Grinding my gears

1 12 2009

I realize I just got done writing about how I liked this little piece of New York state, because I really do, but there are times when I wonder why I didn’t just stay away when I had the chance.
Since I’ve started buying cars, I’ve usually gotten them from dealers, who take care of all the papercrapwork that needs to be filed with the state Department of Maniacal Vultures Motor Vehicles, so I’ve never had much dealings with them outside of renewing registrations and licenses.
Earlier this year, I bought a truck in what was a private transaction, so I got a little taste of all the fees the state charges just to get a buggy on the road (filling out the paperwork? $5 pen fee. waiting in line? $3.50 occupation of state/county office space fee. adding personal effects to your vehcle. $9 plastic Jesus fee).
Sadly, this truck was to be short-lived, mainly because the transmission went and I wasn’t about to spend $1,100 in repairs on a tank I paid $1,200 for.
In order to get said vehicle off my insurance (I’ve since sold the truck), I have to surrender my plates, so I went to do so on Monday.
“That’ll be $1,” the clerk behind the window told me.
Really? I have to pay to get the plates from you, and now I have to pay to give them back?
Again, I realize this may be old hat to some of you, but understand this is the first time I’ve run into this.
I realize I’m harping on a dollar. A buck. Four quarters. You can’t even get bottled water for that anymore.
It’s not the amount, mind you. It’s the principle of the gol-darn thing.
The state charges you sales tax on the car. You pay to get the thing inspected, and pay again to register said vehicle with the state, and you have to pay to put two license plates on your car.
And then, when I’m done with the plates, you require me to “surrender” the plates in order to get the vehicle off insurance the state requires us to have … and you ask me for a buck to give them back?
Is it the DMV purposely trying to be a prick, or is it something that just comes naturally to them?

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