Government Run Offices

Recently I had the fun adventures of renewing my license plates. Here is how the story goes.

My license plates came up for renewal in June this year. Luckily I just happened to notice this one day in May when checking my tires on my car and noticed the sticker on my plate said June.  So like a good citizen, I began to start getting all the things done to get a successful renewal.

By June 6th I had fixed my car enough where it would pass inspection. 12 dollars for headlight parts, and 12 dollars for the inspection.

Since the friendly, automated mail with the renewal form already nice and typed up, magically never arrived, I had to hunt down the form on the DMV website. After filling this form out, getting my property tax receipts, and my inspection notice, I headed off to the DMV.

Since the government run office is conveniantly open only during hours I work, I managed to swing by there when I was out sick one day from work. Not my idea of fun. When I should have been at home in bed, I was standing in line for 30 minutes. Much to my avail and hard work, they would not let me renew my plates. I was so mad.

Apparently, my car title is in my name. Somehow the property tax got paid in only Amy’s name.  I was told the reason I could not renew my plates, was that they didn’t know if I had more than one car (of the same make and model) at home and was trying to fake a registration. Needless to say, the fact that the VIN number was the same on the title and insurance card, and the car 40 feet away outside didn’t matter.

I mumbled a few choice words under my breath as I left the office, and drove home fuming in anger.

The story continues…….

June comes and goes. My plates are expired. I am now driving around with probable cause for any officer of the law to stop me and question me and give me a ticket if they so choose.  The whole time driving during the 17 days my plates were expired, I debated whether I should say, “Oh, I forgot…” or “I honestly tried, and the !&$#! dmv wouldn’t let me.”

I finally had another week day off. I took a vaction day to go sign papers for my house. That day, I also made it to the county courthouse of my previous residence.

First I visited the county assesor’s office and told them this story. They said they could happily add my name to the property tax receipt.  Thinking ahead, I had brought every form of identification regarding me, my car, and my marriage to help prove the story and my identity. They agreed to adjust my 2008 property tax receipt. I asked if they could also do it to my 2007 property tax receipt. They said they could, but would need a copy of it. Since I had lost the 2007 form during my last move, I then had to proceed across the hall to the county collector’s office where they very nicely printed off a copy of my 2007 return for $1.

I then returned across the hall, where they put the freshly printed off copy, into a old typewriter and manually typed my name onto the paper.

(needless to say, I was stunned that they could print copies for $1, but could not add my name to the form in the computer.)

After all of that fun, I returned to the dmv with my newly signed mortgage papers in tow to prove my new address. ( I figured 30 pages with my name, signature, and address would be good enough.) The water bill sufficed. After waiting the mandatory 40 minutes in line, I successfully got my plates renewed, and my drivers license updated. (which I had to wait in a seperate line for again for 10 minutes.)

So why do I tell this long, detailed, boring story? Just to comment on the (In)efficiency of government run offices. When law abiding citizens try to follow the laws, and unable to do so, due to stupid forms, bad office hours, etc. I see why so many people don’t even bother trying.

Also, it makes me very worried about this government run health care coming down the pipe.  Imagine trying to make sure you have your 17 forms to get your child’s inhaler. Or the six forms, and 2 month waiting period to get a minor surgery, like getting your tonsils removed. Let alone, having a major illness and trying to schedule a surgury, hospital stays, or a second opinion.

If there is one thing the government excells at, it is Paperwork.

I’m sure we will all love spending what little free time we have earning a law degree online, just so we can navigate the paperwork to get to the doctor.  I’m sure living so close to the state line won’t complicate it at all. Two states, the federal government, and me all trying to work together for the betterment of me.

Glad I’m not out-numbered or supposed to think for myself. :)

Just some thoughts. Have a great week.