Before I could take my Mazda 3 to the port, I had to get a permission letter from Chase, the lien holder on the car. Once I had turned in the information they required, I had been told the permission letter would be sent to us by October 28th. As it turned out, it was sent on October 27th and arrived October 31st via UPS. I was happy it had arrived until I opened it to find my name was only in the address. The contents of the letter gave permission to my father to drive the car in Germany.
When we first bought my car, I was meant to be the owner with my father as the cosigner. For some reason, somewhere along the line, this got flipped and I could not get it fixed. For most purposes, it didn’t matter as the car shows up in my list of Chase accounts, I have made all the payments, and they are authorized to talk to me when I call in (although a time or two I’ve had someone start off telling me I wasn’t on the account). In this case, the error really upset me.
I called directly to the military services number I had talked to before and a guy helped me out. He assured me he would get it fixed and put into my name instead. Unfortunately, he said they couldn’t add my husband’s name since they can only put someone who is on the account. But the letter is only for permission as far as taking it over to Germany. If my husband is on the insurance for the car, it shouldn’t be a problem for him to drive it. I asked if they would sent the letter UPS as they had before so it would get here early. He said it would be FedEx. I told him either way is fine as long as it got there on time because we were leaving where we were staying on the 7th.
When Nov ember 5th came and I still didn’t have the letter, I called and was given a tracking number. When the lady told me the address it was sent to, she was missing the “west” in the street name. I corrected her. She repeated the address, again leaving off “west,” which I told her was wrong. She said the site only says it is “in transit” and to call FedEx for more accurate delivery times. I looked online to find it didn’t only say in transit but that it had the fact it was the wrong address and that it had been held at FedEx the last three days. It was late Saturday and they have no pickup Sunday. So I called FedEx customer service Sunday to make sure they would hold it at the location for Monday.
I also called Chase to complain and somehow got their executive office. Whether that is what they now call the people who handle military accounts or if it was different I don’t know, but they said the auto section isn’t in and took a note as to why I was upset. They said expect a callback in 48 hours but they will note “urgent” because of time constraint. They said of course I was also welcome to call on Monday. I did get a call Monday from someone but missed it. I called back and they missed me. We went to FedEx and got the letter which was fortunately right. I still wanted Chase to know about the fact there had been three screw-ups in relation to getting this done the third being obvious deception from the lady when she was looking at the same site she gave me. When they called back and I was busy getting our address changed and didn’t get a chance to call back.
Cleaning the Car
We were told car had to be clean for the port to ship it, so we wiped down the inside and took it to a self-wash center which didn’t work that well. My husband called the port to find out that if it isn’t clean they will clean it at port for $4 so we decided to do that since we’d be transporting the dogs to the hotel we were staying at anyhow which would leave hair. We had to have everything out of the car that basically isn’t attached to or installed in the car. Fortunately we had room in our luggage to put everything we usually keep in there that we had thought would be okay to leave and was not (tire gauge, service records, car manual, etc).
My husband found out in his call to the port that we needed to have 4 copies of his orders to Germany, our marriage certificate, the car title, and the letter from the lien holder. The car would also need to have a quarter tank of gas or less.
By this point in our moving process, I knew better than to think everything else would go off without a hitch, and of course it didn’t. I had stayed back in our hotel room and I got a call from my husband. He told me because my dad’s name is on the car, we needed a fax sent to the port stating I (my father’s name) will not hold the government or contractors responsible for any damage that occurs during shipment. (VIN #) 2009 Mazda 3 and a copy of his driver’s license.
My father wasn’t thrilled with giving up the right to hold them responsible but I confirmed with my husband it just means that he personally won’t go after them, but not that I couldn’t if there were a problem. It is really Chase’s fault for having my father listed as more than a cosigner on the loan. The port was just doing their job to ensure those listed as owners know it’s going overseas.
My dad called to let me know the fax had gone through and he had added to the letter that the car belongs to me and my husband. My husband called me shortly after to tell me that we still needed more info. He proceeded to joke as is his custom that we needed a blood sample and dental records. Haha. He said no, really everything was set and he was taking a cab back to the hotel. My car was FINALLY on its way to Germany.