Almost Residents

We’re almost Texans.

I would have put an exclamation mark after that sentence, but it’s a bittersweet changeover. I spent a heckuva lot of time in places other than South Jersey while I was growing up. My sarcasm and extreme irony were difficult gifts, at best. But in Jersey… (sigh).

That’s not to say that people out in Texas don’t use or appreciate sarcasm. They do and they do. It’s just not elevated to the highest forms of social consciousness out here.

Anyway, there are several steps to becoming a Texan. You can’t just walk into a DMV and walk out all changed. There are, in fact, so many steps, that TxDOT sent us a nice little booklet that explains it all (sort of). This brochure is packed with really useful information.

First step in becoming a Texan is to get your vehicle inspected. But they don’t have inspection stations out here. It’s all privatized. What that means is that you have to find a garage that does inspections, and speaks English, and seems reputable enough to visit alone, as a young attractive white girl. Despite the difficulties, step one was accomplished early last week (About two months behind schedule, though).

Next step is to visit the ol’ county tax assessor’s office, to have the vehicle registered and to get plates. “Of course, the county tax assessor is the most logical place to take care of all this,” I think to myself, ironically. Turns out, it really is. Because you know what they do there? They take your money. Texas sales tax is higher than everyone’s. So you must pay the difference before your vehicle can become a Texan.

I was unreasonably miffed that Texas got a cut.

I visited the tax assessor’s twice. I called first; I was trying to run interference. I wanted to know what needed to be filled out, signed, and stamped with Hubs’ blood before I walked in. They gave me a short, easy list of things I needed to bring, so I waltzed in on visit #1 thinking I was going to waltz out with a Texified vehicle.

Turns out Texas and New Jersey are eerily similar in the doling out of painfully inaccurate information over the phone.

Yesterday, I was back, with the forms signed by both of us. And the title. And the bill of sale. And the registration. And three different insurance forms. And two letters from the financial company that congratulated the owner of the Jeep for paying everything off. And an IOU for our firstborn.

After a few small messups, including one where I found out that I hadn’t actually needed to sign anything, and one where three different people had to do the math to figure out the .25% difference in sales tax that I had to pay, I was out. We have inspection, we have registration, we have plates. The Jeep is a Texan! (or will be, as soon as we actually put the plates on)

BUT…

Next (and final) step is to go get licenses. By this time next week, we’ll probably be totally official.

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