We finally have an inspection sticker on our new car. The inspection itself was routine and was done a couple of weeks ago, but just as the sticker was about to be put on the car, my husband noticed that the town clerk had typed in the wrong birth month when she filled out the registration forms. We have spent nearly two weeks trying to have that mistake corrected.
Despite three hour-long visits while the town clerk talked to someone official on the telephone, no one could figure how to make the corrections in the computer database. And they told us that if the corrections could not be made in the database, the registration itself could not be corrected. Amazingly, even when the town clerk called the software company the town hires to write these programs, the company was also unable to make this simple correction. What everyone wanted was for us to absorb that fee and pay another fee to register the vehicle again… but in this state the change in birth months would have also required another inspection and a second inspection fee as well… none of which we were willing to pay.
Finally, in desperation, my husband took the information and all the forms and went directly to the state motor vehicle department. It took a while there too because nobody knew how to correct the town’s mistake, but at least the people there were willing to keep trying different options, and someone eventually figured out what to do. The registration papers now have the correct birth month.
Then it was back to the garage with the corrected forms. We had been told to just bring the corrected forms back anytime and that no appointment was necessary. It didn’t work out that smoothly. The first day the garage was closed early for some reason and no one was there. The second day the garage was out of stickers and wouldn’t have more until the next day. And this morning the man was elbow-deep in car repairs… literally, with his arms and hands covered with grease… and he asked if my husband minded coming back later. Happily, even this story does have an ending. My husband returned to the garage and as of about an hour ago, all the necessary inspections and registration papers have finally been completed and are correct… the inspection sticker has been put on… and our new car is now legal.
The law required us to deal with the town clerk… she made a mistake… and we were expected to just accept her mistake and pay extra because of it. Even trying to explain what happened and what they wanted us to do sounds ridiculous, and there’s nothing quite like the helpless feeling of being on one side when bureaucracy is on the other… even when the bureaucracy is only of the small town variety.