MVD is fun!

Arizona MINI I am sure most car owners have a horror story or two about getting a drivers licenses or a car tag.. I am no different than the rest and my experiences today have proven it.

I stopped in at the MVD in Tempe (Larkspur & N. McClintock) at about 12:30pm and quickly realized that my adventure was only just begining. Not only did I show up during the noon hour (bad idea, everyone else is doing the same) but I also went in on the last day of the month (old tags expire today) and it’s Monday. Everyone is in a great mood on Monday, right?

After standing in line for about 10 minutes I finally made my way up to the Information desk where the nice lady told me that as I am registering my car for the first time in Arizona I need to have the car inspected – basically they just match the VIN on your car with the VIN on the title. So I hop back into my car and pull around to the inspection bay. After another wait the gentleman starts his inspection and informs me that my VIN plate “looks funny” and that he cannot inspect my car. I’ll have to go to another location to be inspected. The closest inspection location that was open today is at 48th and Broadway.

I arrive and sign up for an inspection. After the requisite wait the inspection officer looks at my title and asks why I am here for an inspection (my car is a 2003 model year). I try to explain the situation to him and he doesn’t look amused. I am told to pull into the inspection bay, open the hood, leave the keys in the ignition and go wait in the office. And by open the hood they don’t mean pull the lever inside the car – they literally mean walk around and open the hood for them!

About ten minutes later I hear my name called and I eagerly go up to the counter excited to learn if I’ve passed inspection or not. Mr. Grumpy begins interrogating me, wondering why it has taken so long for me to register my car in Arizona. I tried explaining that my tags didn’t expire until today, but he wasn’t buying it. I was not so politely informed that as soon as I became a citizen of Arizona and obtained a drivers license in Arizona I was required to register my car. I smiled and very politely told him that I would have been there to get my license plates sooner but as ASU is charging me full out-of-state tuition his department had to wait its turn to get my money. Luckily I wasn’t arrested.

I closed the hood to my car (I guess they don’t like to close your hood either) and hopped back on the road to where our story began. They only have 20 parking spots at this location so I had to park about 300 feet away from the building. The line to the information desk had grown since my first visit, luckily the lady remembered me and I was able to bypass the line. After another nice wait in the lobby my number was called and I proudly presented my title, insurance, drivers license and approved inspection paperwork to the lady at desk number 5. She looked over it then said to me “Looks like you might need to get an emissions inspection before I can issue you a license plate.” Ayyyy! I nearly burst into tears. I told her of my adventures thusly for the day and I think the dear lady actually felt sorry for me and didn’t make me get an emissions inspection!! Victory is had! 3 hours, 20 miles, 2 inspections, a gallon of gas and $400 later my car is now officially an Arizona resident (for the next two years anyway).

Before I started my MVD adventures today I had a doctors appointment where they drew blood and I nearly passed out. I’m sure there is a metaphor involved somewhere…

5 Comments so far

  1. John (unregistered) on July 31st, 2006 @ 9:50 pm

    $400? For what? (Obviously I don’t live in AZ)

  2. demooderew (unregistered) on July 31st, 2006 @ 11:20 pm

    The amount you pay to the MVD in Arizona is based on the value of your car. I pay $20 a year (what does that tell you about the value of my 1987 Subaru?) The more expensive the car the more you pay for it to be registered. Arizona income tax is lower and I believe the department of transportation does not get funded by state income tax (or at least not as heavily as other states), so the tax is levied separately via vehicle registrations.

  3. Kangamini (unregistered) on August 1st, 2006 @ 12:24 am

    I should add that the $400 included TWO years registration and the extra inspection fee o.0

  4. John (unregistered) on August 1st, 2006 @ 7:34 am

    OUCH! So in two years your registration
    should be lower?

  5. Libran Lover (unregistered) on August 1st, 2006 @ 5:51 pm

    Being a 2003 model, your car must be exempt from emissions testing. She wasn’t doing you a favor when she didn’t make you go through the emissions test. :-)

    Check here:

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