I was not planning on writing about this because it will not accomplish anything except proving that I am cranky and whiny. But I am going to write it anyway just in case I ever forget the lesson I learned, I can reread it and remember to not be so foolish.
Never move to New York. That is, if you own a car. Actually, I have heard that the car registration process is quite lovely for some so let me edit my previous statement. Never move to New York State if your vehicle has a salvage title. Perfect.
When my car registration expired (in August), I was a good little girl and went to register my car. They informed me that I would be unable to do it that day because I had to have a special inspection. I said "okay," took the paperwork, and went home assuming I would get the inspection the next day and then register my car.
You see, in NYS, if your vehicle has a salvage title then it must have a salvage inspection so they can assure that the VIN on your title matches the VIN on all pieces of the vehicle. If any VIN does not match, you must have original receipts of parts purchased so they know that nothing was stolen. This inspection costs $205.
I was perturbed when I first learned this and after multiple phone calls explaining that no major parts were replaced, I was informed that there was no way around it.
I gathered everything I needed for the application for a salvage inspection. It was a packet. Pages and pages of information. I mailed it all in and waited. A few weeks later, I received an email stating that I had an appointment set for the inspection that was one month away and if I didn't show up then I would lose my $205 and have to reapply. Also, if I showed up to the inspection with an unregistered vehicle then I would be issued a citation. So they expected me to have my car towed. The inspection location was an hour away.
We got a 3-Day temporary permit from Arizona and drove to the appointment. We passed the inspection. Duh. My dad restored my car and I'm pretty sure he doesn't sneak out to steal parts off of other peoples' cars. But who knows. Maybe he does. Anyway, we were assured that the title would arrive before Christmas. This was pertinent because Sam's car was making weird noises (see post about alternator failure) and we wanted to take my car to Columbus for Christmas so we could take his into a mechanic.
The day arrived to leave to Columbus and my title had not yet arrived. So we took Sam's car, all the while cursing NYS and all the insane rules the government has established.
When we got back, my title was in the mailbox. The next day the DMV was open, we went to register my car. The DMV lady (her name is Kelly, we became friends) had license plates in her hand and I was starting to be happy that this process was finally over. Until she informed me that my insurance card says, "Not to be used for registration 45 days passed the effective date." Guess what. The effective date was in August. Yes, the very same August I originally attempted to register my car.
So I called Geico and told them I needed a new card faxed over. "No problem," they said. "No problem" is now being interpreted as "This will be the biggest headache and runaround you have ever experienced. Brace yourself."
But that wasn't the end. Listen carefully. Geico and NYS have teamed up to ruin my life. I was "this close" [place index finger and thumb one centimeter apart] to switching insurance providers. Geico said they can send a card with an August effective date or a February effective date. I handed the phone to Kelly and she told them that NYS will not take either of those. They then said they would fax something else over and we could see if that worked. So I hung up. They faxed an insurance card for Colorado. Ridiculous. I haven't lived in Colorado for over a year. Kelly said, "Sweetheart, ask for a supervisor and don't let them push you around." So I called back and did just that. After a 45 minute conversation, and a Geico employee having an "integrity issue on his part," they said I would get it. Another insurance card for Colorado. Awesome.
I called Geico again and they said that their system was currently updating, it could take up to two hours, and I should please call back tomorrow. Until then, they could not send any faxes.
Then I shot someone in the head.
Sam, Alex, and I had been at the DMV for almost two hours and it would be closing soon. We ran a few more errands then called to see if Geico's system was done "updating" and it was not so we went home.
Side note: I worked for a company where we were told to use that B.S. about systems "updating." It is code for "Our systems are currently malfunctioning and we really hope this problem gets fixed soon because I am sick of people yelling at me."
The next day, I called Geico and told them to fax it again and this time the lady emailed it to herself at the same time so she could open the file and make sure the right card had been sent. It was a good thing, too. The first time she sent Colorado's, then she sent one with the wrong effective date, then (hallelujah) she sent the right one.
So we immediately headed off to the DMV and they sifted through the stack of faxes they had received from Geico for me and finally found the right one.
A few minutes later, my car was registered. It only took one hernia, one aneurysm, one gunned down stranger, a few bald spots, and four and a half months.
I still needed to get the emissions testing though. The salvage inspection doesn't work for that because, according to the DMV worker, "That would be too easy." Right. Why did I even ask.
The car passed the emissions testing and my NYS plates are secured onto my vehicle. Now I just need to avoid trees.
So the moral of the story is to avoid New York. Ohio had an amazingly efficient system. Utah's was pretty good, too. Those are all of the states I can speak for though. When you are looking at places to rear your children and grow old, do not worry about school systems, find out a little about the state's car registration process.
Ramble over. Emily out.
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