Sunday, January 18, 2015

becoming a resident

Within 90 days of being in Colorado, you are to get your license and then you have 30 days to change over your car.

When I went for my license, I arrived at a DMV, took a ticket and waited about an hour.  My number was called, I handed all my verification of address, old license, social security card and something else to the lady and she was like...oh, you have a middle name, I need your passport or birth certificate.  I read through the DMV website months ago, I forgot about this middle name issue.  I had to leave, drive 20 minutes back home to get it, drive 20 minutes back and then I was able to jump the line, since I waited over an hour earlier that morning.  I handed her my passport, paid the $21 in cash (not all places take cards) and then was told to wait again.  Another ten minutes go by and it was time for my picture.  I asked the guy if my middle name had to appear on the license, and he said yes, according to Colorado law, middle names must be on your license.  He handed me my temporary paper license, punched holes in the NY license and I was on my way.

A few days later I begin calling around for an appointment for my VIN verification.  This is a one time thing that the car's VIN number must be verified and entered into the police system...and then linked with the DMV.  From the DMV website, I was able to find VIN verifiers, I called and left messages and then finally I called another office who stated that my local police office can do it was either local police or county sheriff.  Other towns won't do other residents.  So I called my local police office, was transferred three times and finally was given the number to the closer satellite office.  I called them and made an appointment for 5 minutes later.  When I arrived at the police station, I had to fill out a form, they took my paperwork (license, title) and entered stuff into the computer.  Then we went out to the car, and he verified the VIN number in three places as well as the odometer reading.  The fee was $15, but varies depending on the agency doing the verification.

The following day I asked my friend for her insurance agent. I wanted to keep the same company I've had for the last 15 years hoping that my discounts would still apply.  I called them and they said they would simply transfer my insurance over, calling my agent back in NY.  A few hours later I get a call from the insurance lady that they spoke to NY and it was fine, but I did not have life insurance and that I needed to go to the office to sign paperwork the following morning.  With a need to get car insurance so I can switch over my car, I gladly accepted this meeting.  I arrive, meet the ladies, all of whom were very nice, and sit down to sign papers. I asked her like three time, in an indirect way, that I did not have life insurance in NY...why do I need it now?  She basically was very vague and said that things are different in Colorado.

I walked out of the office and went straight to a different DMV...for your registration/plates, you need to go to a county office.  Again, I got a number and waited an hour.  When my number was called, I provided the clerk with all my paperwork, I did not need an emissions test because my car is brand new.  She did not ask me for my life insurance policy...which I thought was strange since the insurance lady implied I needed it.  I messaged that guy I was talking to about mandatory life insurance and he laughed, that is not a thing.  I was bamboozled. The yearly registration fees is calculated based on the age of your car, empty weight of the car and original taxable value of the car.  I was nervous about this my car is brand new.  Total came to $550.95 for ONE YEAR.  Ouch.  But honestly, it was still a little better than I expected after talking to a bunch of other people.  I paid in cash again because the Department of Revenue charges you the credit card transaction fee if you pay with credit card...yes, there is an ATM in the office, but it is a no-name ATM so you'll be hit with that fee for using an out of bank ATM fee, still lower than the credit card fee!  After being there for about 80 minutes, I walk out with my Colorado plates.

I was smart enough to bring screwdrivers with me, so I changed the plates before I left the parking lot and I head straight to the post office to mail back the NY plates.  NY plates must be returned otherwise there will be fines and warrants for your arrest or something.  I had pre-filled out the form, got a flat rate envelope and mailed them back.  The NY DMV website suggest certified or registered mail...but I figured with a tracking number, I'd be safe...I'll have to wait and see.

My license arrived 10 days later and I was happy with my picture.

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