That’s right, bitches: I’m a Texas resident.
I’d like to thank the Internet, my San Antonio map, the slew of government offices I had to visit over the past few months and Gloria, the nicest government employee I’ve ever met at the Bexar County Tax Office. I couldn’t have done it without you, boo!
Here, you have to EARN the right to become a Texan. They don’t make it easy. And it’s EXPENSIVE. I have a feeling this is their way of weeding out the bad apples. Sort of a survival of the fittest for new residents. Don’t have a permenant residence? Have a clunker for a car? Can’t come up with the money? WE DON’T WANT YOU IN OUR STATE.
My first insight into this was when I took Jerry (My Jetta) in for a recall.
Maintenance guy: “Your car hasn’t had an inspection yet.”
Me: “Huh? Like an emissions test? Does it need one? It’s, like a year old.”
Apparently in Texas “All Texas registered vehicles are required to receive an annual inspection. All inspections include a comprehensive safety inspection; however, some vehicles are required to have an emissions test in addition to the safety inspection.”
Then, you have to register your car in Texas…and you have to do this BEFORE you get your license. I don’t know why. Someone higher up just deemed it so. And to do this, you have to go to the county tax office in your county. I live in the biggest damn county in San Antonio and there’s only one office – downtown. The Husband and I ventured here on Tuesday during torrential downpour rain. Guess what? No line! Yay! Ball in our court!
But I have a lease, which makes registering my car harder than the LSAT. A tube of whiteout later, we came up with the correct info on the correct forms
Cost to register car and buy plates: $195!
And they expire every year! “But next time it will just be $70,” Gloria assured me. JUST!? Oh, and you have to pay by check or cash. Who uses checks anymore?
Now, onto my license. This time, I was PREPARED. I had every piece of information sensitive document I had in tow. Birth Certificate, marriage license, social security card, all in a manila envelope. I was an identity thief’s wet dream.
The people at the Texas Dept. of Public Safety do NOT take identity theft jokes lightly, by the way.
After an hour in line I took the vision test (with my glasses for the First. Time. Ever. Sad.) and I was booked – I’m not kidding. I was finger printed and everything. To make it easier when I am arrested for smuggling illegal immigrants I guess? (I say this because I loved the play-on-words posted “Texas Hold ‘em” meaning they’ll take (hold?) your license if you smuggle drugs or people over the border. Something tells me that’s not all they’d do, but whatever.)
I smiled pretty for the camera (though she took the picture as soon as I STOPPED smiling, of course) I was handed a slip of paper. Oh yea, I won’t get my actual license for two weeks. Not a big deal for me because I have a fancy military ID but the woman next to me pitched a FIT. “How will I buy my smokes with this piece of crap?!”
Cost for license: $24
Total cost of becoming a Texan: $234 + mental anguish.
I’m off to shop a new hat!
3 months ago