Don’t Drive? Need a License? No! Need an Updated ID? Yes!

So, you no longer drive or have stopped driving. And that means you have no need of a license, or a need to update it. But, do you still need an up to date ID? The answer is, yes!

Now, we’re not like an iron curtain country where we need “papers”, but there are cases where an up to date ID can really help. And no, not just to enter bars or other adults only places.

I went to do my taxes last week, and, while waiting, a customer appeared who had not updated his ID, so, the expired ID he had was considered invalid. This meant that he had to go and update his ID before he could do his taxes.

There can be other cases where an updated ID is essential. Among these are getting all kinds of services and discounts for senior citizens. Also, one is often needed for banking and other financial transactions. Then of course, you need one if you’re going to fly anywhere.

And lastly, if you lose your wallet and it ends up with the police or other law enforcement authority, you may have more trouble getting it back.

So, what to do if you don’t drive and don’t need a license? Well, you can get just an ID card, usually from the DMV. They are usually good for 10 years, to my knowledge, and are accepted as valid forms of identification. And remember to keep it updated!

You never know when a valid ID can help you.

Be up to date!

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Driving for Business? Make Sure You’re Covered!

Recently, I came across an article, “15 Things You Need To Know About Buying Auto Insurance – Consumerist“, that talked about auto insurance and how people don’t realize that their auto insurance won’t cover them in certain situations, such as when they have a new teen aged driver in the family, or if they lend someone their car for the long-term, where the car is kept at that other person’s residence. There were other situations listed also, and I knew about them all and knew not to put myself in any of them…except one.

It was situation # 12 listed in the article, about business use of your car. Sure, I did know that if I had started my own delivery or taxi business using my own car, that I’d need special additional insurance for my car, but I didn’t know that taking a simple delivery job, such as delivering meals part-time, or free publications to businesses part-time, fell into this situation also.

But, this article, and another one on Yahoo that I can no longer find, led me to thinking. I decided to go to my insurance agent’s office the very next business day, to really find out if this applied to me or not. Here’s what I found:

1. Your car is not considered to be used for business if you report to a work place and the car is parked for your entire work day. And you’re still covered if you run the occasional errand for your employer.

2. If you use a company vehicle for work, your company covers you. (But always double-check first!)

3. If you don’t report to an actual building and you drive to where you work, such as going to client’s homes or businesses, even if you don’t drive from client to client, then your car is considered by the insurance company to be used for business.

And it doesn’t matter if you are an employee, independent contractor, or any other work status! So, even if you get a job as a simple pizza delivery person, or a free publication delivery person, or even to distribute fliers door to door as I do, you need to check your policy first!

As an example, I distribute fliers door to door. I go straight from my home to the neighborhood where I will distribute the fliers by walking door to door. Yet, even though I do not drive from house to house but merely drive from home to the neighborhood, the insurance company still considers my car as being used for business.

4. If you plan on transporting people or hazardous materials, you absolutely need to check with your insurer and will most likely need a special commercial policy in addition to the one you now have. And yes, if you plan on driving for Uber or Lyft, or anything similar ride service where you use your own car, you would most likely need that special commercial policy.

So, the bad news was that my policy would not cover me if I was at fault in an accident during my working hours!

The good news was, I didn’t need a special commercial policy since I wasn’t transporting people or hazardous materials. And adding the business coverage I needed only added $9 to my 6 month premium! A very good price to pay to avoid a huge shock and disaster should I have an accident while working!

Unfortunately, many people don’t know where pleasure use ends and business use begins for their cars, and many insurers don’t make this very clear, if at all.

So, if you haven’t used your car for business and are planning to, or if you’re not sure whether or not you’re currently using your car for business, check with your insurer! It could prevent a lot of shock and heartache!

Safe driving!

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And thanks for reading! 🙂

That Great Job that seems like It’s For You, May Not Be

You see a job listing on a site like Craigslist and think “That job is for me!” Only to find out later, in the interview, or via online reviews from customers or employees, that it’s not really for you. In this case, be glad you found out before taking the job.

And here’s why you shouldn’t be afraid of turning a job down when you learn more about it. Here’s what I experienced recently.

I saw a job for a delivery driver, delivering meals from restaurants, and everything looked good, so I inquired and was called for an interview. I did my research online and things looked good, though I was required to have a smart phone in order to be interviewed. I asked why would they require this before the job was offered and was told that it was so the company could get you going sooner. So, I checked to see if I could get one for much cheaper than the $500-$600 quotes I often saw and, luckily, I found a phone and deal that was for only a little more than my plan at the time, and even if I didn’t get the job, the new phone would not be a negative for me. (And in fact, it has already served me well since and I’m glad I got it!)

(For how this went, see “Again, Before Jumping In, Do Your Research! (Or how I got a $149 phone for just $49!“))

The interview went well, too, and I was scheduled to come in the next week and ride with a driver to see how it really is on the job.

Well, when I arrived for the “ride along”, the driver told me how I would have to “rent” the carrying bags and also a few other items. In addition, there were a number of small weekly fees. Then, it was “first come first serve”, where the bags were concerned, so I might not always get the bags I need.

On top of this, it was required (not mentioned in the interview!) that I obtain a cooler for the drinks! Out of my own pocket, of course!

For drinks, I would have to guess what people would want and put fifty, yes 50, bottles in my trunk, 10 of each type and hope I didn’t run out of a particular type.

Then, I would have to fill out credit card receipts and also take cash payments, out of which I would take tips, but then have to return each night to the main office, hope I get a parking space in what was a very congested area, and give the office its share.

It just seemed like a big mess to me, with lots of potential for messing up that couldn’t always be avoided and with the consequences falling on me. So, even before we were to leave, I told them that I’d changed my mind and that it wasn’t the job for me. And I have no regrets.

Another potential employer wanted me to come for an interview and pay $30 for them to do a background check on me! I e-mailed back, “No Thanks!” Unfortunately, some employers want applicants to pay costs that should rightly be borne by the employer!

This is not the first time that I’ve turned down a job once I saw what the job actually entailed. There’s nothing wrong with turning down a job that you find you won’t be comfortable in, even in these times when jobs are scarce.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take a job unless it gives you everything you want, but if you really cannot live with some aspect of the job, or really know that there’s something you can’t handle that’s part of the job, then don’t take the job! The possibility of the job costing you more than you make, or the stress from those parts of the job that you know you really don’t like, can do you more harm than good.

My advice: Unfortunately, an ad alone won’t really tell you the details of what a job entails, so, unless you see red flags that says the ad is a scam, go ahead and inquire.

If you are called for an interview, go ahead with it. And even go for a “tour” or “ride along” so long as you still feel you want the job, but be sure you get all your questions answered before you actually take the job. If they won’t answer your questions, or they try to dodge them, especially those regarding your main concerns, look elsewhere. And remember, during the interview, you should also be interviewing and watching them!

And remember, many job ads, especially those for sales positions, are often trying to sell jobs that may not really be as great as the ad says.

Good luck with your job search! And thanks for reading! 🙂

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Shrinking Time

Time flies. Time flies? Yes, and ever faster!

When I was about 6 years old, my grandmother was telling me how I would finish grade school, go on to high school, and then college at 18. Well, for me at the time, a year was nearly forever, and age 18 seemed to be so far away time wise that there wasn’t enough time in the universe to reach that age!

Well, I certainly did reach 18, and the 4 years of high school seemed to pass far more quickly than I would have ever imagined at age 6. And, when I entered college, I saw that I was almost as old as professional ball players.

Then, before I knew it, I’d reached my 30’s and, when I thought about it, I realized that many students graduating high school at this point hadn’t even been born yet when I’d graduated!

Now, some years later, not only have most of the professional ball players at the time I graduated retired, but their replacements have, too!

And that year’s time that seemed nearly forever to my 6-year-old self, is nearly next month to me now.

So, why does time seem to “rocket” by now, and why is that everlasting year seeming to last only a month now? Is it just me?

The truth is, no, it’s not just me, but everyone feels this as they get older. I read once that this has to do with a “kind of relativity” or changing perspective as one gets older.

As the article explained, to a six-year-old kid, a year is one sixth of his lifetime. To a sixty year old person, one year is only one sixtieth of his lifetime. To look at it another way, it would take 10 years for the 60-year-old to “feel” the same length of time has passed that the 6-year-old would feel with just 1 year passing. This is why, more and more, it feels to me like time is not just flying, but “rocketing” past.

I don’t know if this is just mental, or physiological as well. But it does make sense to me. I remember as a kid, hearing my parents and other adults refer to times 20 and 30 years past and thinking it was like ancient history to me. And now, I can recall times 20 and 30 years in my past, and it doesn’t seem that long ago.

It’s pretty amazing when you stop and think about it.

If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site! 🙂

And thanks for reading! 🙂