Where Am I?

Registering Smurfette, my 2004 blue Cavalier, to drive in Polk County was one of the few remaining moving items I was continually putting off until the next day. I just needed the renewal tags, so I technically could have gone through Scott County online, but I want everything to be up to date and moving headaches over.

And I waited until the last possible moment, as my renewal enforcement deadline is April 1st. My initial plan was to do it this morning bright and early. Yeah, that turned into arriving at the Polk County admin building at around 1:00 p.m. However, I was double ready, as I had my screwdriver ready to put on new license plates. Time to shed the Cedar County plates of old.

My number was called within 10 minutes! Amazing! The lady whose name I did not catch then had trouble finding my new address. “I am east of I-35,” I thought, “so this should not be difficult.” (Note to those not familiar with Des Moines area geography: West of I-35 is the more newly developed part of Polk County, and Polk County quickly runs into Dallas County on the west end.)

The Polk County treasurer’s office lady then told me that I actually live in Dallas County. “Are you sure?” I very politely asked. “Yes, you need to go to Adel to get your car registered in Dallas County,” she said. To her credit, she was nice about it and told me it does get confusing to determine which county one is in when residing in certain areas of West Des Moines.

So I trekked westward 30 minutes to Adel, Iowa. This is pronounced ay-DELL. Siri preferred to pronounce it ADD-uhl. At least I found a little humor in that. I sure felt silly, not even knowing my own county of residence. Good thing this happened before Election Day, so I would not be confused my my ballot. And speaking of politics, this would be a useful county to be in because we are trying to get a Dallas County Republican Women group going. If I lived in Dallas County, I could be a charter member! Also, I liked the thought of having license plates that said “Dallas,” one of my favorite television shows growing up.

I felt a bit deflated after checking online for the address (no easy feat to begin with), finding the address to be the court house, and then having to go across the street to the new location of the Dallas County treasurer’s office. (Update your websites people!) On the up side, I met a friendly person while walking down the street and told her my amusing story. My sister was the only other person who knew of my Polk County error at this point, and she swiftly pointed out to me that the ordeal would make for a great blog post. Little did she know……

I gave my information to a friendly face in the Dallas County treasurer’s office, and she laughed a bit. Well, that was not a very good sign. She told me I did live in Polk County, had me verify my location of residence in a map, and then sweetly explained that she would be happy to renew my registration then and there and just switch it over to Polk County after I paid. Now I really wished I lived in Dallas County. Polk County government workers can’t even figure out who lives in Polk County! I wanted this lady to be my person forever. She was awesome. Maybe I should recruit her to come work at optical.

So, I did not get my new license plates. And now I do not want license plates that say “Polk” on them. I think I will order some signature Simpson College license plates instead. I was also contemplating updating my drivers’ license before it is due, just to get the address and everything updated. I doubt if the photo can get any worse, but you never know. After all of the vehicle registration drama, I was over it though. That will have to wait for another day.

So I called my sister again, as she refers to ever-so-nicely in her own blog post. Good thing this was her day at home with the kiddos so I had someone to give an instant play-by-play to. 😉 And Sarah is a great listener and cheerleader for me. I think she may have even been more annoyed by the situation than I was. Haha.

At the end of the day, I learned you really have to prepare yourself for anything at any time. You just never know when you will be sent on a mini road trip to discover where you live.


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