showing paid in full, all the years of registration tags with my name as the operator, and a didgeridoo-signed by the Prime Minister saying "enjoy touring Oz on your new scoot Dan!". 

Is it worth going through all this to have a cycle?  If your everyday DC commute is on the Orange line, you wouldn't have to ask.


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