mitch & char

mitch & char

Wednesday, November 16

Missing the USA's DMV

Oh yah, you read it correctly. The hour or two wait at the DMV sounds mighty good right now (laughing as I type)

So, my friend, be thankful-it could always take longer. I know, let me give you an example;

On Monday night you go to the police station to register to put your name on the list for Tuesday.
Tuesday morning you park in a soccer field "just there" from the police station and wait. About an hour or two later a man come out, reminds you that you are in his country-so he will give the directions in siswati. Everyone has a number and then you all(100 other cars with you) shuffle around to park in order of your number. Wait...then get a form to fill out. Wait...2 guys come and verify your form(you must redo it at least once), then they glance at your chassis and engine number-write them down illegibly(it is good to ask for a rewrite now-or later you will have to redo this whole step) hand you the signed form where you then van walk up to the police station for "clearance". As you enter the dark and grimy halls of the station to speak with someone for the clearance-the queu(line) continues to grow. Once you start getting help they tell you that you need a copy of your work permit.
Jump out of line, run home, get the permit info and return to the station. Stand in line and after a while-receive a stamped police clearance. (pay 50 emalengeni)
By now it is getting on in the day- and you will have to do the next steps tomorrow.
Wednesday-a 30 minute drive to Matsapha(town) to go to the CTA(transit authority?) this is where they determine the road worthiness of your vehicle. There is a line(with several big trucks). By asking questions and parking the vehicle in the line-discover you need a form(in duplicate) and 35 emalengeni. Pay the fee fill out the form(after you beg, borrow, steal a pen)(pens seem to be precious commodities here). Sit in queu for a while and pull in to the warehouse. Left blinker, right blinker, tooter(horn)-thumbs up. Park the ca outside and...stand in line for paper to be processed(hand written and stamped clearance). Phew-done!
Oops not yet, go to revenue office (not at the same location)to file the "bluebook"(ownership document). She rifles through the forms and says "where is your tax clearance" (really a good question) my response. "where would you like it to be?". We chuckle and she directs me down the road to the swazi revenue authority. They request my graded tax number(phew-it is on my swazi license-so I don't have to go further than my pocket). And says "you owe 18 emalengeni, go to that window to pay(points "just there" at the window). Another line to wait in, get to window to pay-she collects money and says to go to next window for clearance, line, wait, cleared at next window. Whooohooo. Oops-don't forget to go back to first line and window to get the clearance authorized. (at this point, I have made many new friends-all going through the experience together).
Sent back to revenue office to file. As the thumbs back thru the paperwork I finally get a 1/2 smile from her by making silly jokes. Stamp, stamp and "35 emalengeni" and she hands mr the forms back.

Now the vehicle is approved, worthy, ready, and finalized.

Now you know!(insert smile and a whole lot of laughter) This, along with the current rate of $5.50 unleaded gas make up two minor differences from the USA today.

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