þriðjudagur, nóvember 29, 2005

car inspection

It was time for RZ's first annual inspection and Big Brother was in full effect. I got two notices in the mail from different inspection companies (who knew my plate number, type of car, and address) offering me discounts if I used their service. I went with the one that in addition to the discount offered me the chance to win 20,000 krónur worth of Romantic Dinner. Also, it was close to work.

The shop is in Garðabær, a wealthy suburb I like to call the Wellesley of Iceland. I drove over from the office in the inky blackness of a 9:30 a.m. November morning. The inspection stations here seem to be dedicated for the purpose. The man behind the desk was Santa Clausian, if Santa were a car inspection man. He took down my information, offered me some coffee from the ubiquitous grubby service-station-carafe-G-mjólk setup, and then drove my car into the inspection area.

The first test old RZ had to pass was the tire-traction test: the wheels have to be able to spin a big steel drum without slipping. Front and back, in RZ's case. As the back wheels were spinning the drum, he locked the e-brake, shooting RZ backwards off the rollers. Guess the brake works.

After this he pulled the car forward over the pit and attached the emissions-test hose. Some kind of shaker from underneath rocked the whole of RZ, exciting all of the suspension modes. Finally the jumpsuited Santa went into the pit and looked at the steering, brakes, and drive shaft. Satisfied, he wiped some of the grime off of the 2005 sticker and affixed a yellow 2006 over it. Here's hoping I win the dinner, too.


Anonymous Nafnlaus said...


Let me tell you what you are missing out on here in Boston. As you know I just moved here now that you left (ha). So I've got a car that we're moving in from out-of-state, and it's not paid off yet. So the massholes at the RMV say that they need the registration, RMV-1 form, MV-29 sales tax form and the title. But of course I don't have a title because there's a loan on the car and the bank holds the title. So I bring a letter from the bank stating that they will not give the title to me, but will send it to the RMV. The RMV will not accept titles. It took me easily 12 trips over two months to sort this out.

1. Found out that they won't register the car without the title, suggested I get a letter from my bank stating the issue.
2. Refused because this time they noticed that wife failed to sign the RMV-1 form.
3. They said that the letter (they requested) was inadequate and they needed the real title.
Wrote to the website and asked them to define a procedure by which I could register the car. Email response said I did not need the title because of the loan.
4. Took the email to the RMV. Informed me that the person that answers these kind of questions and sent me the email was "wrong."
5. Went to a different RMV. Told me to call the titling office.
After being on hold for 45 minutes, Titling office lady just kept screaming at me, "you have the title, just bring it in."
"No, the bank has the title."
"No they don't, you do. Bring it in."
Repeat five or six times.
6. Obtained letter from my previous state DMV stating that the bank held the title for cars in previous state titled before a certain date. Refused to accept letter. They called said DMV and were put on hold. Spent two hours with no update.
7. Refused to register car now because the RMV-1 form is over thirty days old.
8. With new forms, again refused to register the car. When I asked the manager how I supposed to register the car, she said that she had no idea, other than me paying off the car to get the title. Oh, so now it's class issue.
9. Had the bank talk to the manager at the RMV explaining the situation. All I really heard over and over again was "send him the title."
10. Bank breaks their own policy and common sense by sending me the title. They had handwritten "For registration only" on the title. OK. Need a new RMV-1 form because this one expired. Insurance company is none too happy with me.
11. Everything is now in order... registration is refused because my wife didn't sign the sales tax form. I ask why that hasn't been brought up the last 10 times I've been there. I almost made her head explode, I swear.
12. Now they register the car.

I can't wait to convert my driver's license.


Blogger JB said...

Cluck cluck cluck... thanks for the tale. I remember some epic battles with the Mass RMV myself, but none this epic. And here I was thinking they had mended their ways...

Icelanders: You know how some of you are incredulous that I would leave America for Iceland? Well, go back and reread this comment if you still have doubts as to why. That's all the information you need.


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