My best friend — MY BEST FRIEND — has spent the last FIFTEEN MONTHS illegally driving around on my wife’s old plates.

He’s the one I sold my wife’s previous car (2001 Mercury Sable LS) for $400, because he was on hard times and whatnot.

In the state of WA, when you buy a new-to-you car, you HAVE to buy new plates. It’s a way for the state to make an additional $70.

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Jumping around even more, I received a bill in the mail today for the I-405 Toll Lanes. $55.oo... This was especially alarming because I had already paid two bills this month for my wife for her two super early mandatory staff meetings in March. I texted my wife something on the lines of, “Please stop using the toll lanes.” She called me from work and we talked for a hot minute and said she hadn’t used the toll lanes more than twice, which is consistent with what I had already paid before today. Upon inspection, three of the tolls on the new bill were timestamped on days she didn’t even work. In fact, two of them were taken at times that were home having breakfast together. I told her that it might be that someone had copied her plates. But it got worse from there.

She texted me her plates from her work, saying, “That’s not even my plate number?” So I did more digging. I looked at photos of every car I’ve sold over the last five years. I even double-checked the Tercel and longbed. Then I had a moment of horror... THE SABLE. Sure enough, I found a photo from four years ago of the Sable, plates identical to the one on our bill from the DOT.

How can this be? My friend told me he had registered the car the first Wednesday after I sold it to him!

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Again, in WA, plates CANNOT be transferred between people. The buyer MUST buy new plates when they register the car.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS? Not only did he not put on new plates when he got a new title, he also did NOT put on new plates when he registered the car TWELVE MONTHS LATER when he renewed the tabs. He TWICE slapped them on my wife’s old plates!

Once I put two and two together, I called him. I called him again. I also left him about a dozen text messages, with photos, asking him in no uncertain terms, “What the fuck dude.” He ignored my texts and calls, even though I knew he was home, but hours later texted me back:

“We did register. Sorry for the inconvenience. I didn’t change the plates because I put the tabs on the old plate. [Gf’s name]’s work will pay for it.”

My friend has never spoken the word “inconvenience” in his life. I got a bullshit answer of bullshit and he wouldn’t even speak to me. His girlfriend has been a total piece of shit from day 1 and I frankly don’t believe that they ever registered the car at all.

Also, according to the DOT (for the toll lanes), the burden is on my wife to prove SHE is not the owner of the plate, and says we have to provide a proof of bill of sale from 16 months ago... So no buddy, you’re not really taking care of it. You’ve had FIFTEEN MONTHS to figure it out. You registered the car TWICE with my wife’s plates.

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Are you aware of other ramifications? Imagine if he or his GF had ran a red light. Or been involved in a hit-and-run and a witness got the plate number. Those plates in WA are linked to MY FUCKING WIFE.

Needless to say, it was a rather unpleasant evening. And, long story short, it’s quite possible I may have lost my best friend outright over this.

Thanks for reading :)

EDIT: you bet your ass I took my plates back last night.