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Sittin' on the side of the road

October 1, 2012 - Karin Elton
Guess who found herself sitting in her car on the side of Highway 23 Saturday afternoon with a car in back of her with whirly lights on top of it?

My car was randomly? selected for license plate scanning. I just bought the junker about two months ago and I haven’t received the title yet. Apparently, it is still registered to the previous owner, and even though my license plates clearly have a blue sticker on them with the numbers “13” showing, according to the computer they say “12” and are last year’s color.

It doesn’t seem right, it doesn’t seem legal that law officers can “fish” for wrong-doing. They should have probable cause. He didn’t say “I pulled you over for going over the center line” or “Your headlight is out.” I felt like I wasn’t an American citizen, maybe I was living in Russia or Arizona.

I’m wondering if this is happening more and more lately in Minnesota, where officers run plates and come up with old information because the department of motor vehicles is taking more time updating its records. I’m guessing the DMV is experiencing budget cutbacks and fewer people are available to handle the title changes.

The sheriff’s deputy advised me to “call the state and tell them to expedite your title.” OK.

The interaction was only about five to 10 minutes, but I was upset by it because it’s upsetting in and of itself and it also brought back memories for me of earlier this summer when I got pulled over while driving my then junker Cadillac for having a cracked windshield and the officer asked if he could search my vehicle for drugs. I had to sit in the ditch for about an hour while he searched fruitlessly.


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