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Three times lucky?

My generous brother offered me his old car, which would allow us to retire our gently rusting-to-pieces van. His car is much newer and has a ridiculously low number of miles on it. All that's necessary is to register it at the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Except . . .

Time the First
Except, as the healing angel has observed, it is impossible to accomplish anything at the RMV with only one trip. Still, I called up our auto insurance, got all those papers in order, and on Thursday drove across the river and over Mt. Tom to the giant old mill building that houses the RMV office (along with lots of other interesting things, including Topatoco, which sells webcomic merchandise for folks like Kate Beaton and Ryan North). I took my ticket, which told me I had an estimated wait of about 35 minutes. I'd brought work with me, so I worked until I was called up.

"Oh," said the woman at Window No. 4, "You're registering it in both you and your husband's name? But he hasn't signed this. You both need to sign it. So I'm afraid I can't help you today."

I wasn't even that fazed--I'd expected there'd be something like this. And really, I should have read through the dang papers and noticed we had to sign.

She gave me a little slip of paper which, if I brought it in the very next day, would allow me to jump the queue and come right up to the counter to take care of business. The problem was, the very next day was Friday, which is my day at the jail. Fortunately, Wakanomori was able to make the journey on Friday.

Time the Second

From the road, Waka called me to point out that he didn't have the checkbook with him, and that the RMV doesn't accept credit cards, and that registration was going to cost *some* amount, though we neither of us could recall how much.

"I'll go to an ATM and take out cash," he said.

Some time later he called to say that although my brother had given us the car in exchange for the nominal sum of a dollar, because the car is so relatively new, it still has a fairly good Blue Book value, which means we owe a fairly hefty sales tax (because I guess the tax goes along with the Blue Book value)--more than he'd bargained for when he took out the cash.

"I'm out of time," he said. "I've got to get to work."

So we decided I'd go back on Monday.

Time the Third
Waka had used the jump-the-queue paper on Friday, so on Monday I had to re-queue, and this time the wait was estimated at an hour and 45 minutes, and it did take that long. I'd brought work again, but I finished it, so I sketched people taking their tests for their learner's permits. It's done using a touch screen (see bottom of the entry).

At last I got called to Window No. 6. The woman--Mary--asked me how things were going, and I said, "It's my third time, but third time lucky, right?"

"Really? What happened? . . . Was it our fault?"

"Nah, it was us. I didn't have my husband's signature the first time, and he didn't have the checkbook the second time."

So she told me how much the tax would be, and I started to write out the check, and as I was writing, we chit-chatted, and I said, "Yeah, this car is a present from my brother."

"What?! A present?! Then you don't need to pay sales tax. If it's a present from a family member, you don't need to. You just need to have him fill out this form."

We stared at each other. On the one hand, I still didn't have the car registered. On the other, she'd just saved me a pretty sizable sum of money. She told me to come back the next day--today!--with the signed form.

And I did! And now the car is registered! Third time lucky, fourth time, done.

Taking the learner's permit test
learner's permit


( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 13th, 2014 04:02 am (UTC)
Oh, my gosh! What an ordeal! But, yay for car and yay for saving money!

Aug. 13th, 2014 08:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Definitely yay for car and yay for saving money!
Aug. 13th, 2014 04:48 am (UTC)
"What?! A present?! Then you don't need to pay sales tax. If it's a present from a family member, you don't need to. You just need to have him fill out this form."

Hurray, car!

Aug. 13th, 2014 08:38 pm (UTC)
A comedy of errors ending in good things--Shakespeare would be pleased.
Aug. 13th, 2014 09:08 am (UTC)
Glad everything turned out so well - even if it took four trips to the RMV. :p
Aug. 13th, 2014 08:39 pm (UTC)
I feel like there's a lesson in it for me about, y'know, reading paperwork and being prepared….
Aug. 13th, 2014 08:52 pm (UTC)
Heh... I'm completely anal about such things, and to be honest I usually only have to go once.
Aug. 13th, 2014 08:57 pm (UTC)
Which means you get more life experiences AWAY from the halls of bureaucracy--always a good thing!
Aug. 13th, 2014 08:58 pm (UTC)
I honestly don't know what's faster. :p
Aug. 13th, 2014 09:14 am (UTC)
Ah, the bit about treating a gift as a notional purchase was puzzling me - glad it turned out not to be necessary! Perseverance triumphs - also, chatting to the person behind the desk!
Aug. 13th, 2014 08:40 pm (UTC)
Yes! And she really was a champion, making sure I got the form and the savings. Someone else might not have bothered mentioning it.
Aug. 13th, 2014 09:53 am (UTC)
Sorry, I had to chuckle.

Yay for fourth time done :)
Aug. 13th, 2014 08:41 pm (UTC)
It was pretty funny. I couldn't **believe** that I couldn't get it done that third time, but all is definitely well that ends well.
Aug. 14th, 2014 03:45 am (UTC)
What a lovely day to be lonely
Aug. 13th, 2014 12:54 pm (UTC)
This all sounds so complicated! Thankfully in the UK, you just have to fill out a form to transfer ownership of a car and post it off. I don't recall it costing anything to do it either.

But I'm glad you managed to save the sales tax.
Aug. 13th, 2014 08:41 pm (UTC)
The English way sounds MUCH BETTER.
Aug. 13th, 2014 01:19 pm (UTC)
Just think, you could be registering out here in Ca, in line with 574,786,785 of your neighbors!
Aug. 13th, 2014 08:54 pm (UTC)
Eeep! That would be a long, hot wait.
Aug. 13th, 2014 09:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, yeah. And you get to pay a thumping fee for the privilege!
Aug. 13th, 2014 02:07 pm (UTC)
Many times
I congratulate you and your extended family for your success. The folks at RMV are probably impressed with your composure, calm acceptance of NO TAXES DUE on a gift.
Well done!
Aug. 13th, 2014 08:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Many times
Hee, thanks. It helped that I had brought my work. I would have gone nuts if I didn't have something to do.
Aug. 13th, 2014 04:00 pm (UTC)
Merciful heavens! I don't even know what to say, except that goodness that's done!
Aug. 13th, 2014 10:04 pm (UTC)
Definitely how I'm feeling!
Aug. 13th, 2014 08:59 pm (UTC)
How strange! I wonder if it was the princely sum of one dollar that made them think you needed sales tax. Maybe you should offer nuts or flowers next time...
Aug. 13th, 2014 10:04 pm (UTC)
If only I could pay any duties or taxes in nuts, petals, and leaves.
Aug. 13th, 2014 09:35 pm (UTC)
1: Love the sketch! I took S (and K) to the park the other day and did some sketches, too. Good for not fretting "getting things just so."

2: Boo for repeated visits to register the car, but

3: BLESS YOU, MARY! for your outstanding job of listening, thinking, caring, and acting, the combination of which saved my friend some money!
Aug. 13th, 2014 10:45 pm (UTC)
I feel no. 3 *so strongly*. I brought her some doughnuts and a thank-you card, but I should have baked her a cake!
Aug. 14th, 2014 07:30 am (UTC)
And the circle of awesomeness is complete, even without a home-baked cake! ;)
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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