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A frustrating afternoon 
3rd-Jan-2007 05:12 pm
How to spend nearly 3 hours doing nothing but getting advice on how to get less for my money:

Due to the confusing regarding the new license plates which were supposed to come alive at the start of January (and the fact that my renewal is for Jan 1 - Dec 31) I called the Secretary of State. I had expected that I would get the new plate when I got my stickers, but I didn't. The answer is that applies to people who renew on-or-after 1/3/2007, not for those who renew for January 2007. So the woman I talked to was correct when she said I should just put the sticker on my old white-on-blue plate.

The other thing that Secretary of State woman said to me on the phone, though, was that I needed to get down there ASAP come the new year to stake my claim for my vanity plate. I pointed out that I had renewed it and paid my $25 or whatever it is over and above the normal renewal amount, and she told me that everyone pays that and it doesn't count. If I don't go in and register for that plate ASAP someone else could take it.

So I left work at 13:48. Drove to SOS. Got the ticket number A-46. They were at the start of the Js when I got there in the early 2pm time-frame. Played a few games of sudoku on my palm. Realized I really didn't want to fall down, so I walked off to get food. Got back, and they were still on the Js. I heard them talking, though, and A follows J. Hoorah! I think it was after 4 when they called a batch of numbers that included my number to stand in line. As I'm talking to the fellow who is triaging us in line, giving us whatever we need to fill out, he told me several things: (1) The lady was wrong when she told me I needed to sign up for my vanity plate again -- I've not let it lapse. (2) But since I'm here I might as well do it anyhow. (3) My plate should expire on my birthday, not at the end of December, even though it used to be a lease. Finally got to the start of the line and got to talk to a real agent. (1) He was right -- she was wrong. (So, since I didn't believe that, I felt a bit vindicated in not believing the thing she was right about, namely that I should put my new sticker onto my old plate.) (2) I could order my plates now, but it would cost me $5, whereas if I wait until these are set to expire, it won't cost, but will happen automatically, and (3) I will need to come in (since they may not be able to do this over the web) in order to get my plates to expire on my birthday rather than 12/31. I finally got out at darn near 16:30, heading back to work.

So in other words, later this year I'll need to stand in another indescribable line for the privilege of spending just as much money but getting less for it.

The fun part of today was watching my (old-style) odometer roll from 229999 to 230000. And my car's not even 14! (Well, ok, she was born more than 14 years ago, but it's over 2 weeks shy of when I took her home... via her first con.)
3rd-Jan-2007 10:56 pm (UTC)
Your tax dollars at work. Such fun. My favorite DMV story is the time I was standing in line and they were doing their best to manually take care of people because their computer systems were down. Just as I got to the front of the line they all came back online. I said "You're welcome. I usually charge for this level of service." They laughed.

Congrats on getting your moneys worth out of your car. My last car (94 Chevy Corsica) turned over 278K last fall before I gave in and bought my current transportation (03 Impala).
4th-Jan-2007 01:10 pm (UTC)
This is why I go to the DMV office in Chelsea. The longest line I've ever been in there was six people long. I know, I'm trading gas and time on the freeway for time in a waiting area, but where would *you* rather be? :-) (Admittedly, living in Dexter, I'm about equidistant from the office on Maple and the one in Chelsea, but I go by the one on Maple on most days.) It's something to consider for future battles.
4th-Jan-2007 05:20 pm (UTC)
Something to consider indeed. The one on Washtenaw is the one I've dealt with. (It DID have the benefit of being near a Subway, allowing me to use my expiring-in-4-days coupon.) I see it semi-regularly, so I know it's still open, which is why I probably thought of it and not others.

Thinking toward October, though, I've programmed the address of the Chelsea office into my GPS (which says it's 14 crow-miles from work).

Many thanks.
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