Monday, January 22, 2007

Smog Referee - Part 2

This is a follow up to The Smog Referee.

Well, the visit to the Smog Referee went well. Going to the Smog Referee is much like seeing a doctor at a university teaching hospital. The Smog Referee was the teacher and my van was the patient. A student mechanic spent most of the time just looking at various aspects of the vehicle and looking up information in reference books. Normally, a smog check takes about 20 minutes. The Smog Referee took about an hour and a half. On the bright side, it cost 1/3 of what I was quoted at my local smog check shop before they discovered that they didn't have software recent enough to do the test.

I asked the Smog Referee why he could do the test when the local smog check shop couldn't. His reply, "We can just override the error message given by the software." I took this to mean that because they worked for the government, they had some by-pass code. I wonder if they purposely don't give the local smog shops the code to drum up "patients" for their students.

On the down side, I still had problems getting a licenses for the van. My local DMV couldn't find the fax that the out of state DMV supposedly sent verifying that the van had never been licensed in that state. I called the Hertz dealership where I bought the van. They told me that the local DMV office refused to give them the letter and would only send it directly to my DMV office. I learned that their local DMV said that their state DMV office would mail it to my local DMV office.

So, I returned to my DMV office and told them that they were looking for a letter, not a fax. They still couldn't find it. There is nothing scarier than two government agencies trying to exchange information. However, the local DMV manager took pity and issued me a provisional license anyway. I was told that if a letter didn't arrive in a few days, they would send me a notice rescinding my license plates.

Considering how bad they are at following up, I'm not to worried about that. Later that day, I got a call from Hertz. They had gone back to their DMV office. In the two weeks since I originally requested the verification letter, a new manager took over at their local DMV. This new manager agreed to give the notification letter directly to the dealership. The dealership will overnight the letter to me. So, hopefully, I will be able to finalize the registration sometime in the next few days.

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What a cluster! I have to go to the smog ref per a CHP officer and ref my car that's registered in AZ (no smog). Go figure.

Any ideas?

Janine Cate said...

Good luck! It is a bit like Alice in Wonderland but eventually you will find your way out of the rabbit hole.

PJ said...

Are you trying to register a vehicle in DMV Arizona ?