Thursday, June 26, 2008

You Cannot Say Dat is Not Good Car

Virginia has some funky laws about automobiles. In addition to the regular emissions inspection, you need a safety inspection (the requirements to pass one of these must be pretty low, judging by some of the lemons I see on the road). If the property taxes won't kill you, the sales and use tax will, but you only have to pay them sales tax if there is still a lien on the vehicle. I say thank the stars for that!

You have to bring in fifty pieces of identification to register and title your vehicle in the state. That's only a slight exaggeration: I needed my current drivers license, a passport, a social security card, the change of address confirmation from the post office, a paycheck with my new address on it, my previous vehicle title, proof of insurance, and my emissions inspection and safety inspection receipt. Then you have to choose one of about two hundred license plates that are available, some of which have annual fees, and some of those have annual fees that are donated to some cause. And decide if you want a personal message on your plates, which is an additional annual fee. I went with cheap: no annual fee and no personalization (what I wanted to do was taken anyway).

Virginia driver's license pictures are horrid. My brother looks like he's got some evil zombie disease, my Chinese-American sister-in-law looks like she has sunburn and blue eyes. At least I was prepared for that, so I wasn't too shocked when my picture showed skin the color of Mars.

The very pleasant guy who performed my security inspection on Tuesday told me I had good car. (Not a good car, just good car. He sounded Russian, but I'm not certain on that.) He also said his daughter had a Saturn and believes that I should be able to get it to last me the three (or more) years I would like it to. That's great!

I felt a little bad for the guy at the DMV yesterday. I tried to be as organized as possible, with all the forms I needed to fill out and all the documents I needed to supply and a couple checklists to make sure I had everything. It was just a lot of things. See, Virginia requires that you re-title your vehicle within thirty days of moving, but you have sixty days to get your new license. This is a little odd to me, because why not just do it all at once? Alas. It's all done. I guess I'm officially a Virginia resident now. I have government issued identification! WooHoo!! Or something....

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