There's a couple of things I never do despite the variety of states I move to every couple of years. One, I never change my driver's license. I have had my driver's license number memorized since I was sixteen years old, and I own both property in Texas and maintain a "permanent" federal address there as well. I also never change my vehicle registration. I am in Texas enough to get all necessary inspections and tags affixed to my vehicle. As Kansas however is a "no fault" insurance state, Texas will not let me register my car in Texas while I hold Kansas insurance. While refusing to bow to bureaucratic laws designed to bring in money to a state, e.g. registering my car in state after some pre-determined duration, I will not do anything which could be considered fraudulent, like change my insurance back to Texas while driving in Kansas. So for the first time since my Neon was purchased with Virginia plates (ZUZ-3119) I'm looking at non-Texas plates for my vehicle.
Why the concern? Let me explain. As a Texan, I'm afforded many entitlements which I have become accustomed to. No tax on food. No state income tax. I personally find the idea behind taxing one's income offensive, but since I usually only have to pay it at the federal level, I can at least control my disdain. The reason we Texans have such high sales tax is because we do not pay income tax. Ergo, I pick and choose what I spend and how. That is, until Kansas - which does have a state income tax - changed their sales tax to the high rate of Texas. Basically double-dipping. No one here apparently finds that reprehensible. My point is, I hate the midwest. Where car registration in Texas is under $70 a year, in Kansas it will be somewhere between four and six hundred dollars annually. I am literally being taxed into poverty living in this state.
I would say something pithy like, "I wonder why anyone lives here," only no one really does. When I worked here in 2002 Wichita was something like 300,000 people and over 50% of the Kansas population was in Wichita. There are more people in Dallas county than the entire state of Kansas.
But I'm nothing if not flexible! So I waltzed into the DMV today and found myself in a long, narrow room with a dozen people sitting on yellowed-vinyl yellow chairs. I walked all the way down to the end, then back up looking for a sign-in sheet, or a numerical service receptacle. Alas, there was nothing. So I walked back to the entrance and simply stood. As the only stander there I must have been making those on the business-side nervous because I was approached immediately by a lady about the nature of my standing. I explained I was there seeking answers. "To questions?" she asked. It was indicated that I should have a seat with a sweep of her arm to the vinyl-sitting crowd, all of whom were now watching me.
Since there was no semblance of order to the seating - it wasn't a formalized line - I asked, "Is there a sign-in sheet? Or a numbered ticketing system?" Before the arm-sweeping woman could answer, one of the younger women on the seats spoke up, bolstered by being in a small group of similarly aged young women, "Yeah, a sign-in sheet." No doubt wanting to put this errant insurrection I had caused to a quick end she of the sweeping arm asked to the entire crowd, "Who was the last one in here?" One sitting lady raised her hand but admitted that she came in after I did. With more arm-movements orchestrating a perceived dance of marionettes she indicated everyone should stand and reseat themselves in order.
No one moved.
So I asked if there was information on their website to common questions concerning vehicle registration in Kansas. "Not really. You should wait your turn to speak with one of the ladies."
"Thank you, ma'am!" I said brightly with a smile.
Then turned around, and walked out.