Monday, March 23, 2009

The Trouble With Missouri

Look, I'm all down with safety and mechanically sound vehicles but, man alive, the process to get a Missouri license plate is almost annoying enough to move to the Illinois side of the river.
Missouri rightly requires you to get an emissions test along with every other state I've ever lived in. Cool. I'm with you there. I'm even down with the also required safety inspection. This is to make sure your vehicle is within safety standards determined by the state. Now here is where it gets tricky.
My actual place in line.
Missouri doesn't have state run emissions/safety inspection centers. Nope, you go to the mechanic/car dealership/dude on the street who passed some test to get your inspections. While this may be convenient to some I find it highly probable that this process leads to corruption. What keeps a mechanic from pushing "repairs" on your vehicle to get passed. Or worse yet, getting paid extra to pass non-road-worthy cars. It's improbable that someone isn't cheating the system. I would suggest getting a second opinion on any repairs that are claimed to be mandatory to receive a passing grade.
So there's that... Not horribly inconvenient right? Oh wait, now you have to go to city hall and get a Personal Property Tax waiver? Oh yeah... In Missouri (or at least in St Louis) you need to pay personal property tax on your car. Because I just moved here I still have to get a waiver and this is no easy task. These places are daytime hours only and many are not open Saturdays. Yeah, I have to leave work to get a freaking waiver.
After those two steps you then have to go back to a License Bureau establishment and wait in line to get your plates. And that's where it hits you. The signs are everywhere... Cash or Check only. Suddenly I'm whisked away to 1991 where the idea of digitally removing funds from your bank account was "the future" and usually had something to do with retina scanning.
Yep, Missouri, you make it hard to want to drive. Perhaps an all in one place to do all of your mandatory steps would make it easier on us working folks who tend to drive. It doesn't seem that daunting of a step. Hell, just make it two steps. I'll pay my personal property tax online! Swear. Just please don't make me take a vacation day to get something as intrinsically annoying as license plate procurement.
Wow this post sounds whiny. I think I just hate being sent through the government machine. It puts me in rare form. Meanwhile... Don't tell anybody... But while I'm waiting to get a chance to do all of this my Indiana plates are expired. I'm a loner Dottie, a rebel.

(Note: Apparently I may not have to go back to a License Bureau. There may be one where I get my waiver. Here's hoping.)


Anonymous said...

good luck man. sounds shady. hope everything works for ya!

Phoebe said...

I know someone whose boss came into work barking, "who knows where I can find a crooked emissions inspector?!"

roger martin said...

Missouri is a joke with their license bureau. They lose MILLIONS of dollars per year in revenue with the thousands of people who register their vehicle in Illinois across the river. The inspection process is a joke. You can get any inspection you want on any vehicle if you got the money in Missouri. Most all residents know this is a fact. It is easier to just pay someone to put the safety inspection on your car then paying for the repairs needed to fix it. Citizens should repeal the inspection laws as they are outdated.