Finn and I stood on line outside the MVA office for 45 minutes in the “appointment” line two Mondays ago. It’s been in the high 90’s here through July and with humidity, the temperatures are in the mid 100’s. There were actually two lines on the concrete sidewalk: “appointment” and “drop-off”. Because there is a limit to the number of people allowed in the building, we all had to wait outside in the heat until the people ahead of us came out. The MVA staff helpfully put up a square awning outside the front door over the “dropoff” line, which was moving much faster than our line, so the net result was that we in the “plan ahead” line stood around and baked in the sun until they could let us in.

My intention has been to swap out the modern Historic plates I’ve currently got on the Scout for a set of vintage plates from 1976, the year the truck was made. I’d found a set at the antique store down the street and got them cheap, and around the time I was ready to go in and do battle with the MVA, the pandemic hit. So I waited until the numbers went down and they opened up on the restricted schedule.

Once we were inside, we had to wait the normal amount of time for the glacial staff to sort out our issues, so even though we had an appointment nothing was different from a normal visit. Finn and I waited a full hour before we were called up to the counter, and when I explained what I was doing—and showed her the proper form, filled out months in advance—she had no idea how to accomplish this mysterious task and told us to sit back down while she asked someone. She called her manager, who called someone else, explained it to the woman I spoke to, and then disappeared for lunch. In the meantime the obnoxious dude who had been standing behind us outside was called up to the counter next, and his wife proceeded to leisurely fill out all her paperwork while standing at the window for the next 45 minutes.

When that was done, I was called back up a full 2 1/2 hours after my appointment time, and the woman put my old tags in the system and voided them, then entered the new (vintage) tags. The system didn’t spit out a sticker, however, so they had to cancel the void on the original tags and told me I would have to drive around with the original Historic plate in the glove box, as the truck is technically registered to those tags (but for some reason they charged me $70 for vanity plates)?

I have no fucking idea what they did or if it’s the right thing, but I went home and put the new (vintage) plates on the truck. Hopefully I don’t get pulled over and impounded for having the wrong plates on the right truck.

They sure do look pretty, though.

Date posted: August 1, 2020 | Filed under Progress | 6 Comments »

6 Responses to Plated

  1. Neal in Boston says:

    So frustrating!
    Kudos for trying to be proactive.
    What do your old plates look like?

  2. Derek says:

    Hey, is the MVA different from the DMV?

    Your Canadian reader,
    Derek.

  3. bill says:

    Ha Derek!
    MVA: Motor Vehicle Administration (what Maryland calls it)
    DMV: Department of Motor Vehicles (what New York, my previous state, calls it).
    Different name, same lousy experience.

  4. Mike Carey says:

    Went to the Korean DMV in downtown Gunsan-si. I was armed with two powers of attorney because the original owner had given the car to someone here at Kunsan, they rotated home before I got here, so he did a second power of attorney to the guy who handed me the keys and registration forms. Had my registration in my name in five minutes – working with a Korean national whose English was less than up to the task for a comprehensive discussion as to why the two previous owners were nowhere to be found. Five minutes tops. New forms. And best of all…the bill was a whopping 1000 won. Thats 80 cents to register a car! What a deal.

  5. bill says:

    Hey Mike!
    Maybe I should move the Scout to Korea. Jeez, that sounds like heaven!

  6. Mike Carey says:

    Well….the gas is about $4 a gallon so you and the Scout are probably better off in the Peoples Republic of Maryland. Even when I fuel injected my IH 345, I only got about 14 mpg, it would be expensive to tool around Korea in a thirsty v-8.

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