THE DMV & ME
THE DMV & ME
Currently serving B370 at window No 15
Another one of life’s mysteries, and one that I have never really understood, the DMV ! If any
organization could have ever been formed to make life more difficult for everybody then the Arizona
Department of Motor Vehicles certainly takes the biscuit! The people within this ridiculous set up are
determined that you will NEVER get what you want the FIRST time and will have you on a run-a-round
until you either give up in disgust or play their stupid games.
Detune to pass Emissions and reset everything to make it run!
When I think how easy it used to be in the UK to get the equivalent of “tags” I was completely
“Gobsmacked” when I first came to the States to discover the pathetic and totally unnecessary
documentation required before you could PAY them for what you wanted. Old vehicles that I
purchased for the Grading company were a nightmare to “Tag” and having handed over reams of
paper including the worthless emissions test certificate they would religiously paw their way
through them punching many items into the computer and then get up from their station and head off
into the Super’s office. After yet another delay they were back and more computer punching and then
having sat there like the “accused” a form was duly filled out detailing all your shortcomings and why
you had failed the “Tags/Plates/Title” request and what other dead sea scrolls were required before
you came back to their hallowed doors once more and were permitted (after being given a number) to
go to the RETURN window!
Answer: most of the day!
As the company got bigger and more vehicles joined the fleet the annual pilgrimage to DMV became
even more frustrating as, even at the “Fleet Window” you were only allowed to tag 4 vehicles in one
day!!! WHY ? WHY ??
The Wait continues
So with 12 + trucks I was down there for 4 days in a row as they all had to be tagged prior to 31 Dec
or you incurred another ridiculous penalty.
And it didn’t stop there!…….I bought a Gas Gas 320 Enduro/Dual Sport model for lady friend at the time
and there it was with Oregon plates, lights, turn signals and horn all ready to go. Go to DMV and NO!
where is the original manufacturer’s import form??? How would I know? it has already been tagged in
Oregon so presumably they took it when they issued the plates. Eventually I had to take it back to the
Bike shop and tell them to do it or give me my money back as the frustration was making my “day”
anything but good.
Next up was the KTM 520 EXC, which has a prominent sticker stating that “This machine does not
comply with any federal regulations and is for competition use only”…… it sails straight through, gets
plates and tags and even more ridiculous does not have a speedo, but you don’t need one in Arizona!
Just a left side mirror and a horn!……. it begs the question of how can you be charged for speeding if
you don’t require a speedo?
As a MSF Instructor we were also MVD or DMV Motorcycle Examiners and everything usually went well
in that department as these were renewed annually by T.E.A.M Arizona. However some lame brain
within the department suddenly decides that ONLY the Examiner can fill in the form that we issue on
successful completion of the course when the student passes the test! Prior to this amazing
breakthrough in dumbness the entire class would be given the form and then the lead instructor would
ask the class of 24 to fill in all the usual personal details; name address, d.o.b. and sign it. Teach
would then sign with DMV number if the student passed. Clearly this was far too simple so now the
lead instructor has to PERSONALLY fill out all 24 forms!!!!!! What CLOWN thought that one up ?
Another motorcycle saga that defies explanation was my purchase of an Erion Racing Edition CBR
Honda 929. This machine arrived with Kansas plates and title and was drop dead gorgeous as it had
been show chromed everywhere including the frame. On arrival at DMV I’m told it needs an inspection
so trundle round to the inspection line for a “Level 2” inspection. Now all seems well until Inspector tells
me he can’t find some federal sticker, well no surprise here as the frame has been chromed and it no
doubt dissolved in the acid before it was plated………. so IT FAILS!
I now have to book a “Level 3” inspection within the next 3 weeks. Arrive as planned and join a long line
….. take off helmet and have a smoke on the sidewalk by the DMV ashtray. No sooner have I lit up than
some officious pratt runs down the street to me with clipboard in hand shouting “No smoking there are
fumes!”………. and I’m on the sidewalk standing at the ashtray they provided!
Well it doesn’t end there, when I get to the front of the line I tell the Inspector what I’m here for and he
goes inside and Rambo comes out in a full black uniform covered in boy scout badges, inverted
sergeant stripes, and a huge leather belt that had everything apart from handcuffs and a gun, these
having been replaced with a multitude of flashlights of various lengths. I now have to push the bike into
an “inspection bay” which I do and then as he starts on his clipboard I’m cautioned that I may NOT
cross the painted line….. man these people need to get a life!
20 mins later I’m informed that I have FAILED again! The frame numbers and engine numbers do not
match and therefore I must have changed it, stolen it, or it is a scrap vehicle. It will now take another 3
weeks while they complete their INVESTIGATION. The simple thing here is there never was a problem
and Honda used the same frame for the CBR series and fitted 600, 900 and the 929cc motors in all
these frames. I ring Honda USA and they fax me a letter stating that my engine was fitted to my frame
when the machine was built. Naively thinking I might get things sorted I rush back to DMV, find the
less than friendly Rambo and hand him the Honda letter. He looks at it for a long time then wets his
finger and announces that it is FAXED as he can’t smudge the signature and it is therefore
unacceptable and I must wait the 3 weeks until I’m called forward!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A few days later the original letter from Honda arrives and I decide to go to another DMV testing station
and a very nice black lady comes out and does the inspection and I explain it failed as the other Rambo
halfwit couldn’t match the frame and engine number. I hand over the Honda letter and she tells me
they have all “that” info in their computers and gives me the PASS certificate.
Just recently I had 2 more similar but equally frustrating experiences with these pedantic bastards.
No1, selling a 10 wheeler which had been on lease and then residual purchase. Lien release papers
arrive from Mercedes Benz but MVD don’t like them as it says it was a lease and not a lien. 5 days go
by until I get yet another piece of paper to say that I have power of attorney from MB to re-register the
vehicle in my name!!!!!
And finally from the annoying annals of Arizona pedantic stupidity I finish buying my daughter’s car and
VW send me the title which now I wish to transfer to her name. “Not so FAST! you bought this car from
VW on a lease which then became a lease purchase?”
“Well you should have re-registered it 4 years ago as a lien……..”
“Well we can void all the penalties, or you can get VW to send you the power of attorney forms and when
they have signed them and had them notarised we can give you a title, or you can pay the $187.00 fines
and penalties and we can give you one now”
……So knowing what fun DMV can be you can imagine how much I’m looking forward to getting my
Colorado driving licence and having to get plates and tags for the Safari which has been tagless for
the last 3 years up here sitting on it’s Oregon plates…… the driving licence place has only 2 people
ahead of me and I’m armed with everything from passport, birth certificate to RAF service record.
Nothing required, pay an extra $2.00 for motorcycles and the job was done!
Now for the Tags? Seems you need to get the VIN examined and anybody from a mechanic to a Police
Officer can do that. Arrange for someone to go to the Safari where it is being worked on. Job done,
usually $10.00 but as its Howard, no charge. Blunder off to Cortez town offices and Courthouse. No
waiting, “tags and plates please” “$78.45 please”……….”is that it ?” ….”yup!”