Monday, December 05, 2022

Fightin' the System Victory - New Plate on Truck! (published 12-5-2022; article #375)

Dodge Charger in window from Dukes of Hazzard,” by Sean Foster, on Unsplash, Gatlinburg, TN, 10/7/2021. Free to use under the Unsplash License.


Greetings, local, state, national, and international readers! This article is mostly of interest to local readers. All y'all, however, may enjoy the humor!

This article expresses my sarcastic humor. In a way, it is a follow up to my articles of 9/21/2021 (RATE THE PLATES IS ON!) and of 3/20/2022 (TENNESSEE “BLUE PLATE SPECIAL” LICENSE PLATES – 180 OPTIONS!). Both articles still draw views.

The Fight

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I disdain the new “blue plate special” Tennessee license plates. The base color should have remained white, not changed to dark blue! On 4/22/2022, she selected a particular specialty license plate – paying extra to avoid a “blue plate special.”

My new, ol' truck (2006 Nissan Frontier) needed a new license plate this month. On 11/25/2022, the day after Thanksgiving, I ordered on the correct Tennessee Department of Revenue website, the Appalachian Trail specialty plate. For a few dollars more, I decided to personalize it with “LIKE2” – to indicate that I'd still like to hike the Appalachian Trail all the way. (I've hiked a few miles of it only, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.) I used a credit card to pay the Department of Revenue for my new plate.

On 11/30/2022 – Granny Ferrell's birthday anniversary, mentioned in my 11/30/2022 article – I checked the state website and saw that my personalized specialty plate was approved. The website, however, does not state how much time is required until the plate is ready. My calls to a Knox County Clerk office and the State of Tennessee informed me that 30 to 45 are required! I was shocked! My truck's plate expires on 12/31/2022. From 11/25/2022, 30 days is Christmas (12/25/2022), and 45 days is 1/9/2023.

The fight was on! I would not wait until or past “crunch time,” to get that new plate! The “My Letter” section, below, has all the “rich, full” details.

By the way, don't try the State of Tennessee's Citizen Inquiry (Contact) or Chat. The robot chat is useless. I received no reply to my “contact.”

My Victory

I'm just an educated country boy – with Irish dander! I would not wait around, fretting, 30 to 45 days, to see when my new plate would be ready!

On Friday, 12/2/2022, my ol' truck and I visited a Knox County Clerk office. In about 30 minutesnot 30 days – I was able to acquire my new plate. It is a specialty Appalachian Trail plate – with random numbers on it. I like it. It's not a “blue plate special.”

Before the sun was up this morning, I placed in our mailbox, with flag up, my letter to the Tennessee Department of Revenue Commissioner. I saw the mailman get it. About noon, I decided to swap out the old plate for the new one, on my truck.

The following section contains my postal letter to the Commissioner. I hope that he enjoys it. I expect and require the $35.80 refunded on my American Express card. If not, then I will send a bill to the Commissioner for $35.80. American Express has assured me, however, that the charge should be reversed.

My Letter

December 5, 2022

David Gerregano, Commissioner
Tennessee Department of Revenue
500 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37242

Commissioner Gerregano:

Greetings. I trust that you are well. I write to you directly, to complain and to require a refund.

My complaint is as follows. On Friday, 11/25/2022, I ordered, via American Express, a personalized Appalachian Trail plate, at The website does not state that the online order takes 30 to 45 days. The bill was $35.80 total.

On Wednesday, 11/30/2022, I searched the website (above), by my receipt number. My personalized plate was approved. I did not know when I could pick up my plate (at a Knox County Clerk office). My call to a Knox County Clerk office informed me that my plate would be ready in 30 to 45 days! I was amazed! My current plate expires on 12/31/2022. From 11/25/2022, 30 days is Christmas (12/25/2022), and 45 days is 1/9/2023.

Later, on 11/30/2022, I reached Jackie, at 888-871-3171. Jackie, very conscientiously, called me back the next day (12/1/2022). Jackie stated that she had emailed the “plate and supply department” on my behalf. Apparently, that mysterious department told Jackie, who told me, that my 11/25/2022 plate order could not be canceled, could not be expedited, would take 30 to 45 days, and could not be refunded. I appreciate Jackie, for being a professional and courteous state employee.

On 12/1/2022, I asked Jackie to inform the mysterious “plate and supply department” that I, verbally, on that date, cancel my 11/25/2022 plate order and require a $35.80 refund to my American Express card. Jackie stated that she would do so. I informed Jackie of my 12/2/2022 action (see next).

On Friday, 12/2/2022, I bought my new Appalachian Trail plate (not personalized, expires 12/31/2023), at a Knox County Clerk office. I, therefore, neither need nor want the plate (ordered on 11/25/2022)!

I require a refund. If the website (listed above) had stated clearly that 30 to 45 days were required to complete an online plate order, then I would not have ordered on 11/25/2022. By standard business practice, I require the Tennessee Department of Revenue to refund $35.80 charged to my American Express card. My 12/1/2022 call to American Express challenged the charge. American Express should force the refund.


I'm just a good ol' (educated and country) boy “fightin' the system like one modern-day Robin Hood” – with apology to the The Dukes of Hazzard (TV series, 1979 - 1985).

Yee haw!

Yes, I hear you. The next time the state changes out the plates, I'll just go get a plate at the County Clerk's office – without personalizing it by an online order. With my personality, why do I need a personalized plate?

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