Saturday, September 18, 2010

South Carolina DMV, Part 2. And Part 3.

Last Saturday saw my wife and I spending about an hour and a half just getting our shiny new SC driver's licenses, good for ten years, at a cost of $25 each. One afternoon this week, on an extended lunch break, we headed back to Greenville to get our license plates.

The trek did not start with the DMV. No, our first destination was the county building, where we had to pay our taxes on our cars. In SC, taxes are assessed based on the value of the car—which, thankfully, meant we didn't have to pay too much. [Comparison note: What we ended up paying by the end of the day was comparable to what we paid for the same cars in Michigan each year. However, it appears new/newer cars are taxed more severely in South Carolina.] But even this stop was not singular: We first had to have a tax bill for each car generated by one clerk, who then sent us to another room where we paid the bills.

The DMV is across the street from the county building, so we headed over there and took a number...and waited...and after sitting for about a half hour finally got to the counter. We chose the "In God We Trust" license plates [Note to other states: No additional charge] because the Bob Jones University license plates cost an extra $70—each. This choice meant waiting for another clerk. After being separated from more of our money, we left with license plates in hand. The total time spent: About another hour and a half.

Some final comparisons:

  1. When it comes to one-stop shopping, Michigan has South Carolina beat easily.
  2. Our costs were comparable to what we paid before in Michigan, but the time factor is won by Michigan.
  3. Michigan probably would win the cost comparison if we had a newer car(s).
Maybe next year I can re-register my cars by mail. I sure hope so.

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