After nearly twenty years of driving without *once* being pulled over, when I saw police lights activate behind me last night I innocently and instinctively thought to myself, "Oh, good thing I am turning so I can get out his way as he speeds off to chase that criminal he's after." But as I made my turn into the parking lot of the hotel where I was meeting a friend, the cop turned too. I was dumbfounded.

My other friend in the passenger seat exclaimed, "Claire, he's pulling you over!"
"But I've never been pulled over!" I protested.

When the officer walked up to the window I was so flustered, pulling out my license and insurance, etc that I jumped in my seat when he said hello.

Had I forgotten to signal? (No.) Was I going too fast? (No.) (Definitely NOT assured my friend.)

The registration sticker on my plate was expired. Two months! ARGH!

It turns out that when the dealership ordered the plates for our new car they found three unique ways to screw up our home address so that the renewal from the Illinois Secretary of State never made its way to our home. And we never noticed...for two months. I wonder how long we would have gone?

My friend leaned across the car from the passenger seat to exclaim and giggle, "She's never been pulled over!" The cop laughed and advised that this was likely one of the better things to be pulled over for and he would try to make it as pleasant as possible.

After sitting in the patrol car for a little while, with my license, he returned and asked if I was married. The following advice was that I should make my husband pay the $25 ticket. Bummer. When asked about my marriage status my friend and I later agreed that I should have added, "But my friend is single!" Since our ticketing officer was not unattractive, and seemed to have a sense of humor and kindness.

Kindness because even though I really didn't want to ask, I was facing a rather complicated ramp system to get to the hotel. Before he left he pulled up beside us to confirm we knew how to get to the hotel entrance. After starting directions he stopped and then insisted we just follow him there. Police escort! He even stopped to roll down his window and point us into the parking lot.

I guess not a bad first offense.
The sticker was updated the following day and the ticket mailed this morning.
But my perfect record is broken: "Operating a vehicle with expired registration."



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