Saturday, September 22, 2012


Last week a lady friend of mine asked me if I knew where the DMV was. Boy, do I ever know where it is! After almost 40 years in the automobile business, that's one location that is drilled into my head. She told me that she needed to get her driver's license changed to reflect her new address. I did too, so I told her that I needed to get the same thing accomplished and if she wanted to wait until this week, I'd go with her.

So Thursday we headed to Paradise Lane, just east of Scottsdale Road and pulled into the old DMV. I felt like it was home. Normally I'd go to the back, where the dealer section is housed, but being a plebeian (commoner) now, I felt obligated to get in line with all of the other sheep. Abbey followed me. My goal was to get my 2 titles transferred from my dealership name to my private name, something that I knew was necessary. In spite of the fact that I renewed my license this year, I was in the hospital when the bond was to be replaced and I never got the notice and even though I've not been notified that I was in arrears, I knew it was the case. In addition to that, Paul, my landlord at the lot told me to get my license off his property if I wasn't going to pay rent and I wasn't! I really stopped operating as a dealer several years ago, but I've been reluctant to turn in my license because they're so hard to get now.

Back to the DMV: I was issued a number and told to have a seat and wait for them to call me. The place was literally mobbed and "people watching" was the game of choice. I literally saw the fat, the skinny and the good the bad and the ugly in my 2 1/2 hour wait. Suddenly, the computerized voice announce my number and for me to go to window 16. I ran to it thinking they'd skip me if I didn't get there promptly. There sat my plump clerk, with a fake smile and the look that told me she hated her job. Oh joy!

She began our acquaintance by telling how understaffed and overworked she is and no one seems to appreciate it. I nodded trying to display sympathy, but was really thinking how lucky she was to be working. I explained that I was a dealer and have spent quite a few hours right here in the dealer section over the years and my goal was to title my two personal vehicles in my private name. She took my paperwork. First she pointed out that my Volvo convertible title requires two signatures from the original owners and they are not both present. The owners chose to require it that way for some reason. In all the years I'd been doing this, I'd never seen that prior. So I needed to back to Peoria Kia, where it was traded in about 2 years ago and try to track down the wife of a Mr. Campanella (oh joy). So that car was off the board for titling today. Next she looked at the title of my 85 Corvette which was one of the old non-conforming titles from Arizona, because it was a one owner with only 43000 miles. 

I explained that I'm both the seller and buyer. She said, I needed a bill of sale saying how much I was selling it to myself for and just looked at me. I told her there was no money changing hands, I'm just giving it to myself! She said I needed to pay sales tax and I asked what price I'd be paying sales tax on if there was no money involved. She excused herself and went to her supervisor. After 10 minutes and she came back smelling like smoke, she said she was right, I needed a Bill of Sale from me to me showing sales tax. How absurd, I thought. I asked her for a Bill of Sale, I can fill it out right here. They don't supply them was her answer. Frankly, in all the years that I've been getting cars registered for my customers, who were total strangers, no one has ever requested a Bill of Sale.

She handed me back the paperwork but not the 2 1/2 hours wasted there. I told her that I waited for 2 1/2 hours and I'm back at step one. She told me to ask for a supervisor next time and maybe she'll feel sorry for me?

I went home and gave up for Thursday, I was totally disgusted with the results. Yesterday, Friday, I called what was referred to as the dealer section on the Internet and was told there was a 30 minute wait on hold. The gentleman who answered the phone call asked what it was about. I tried to briefly explain. He then told me if I had waited the 30 minutes, it was information on how to become a dealer, they would not be able to help me with my problem. I told him that I didn't know what price to pay sales tax on, since I wasn't charging myself any money for the purchase of my car to myself. He said hold. I hold 10 more minutes while he checked with his supervisor. I really felt like I was getting somewhere now. He came back to the phone and told me that I would be required to pay tax on the nada price. I said that's pronounced N.A.D.A. and he didn't want to hear it. When he said it was listed in the nada book, I suspected he didn't know his ass form a hole in the ground (excuse me). I was right. He then told me he looked it up and it was $16050 and that is the original list price of the car and of course I knew he was wrong. Then he told me that since I didn't have a price to charge myself, I should pay tax on that amount, $16,050. I told him that I didn't mean to be rude, but what he's telling me is just ridiculous. That's when he said, "then why are you asking me, I just work a switch board at a phone center"? What is wrong with this state's bureaucracy?

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