Published Jun 21, 2005

Are you thinking of a summer internship or temporary relocation to Arizona? Think twice, it’s dangerous. Interns and others who choose to temporarily relocate to Arizona may have to register their car in the state or be heavily fined. Even though interns and other temporary workers will only be in the state for a few weeks or months, and even though interns and other temporary workers may not qualify as residents, the police may still think you are a new resident of Arizona and may still ticket you.

I discovered this upon returning to my car one evening after work. There was a ticket on the windshield, a warning that, as a new resident, I needed to register my car in Arizona immediately, or face a future $300 fine. Now, I am a summer intern, I’ve relocated temporarily to Arizona, I’ll be in town for a total of ten weeks and then head back to my home state. This is not a full-time job, it’s an internship that involves a temporary relocation! It doesn’t make any sense for me to register my car in Arizona and then, two months later, re-register my car in California; such a plan would be inconvenient and expensive.

But the warning outlined, in very clear terms, what it took to qualify as a resident, and it’s also pretty clear that a summer intern or anyone temporarily relocating to Arizona fits the strict definition of resident. Now, the nice people at the Motor Vehicle Division are very reasonable, and they have informed me that a judge would most likely dismiss a ticket for this, since I’m just a summer intern who has temporarily relocated to Arizona. However, there’s no way to avoid getting the ticket in the first place — the MVD, absurdly enough, suggested that I write a note explaining that I am an intern who has temporarily relocted, and place that note on my windshield every time I park, in the hope that the next kind officer who notices my California plates will read said note and take pity. This seems like a rather roundabout way to avoid being ticketed for being a resident of Arizona when I’m actually an intern who has temporarily relocated. I do not want to pay $300 for the privelege of being an intern temporarily relocated to Arizona!

And yes, I’m trying to get a high Google result, thus the high frequency of certain phrases in this post. That will be my revenge on this state! Intern temporary relocate. My competiton has about the same PageRank as me, I bet I can get on the first page of results! Link to me and to my post on interns who choose to temporary relocate to Arizona. Fight the power!


I’d do the visible note thing just for the sake of absurdity. But I’d also ask the Intel HR people about it. They may have some inside, uh, intel.

The intel is that we are not residents, but that there’s nothing we can do to prevent us from getting tickets. That’s all HR can say, except for “feel free to take time off to go to traffic court.”

Yes, this does make me think twice about moving to AZ!