Friday, February 14, 2014

The Engine Size Is Zero... As In None.

In Muscogee County, your registration is due on your birthday. So, every year, on my actual birthday, or in the case of this year, Valentine's Day (because my birthday is February 15th and falls on a Saturday), I go down to the tag office and pay for my car's registration for the year. When I got the Satellite, I thought I'd wait the two weeks till I go down there to keep my birthday tradition alive and to avoid making multiple trips of going down there.

After waiting in line for an hour or so, I got up to the counter where I knew I would have problems with paying my taxes and registering the Satellite as an inoperative vehicle. When I looked up the VIN on the ad-valorum tax estimator a week earlier, nothing came up and the only other option was to use NADA to determine a value. Well, on NADA, in order to get the value, you have to know what kind of engine is in there and considering it's just a body and rolling chassis, it's pretty much impossible to say. Granted, I could say based on the VIN it was at one time a 318, but then that would assume my car actually had the 318 in it still in an inoperative condition, and to be honest, I'll be damned if I have to pay taxes on an engine that I don't have that would bring up the value of my car.

And of course, the tag office visit winds up playing out like this:

Lady: That's an old car. (Perplexed.) It's not even in the system.

Me: I know, you need to go off the NADA value, but I'm not sure how to do that because it has no engine and NADA needs to know the engine size.

Lady: OK. (Types some stuff in.) What size engine is it?

Me: There is no engine. It's just the body. We're gonna rebuild it from scratch.

Lady: Well, I can't register it if you don't have an engine.

Me: I know! I just want to pay the taxes on the vehicle and register it as an inoperative vehicle.

Lady: Ooooh. OK. What kind of engine did you say it had?

Me: (facepalm) There is no engine.

Lady: Well, I need to know what size engine it has.

Me: (deep breath) There is no engine. The car does not run at all. It's just the body and wheels. (Irritated.) There's no engine, no radiator, no carbuerator, no fuel system. It doesn't have an interior, brakes, nothing. You can literally take off the hood and step inside.

Lady: That doesn't sound safe to drive. You probably want to do that as an inopearative vehicle.

Me: Yes, that is exactly what I want to do!

Lady: OK. What kind of engine did you say it had?

Me: It has none. There is no engine. Nothing. The engine size is zero... as in none.

Lady: (Flustered.) I'm not sure how to do this. Hang on a sec. (Walks off.)

20 minutes later, the lady returns with a small guy who goes through, looks at the title, punches a few buttons on the keyboard and walks off.

Lady: OK, that'll be $48 and I need you to sign this application for a title.

Me: $48 for both cars?

Lady: Yes.

I sign what needs to be signed, take my papers, and leave, informed my title will arrive in the mail in 7 to 10 days. I knew it was going to be a mild disaster registering this beast, but good lord! This was just absurd!

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