Friday, December 7, 2012

License (Plate) and Registration, Please

We drove down to Hamilton, the Ravalli County seat, on Tuesday to register our vehicles.  Get this: it was kind of fun.  For reals.  What is essentially a trip to the DMV (although it's actually part of the DoJ here or something) was a pretty good time as bureaucratic endeavors go.

There are currently about 130 different license plates to choose from in Montana.  There are supposed to be about a dozen more coming out before the end of the year.  Really.

Now, this is not for drivers licenses, just vehicle registration, but get this: there's no take-a-number machine.  You just wait on a bench until they call next.  There were about 3 people ahead of us and we waited about 5 minutes.  I barely had time to take a photo of that poster before we were called in!  Also there in the line was a TV set up on one of those tall rolling carts like they had in schools (maybe they still do) running a loop of a bunch of animals that are available for adoption from the county Humane Society.  It's like they knew we were coming.

A fond farewell to our Oregon plates.  Someday, we'll hang them in the garage.
Seems like people always blur out license plates in photos, so I decided to do it.  Just in case.

Then when we approached the window the lady working there was friendly, helpful, funny, engaging and patient.  I was able to register Bert "permanently" because she's a senior citizen, but that also means that I didn't get to have a plate that supports a cause or team* that I like.

Eric went as basic as possible while waiting for the Bitter Root Humane Association plate to be issued.
I liked the bison skull on this version of the standard plate.

Eric's car is an unnamed young adult of undetermined gender, so he was trying to decide which of the pet welfare type organizations he wanted to support so asked her where Gallatin and some other place is.  She figured out what he was going for and told us that our local Humane Society was coming out with a plate soon and if he wanted he could get regular plate and then when the new ones come out, just pay the difference for those.

The plate E will get eventually.  Not the best looking, but better than a few of the pet groups and you can tell what it's about.

We learned that it costs the organizations $4000 to get a plate, so they must pay off even though there are SOOOO many to choose from.  One thing that must help is that vehicle registration is annual and every time your renew you pay a donation to the organization (of which gets 100%).  The donation is usually between $10 & $25.  There is a bi-annual registration, but I don't think that effects the donation or maybe you can only do biannual with basic plates.

*That's a joke, there.  I don't like any of your "teams" or your "sports"!  Bahahahahahaaaaaa!

1 comment:

  1. Maybe people would enjoy going to ODMV more if it were like your experience. DANG! who knew there would be so many plates to choose from. You would think Oregon would do that to since there's more people in Portland etc who you know would be all over supporting good causes.
    Bummer you couldn't get an animal plate.


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