Friday, October 05, 2007

Caren Explains: Bureaucracy at Its Best

My insurace coverage lapsed over the summer. I called the county Tax Commissioner's office to make sure they knew I had new coverage and to see if there was a fee. There was not one on record.

Then I moved counties and changed my address.

In some bizarre chain of events, the county mailed an insurace fee notice to my new address, but the postman delivered it to my old address, despite a very clearly written address... this happened twice.

Then I got my "Suspension of Vehicle Registration" notice, meaning I can't drive my car until it is paid.

So I call the Tax Commissioner's office of my new county. This is when I find out that I must do the following things to get my car registration back:

1) Pay a fee for moving to a new county (one mile from my old apartment)
2) Pay the vehicle registration fee for my lapsed insurance coverage (four months ago)
3) Get an emissions inspection, even though I had one completed less than a year ago (in case my car emits different fumes in one county versus another?)
4) Pay the sum of the fees in person (a few hundred dollars, not $25 as the suspension notice said)

Here is a Catch-22 for you... if my vehicle is suspended and I am not supposed to drive it, how am I supposed to get it to an emissions inspector? My suspension states that "operation of a vehicle with a suspended or revoked registration is a misdemeanor and may result in the impoundment of the vehicle by law enforcement if discovered."

Isn't the government then requiring I break the law in order to abide by the law?

That confirms it... I need to move to a city where I don't need a car.

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