2008-07-10 / Letters to the Editor

Nightmare at the DMV

In 2006 we purchased a sailboat on a one-axle trailer from the original owner in Connecticut. He had purchased the boat, trailer and motor from a marina dealer in Wisconsin and then moved to Connecticut. In Wisconsin, trailers less than 3,000 pounds are not registered with the DMV and are not licensed. He had not yet registered the boat and trailer in Connecticut.

The owner provided us with the manufacturer's statement of origin for the trailer, a bill of sale from the marina for the boat, motor and trailer, and a separate notarized bill of sale for the boat and one for the trailer. Armed with all this paperwork, we were sure that it would even pass the scrutiny of St. Peter into the gates of heaven.

Dialog between the Middletown DMV and me:

DMV: "Yes you have all of the required documents but how do we know that the seller has paid the Wisconsin sales tax on the trailer?"

Me: "Small trailers in Wisconsin are not registered or licensed, and besides, it is not my responsibility to oversee another's tax responsibilities."

DMV: "We cannot issue you a registration and plates until we know that the seller has paid the Wisconsin sales tax."

Me: "Why do you care?"

Me: "And what if he didn't pay the tax, how do I force a person to pay the sales tax on a trailer he no longer owns to a state in which he no longer resides where the state DMV does not issue a license for small trailers which means that the Wisconsin DMV cannot issue a 'taxes paid' for a trailer it does not license?"

DMV: "We cannot issue you a registration."

Me: "What am I supposed to do?"

Final outcome: Since you can't fix stupid and now knowing the single-mindedness of a bureaucrat, I appealed to the heavens and an angel from Microsoft appeared through my computer with a document that was accepted at a different RI DMV office.

What really hurts is the fact that we are paying for their health insurance and retirement. They have forgotten their station in life, becoming masters of the public instead of public servants. How euphoric it must be to wield such power over us peons. Frank Meyer Jamestown

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