Monday, May 10, 2010

Random Thoughts on the BMV

I got an email reminder from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), advising that my vehicle registrations will expire soon. About 40 flashes of irritation zipped through my mind.

I mean, I have to give them credit for automating the system. I greatly prefer doing the registration online, rather than standing in line at a BMV branch, burning time like it has no value. That said...

I was greatly irritated when I came to this line:

Choose a specialty plate to support your favorite college, not-for-profit group, or military organization.

I detest these plates. First of all, government shouldn't be a middleman for any non-profit organization. Seperation of church & state? Yes! But don't stop there. Seperation of non-profit organization & state sounds like an excellent idea, too. If someone wants to support a non-profit, great! Just do it entirely, 100% on your own. No state assistance.

Then, stop treating license plates like bumper stickers. The bumper is in remarkably close proximity to the license plate, so let the bumper be home to the propaganda, and let the license plate do it's job as an essential. If I were a law enforcement officer who dealt with traffic, I would be enormously irritated with the proliferation of license plates. There must be thousands of variations to get to know. I can't even tell all of the Indiana ones when I see them.

Lastly, and predictably perhaps, I resent the hell out of registering my car with the state. What makes it so special a piece of property that it has to be registered? What's the purpose? Do we just want the state to know? And, why does a registration expire? The car certainly doesn't expire on a given date. Is this anything more than make-work for BMV employees? I am not aware of any particular value I get out of the process. So, what does the state get out of it? Because if I don't get any value, and the state doesn't get any value...

3 comments:

Doug said...

It would be an interesting (well, if you're a geek like me) piece of history to know about how car registration got started.

(Wikipedia is pretty cool - they have at least a couple of paragraphs.)

Jason Tracy said...

You don't have to register your car with the state. You can drive it on your own land all you want.

As soon as you bring a 2,000 lb projectile on the same road I'm on, you need to have insurance, pay taxes to take care of the road and traffic enforcement, etc.

Bob G. said...

Mike:
I look at all these plates like baseball cards...or (God help me)..POKEMON.(gotta catch 'em ALL)
right?
I think Indiana has close to (if not more than) FIFTY different plates.

While some plates do serve a purpose (a portion of the cost goes to whatever is on the plate), many are just not necessary.

And ask any LEO about tyring to read one of those GOD PLATES at distance...

In Pennsy, we had TWO types of plates...ISSUED and VANITY.
But that was a while back...when everything was a lot less "complicated".

Good post.