Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Becoming an AL resident

I had a watershed moment today: I finally applied for and obtained an Alabama license plate.

I've waited so long to do this mostly because I'm lazy, but partly because I felt a little pride in driving around the Deep South with my Pennsylvania license plate. Now when I drive to another state, people will look down on me as an Alabamian (though the Cornell decal should help distinguish me -- or maybe make things even worse). On the flip side, having a local plate should make me less of target for law enforcement. I still have to change my driver's license. Once I do that, I guess the transition is complete.

I have to recognize the State of Alabama for how easy the vehicle registration was. The whole process literally took less than 5 minutes. At the state office (where there was no line) I presented them with a copy of my title, proof of insurance, my driver's license, and told them my Alabama address. They then pulled out two license plates and told me to pick one of them (the one I did not go with said "God Bless America" along the bottom). They then swiped my credit card, printed out the registration, gave me the plate, and that was that. There was no paperwork to fill out or anything. I didn't even have to produce proof of residency. I was genuinely shocked with how fast it went. I asked them twice if there was anything else I had to do regarding my vehicle. Alabama doesn't require me to transfer the title and there are no emission inspections.

Better view of the license plate art:

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