Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘dmv’

Whidbey Island Double Bluff Park, one of the bluffs.

Whidbey Island Double Bluff Park, one of the bluffs.

One thing I did not think about before moving up to Seattle was car registration. I envisioned the process to entail going to the DMV with the title and asking to get a couple Washington plates. I thought it would be easy enough to do via mail.

I was a bit mistaken in that belief.

Registering an out of state car in Seattle (and Washington) is no easy feat. The first difficulty was the emissions test. There was no difficulty in passing the emissions test, I just wished that I could have used my emission test from California in lieu of a new emission test. In particular the testing center recommended driving on the freeway for fifteen minutes before getting the car tested in order to bring it to normal operating temperature.

First I find it off that there is a recommended amount of driving to do before getting an emissions test. Second the test is required every other year, I drove aimlessly on the freeway for fifteen minutes before the test, doing nothing but adding a car to the road for that time. Maybe this is why the traffic is bed in Seattle, people are just trying to warm up their cars for the emissions test.

The second difficulty faced by myself on the other out of state students moving here is the tax required on registration. If the car was purchased recently the person registering needs to pay Washington sales tax (about 10%) on the fair market value of the car. If the car was gifted recently this tax needs to be paid. The exception is if the car has been owned by the driver in another state for over ninety days. I fortunately fall into this category however my friends do not and they will probably be paying somewhere between $400 and $1000 to register their cars. Mostly they have either newer cars (bought just shy of ninety days ago) or they inherited them.

One of my friends, who is not happy with this tax, blames it on Washington being poorly run and out of money. Coming from California I am quite familiar with a state being out of money and trying to find creative sources of new income. However I could not believe that Washington was worse off. Absolutely they are not but per capita the state is actually in a worse shape then California. Based on Google California has a deficit of $1166 per person while Washington has a deficit of $1230 per person. Maybe the car registration tax is an attempt to close that deficit.

That or they just don’t like people moving into their state.

Read Full Post »

Drivers Test

A Road. A Road.

A Road. A Road.

Yesterday I took my GRE, today I tackled another test that has been waiting for the past four years: my driver’s license. Like most people I got my drivers permit around my sixteenth birthday. And then it expired on its own, so I got it again. That one expired. Finally I got my third drivers permit for last time. Then that one expired. Eventually I came to my current permit, I don’t remember which one it is, but there have been a few of them.

About a week or so ago I decided I should make an appointment for my behind the wheel driver exam. So I checked the DMV website, an online appointment system existed. I checked the first appointment before I went back to school. The local DMV was fully booked. I tried the next closest, same thing. I went a county south and it was also fully booked. This was not looking good. So I called their phone system to see if maybe there was an error on the online system. After waiting on hold I was told that, no they are indeed fully booked. I asked where the nearest appointment was, it was a week and a half and about an hour drive away. Ah well it was an exam.

Today I was taken over there for the test. Fortunately the DMV is in a flat area, I could not imagine taking the test in San Francisco. As required by the DMV I took my exam about forty minutes after my scheduled time. Suffice to say I was fairly nervous waiting for the examiner to come out. Luckily for me my examiner was not extremely alert and fastidious. He starting texting someone while I was driving around. Aside from the two pedestrians I hit and that tree that jumped in my way I managed to pass.

To be honest I am still a bit shocked that I managed to pass the exam given my confidence in driving. Now that I have my drivers license (or will have one mailed soon) I can go back to not driving and riding my bicycle when needed. Not that I would have a car to drive if I wanted to.

Read Full Post »

Driving

Keep Driving

Keep Driving

Like many people my age (twenty by the way) I have yet acquire my drivers license. So for the past few summers I have been getting my license. Every summer I start off with the arduous goal of practicing all summer and getting it by the end. Since habit is hard to break I have been doing the same this summer.

Except now I feel I am actually ready to take the test. I thought I heard somewhere that you need to make an appointment a bit before hand, so I checked the website. Both of the local DMV’s were completely booked. So I checked another sort of nearby. It was booked until September 26th. I go back to Santa Barbara on the 19th.

It is a DMV website, I assumed that it is not that up to date so I called to get an appointment. After some pleasant elevator music I found out something I did not want to hear. They were actually all booked to the end of September. I asked for the nearest available appointment – Fairfield. About sixty miles away.

I suppose if I fail I can try again on Winter break, then Spring break and then summer again. It is not like I need my drivers license, I just cleaned and tuned my bike.

Read Full Post »