Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Delaware DMV

Waiting to have my number called at the ultra modern and efficient Delaware DMV

One of the many advantages and pure pleasures of living in Delaware is how smooth the process is to get my car inspected and registered. 




As you know, I am from Pennsylvania.  Pennsylvania is a beautiful state but riff with corruption, perhaps on second to New Jersey.  


The main reason I moved to Delaware from Pennsylvania was that I cold no longer afford the ever increasing real estate (school) taxes on our property.  Once the taxes were reaching the $8,000 level, I knew it was time to look for less expensive state to live.  

If the taxes stayed steady at $8,000 I could probably afford to stay even though my retirement and Social Security income was only $22,000 (surprise, I'm not one of those rich gay retirees), but with steadily increasing taxes I had to get out.  



I could only afford to pay those taxes the last ten years because my Mother gave me and my brothers a $10,000 gift annually.  Once that gifting stopped, I had to make a decision.  Get a full-time job as I entered into my decrepit old age or move.  I decided to move.  



Since moving to Delaware in 2006, my taxes have stayed steady at around $1,400 a year.  In fact the latest issue of the Cape Gazette stated that Sussex County hasn't raised its taxes in twenty years.  I guess the school administrators don't pull down six figure salaries in the Diamond State.  



Of course Delaware doesn't have a sales tax either which is nice.  Plus they don't have a personal property tax and their state income tax is graduated (Pennsylvania's is not) so I don't have to pay that either.



One of the other pleasures of living in Delaware is when I get my car inspected.  At one time in Pennsylvania the law was that you had to get your car inspected TWICE a year.  And you had to go to either a dealership or a private garage.  No one and I mean NO ONE ever got an inspections through either one of those outlets for less that hundreds of dollars.  They always found something wrong with your car that needed fixed or else they would give approval for inspection.  Oh the power of the lobbyists in the Pennsylvania State legislature.  

I remember once when I got a new car (my previous Subaru), I only had it two months when my inspection date came up.  I thought (foolishly as it turned out) "Well, at least this time I would have to pay for a repair on my car."  Oh no, when I went to pick up my car I was told the windshield wipers were replace.  "New government regulations" I was told.  



Now it was ridiculous that I had to get a two month old NEW car inspected but still a "repair?"  Here's how Delaware does it.  I purchased my present Subaru in August of 2010.  I didn't have to get it inspected for FIVE YEARS because it was a NEW CAR.  Makes sense doesn't it? 

Yesterday my time was up and I had to get my car inspected.  Any by the way, the registration takes place at the same time.  One stop shopping you might say. 

Yesterday I got my car inspected and registered all for $80.00, and that was for TWO years.  Forty dollars a year.  Do you hear that all my Pennsylvania readers?  

Getting your car registered in Pennsylvania is another whole process.  Either you can mail in your check or go to a regional center.  Every time I went to a regional center (where you also get your driver's licenses), it was grossly inefficient.  The whole process would take the whole morning or afternoon. Just like getting your car inspected in Pennsylvania, you have to drop it off at the dealer or garage and come back later.  And then it wasn't even guaranteed it was ready. The mechanics had to find some strange thing wrong with your car that you didn't understand so they could charge you hundreds of dollars to get it fixed or else you wouldn't get your inspection sticker which was good for only ONE YEAR by the way.

Yesterday I was in and out of the Delaware DMV in less than twenty minutes.  Take that Pennsylvania.

15 comments:

  1. What a huge difference in taxes between Pennsylvania and Delaware. The high property taxes that I paid in Texas are what destroyed me financially. My house didn't sell for five years and I had to pay taxes that I couldn't afford. It's a pleasure to now be living modestly in the wilds of Tennessee.

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    1. Jon,
      I am so glad you finally got out of that hell hole that is Texas. Let alone the high taxes, I don't see how you could live with all those yahoos. Texas is crazy. Don't they want to secede? You did well by going to Tennessee. As I said before, I seriously considered retiring to Tennessee but the state is still to homophobic for me. I'm glad you have found comfort there.
      Ron

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  2. Things have changed a bit since you left PA Ron. We register our cars online now....no driving anywhere and waiting around for our number to be called.
    Inspections still take place at a auto service center but we have an honest mechanic in my town so no phony faux repairs to get through the inspection for me anymore.

    Now about the govt. corruptions.......well that's still doing well and thriving! lol

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    1. Denise,
      What a surprise, Pennsylvania has tiptoed into the digital age and you can now register your car online. Still inspections at an "auto service center" though huh? I don't know w your "honest mechanic" but I doubt if you ever get through an inspection without something having to be fixed. Plus the cost of inspection, of which there is NADA here in Delaware.
      No surprise that the Pennsylvania legislatures are as corrupt as ever. Still a part-time job? Remember the year they voted themselves a pay raise even though the state constitution expressly forbid pay raises voted for the same lawmakers and they got the state supreme court to go along with them and okay it. Remember how the voters voted the supreme court justices, including the sainted Honorable (?) Justice Nix OUT OF OFFICE. Think they learned their lesson? Nah. It's a shame because Pennsylvania is such a beautiful state but terminally corrupt, just like New Jersey. Well, maybe not THAT bad. At least Pennsylvania doesn't have a governor who has a staff that closes lanes on a major bridge for political payback. By the way, is the Pennsylvania Turnpike commission still as corrupt as ever? They give the New Jersey Port Authority a run for their money for the first place in corruption in government. I'll visit the state and my grave is there but I'll never live there again.
      Ron

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  3. Got it! Never move to Pennsylvania!
    California is so expensive on so many levels but I love it here. So far so good for me, but there might be a time when I might have to look for a cheaper place to live in my old(er) age.

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    1. Nadege,
      Pennsylvania is a beautiful state but terminally corrupt. They'll tax you out of existence, especially if you're retired.
      Ron

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  4. Ron - seems like Delaware concerns itself with making the State work instead of simply overtaxing folks. More and more people are discovering what you found out years ago. Hey - even Paul McCartney is there this June.

    Pat

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    1. Pat,
      Yeah, and you can buy a ticket to Paul McCartney's concert and no sales tax.
      Ron

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  5. I won't even bother to mention California...oops guess I just did.
    We pay and pay to live in this place, but I love it!

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    1. Fearsome Beard,
      Pat and I love California! It is not our the realm of possibilities that I would live there one day. I don't mind as much paying onerous taxes as long as I get something in return. In Pennsylvania I didn't. The roads were some of the worst in the nation. The weather, brutal. About all Pennsylvania had going for me was it was my home state and beautiful green hills and mountains. Other than that, taxes, taxes and more taxes for the corrupt politicians.
      Ron

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  6. (Yes, I've been away.)

    Not sure I understood even half of that (never having owned a car anyway) but glad at your relief that the procedure passed quite painlessly - like having an unpleasant operation with fully effective anaesthetic, which you'll know all about. If only all officialese was so!

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    1. Ray,
      Here in the states most of us have our own horror stories of dealing with car inspections (and the thievery of auto dealers and garages) and DMV's (Department of Motor Vehicles - a state government agency renowned for bureaucratic nightmares). Here in Delaware I'm lucky to have escaped all of that. You don't know what you're missing by not having ever owned a car.
      Ron

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    2. I think I'd rather not know, Ron. The hassle, the expense and the dangers are quite enough to put me off and far outweigh the undoubted convenience it brings - though that's from a motor 'virgin'.
      It's said here that there are more criminals, sharks and con-men in the motor trade than in any other business. If so I reckon it must also be true in the States.

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  7. Truly amazing differences. I will avoid PA.

    Peace <3
    Jay

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  8. I haven't heard about PA corruption until now.

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