A Blue-Letter Day From the NJMVC
NJDUC Had Nothing to do With This
Sadly, this isn't an "unintended" consequence, it's just
one that nobody seems to have recognized. I'll take care of that
||The New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, is making national
headlines with his cost-cutting measures. As a New Jersey
taxpayer, I can't help rooting for him. As a citizen of
this often-fine state, I can't help noticing the improvements
that can be made in state governance. As a thrifty person,
I can't help balancing in my alleged mind the benefits obtained
by lower taxes with the inconveniences incurred by the citizens
as a result of lower state spending. The very recent
saying "penny wise, 3-cent foolish" often pops into that same
alleged space. Fortunately there are plenty of potential
pennies-wise without the foolishness, and, exemplified by the
photo at the left, I offer the following to Mr. Christie as one
The NJ Motor Vehicle Commission is not as bad as its name implies.
I remember the old days in New York when one actually had to go to the
motor vehicle office and spend a day on line to accomplish anything.
Other than the time when I actually had to set foot in an NJ office to
get my "digital license," I've
been transacting my business through the web. That business is
largely the annual ritual of renewing the registration of my motor
vehicles. I don't recall if I've whined here either about the
necessity for so doing, or about the "convenience fee" they charge.
<mini-whine>Whose convenience? Is it not more convenient for them
to not have those irritating customers interacting with the extra clerks
they'd have to hire? They should be paying me a
"convenience fee." But never mind.</mini-whine>. The renewal
process, at least after I hit "submit," and disregarding the connotation
of so doing, is remarkably efficient. The registration is actually
effective immediately, so I can print out the document and give it to
the cop, should that be necessary. It normally isn't, and the
requested documents typically show up in just a few days.
In Separate Envelopes.
It so happens that I have two vehicles whose registrations
coincidentally expire in the same month. To renew them, I have to
fill out an online form twice, pay two "convenience fees," and then
await the receipt of four separate envelopes, one each for the two car
registrations, and one each for the two "family duplicates."
That's $1.76 in postage instead of $.44 (or whatever postage is when
you're reading this, assuming the postal service hasn't shut down by
then). All four envelopes are mailed from the same location, to
exactly the same address, at the same time, and arrive in my mailbox all
at once. How much could the state save by putting multiple
registration documents in one envelope? Without doing research, I
think it is fair to say that many and possibly most NJ vehicle owners
have multiple vehicles, and probably about 15% of the owners have
registrations expiring the same month. Of those that don't,
probably most need one or more duplicate registrations. Putting it
all together, my guess would be that we taxpayers could save over $5
million per year just by consolidating registration documents into fewer
envelopes. The cost of doing so would be a one-time charge for
altering the programs and maybe getting new forms that can print
multiple registration documents on one sheet. They're already
large enough for two.
After my commission, that's $4.9 million available to pay for
prosecution of the corrupt politicians. (My idea for saving money
there is simply to pick one county every year and indict all the mayors.
The savings on investigation and paperwork would be enormous.)
"The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down"
Today we take a brief intermission in the T-shirt
present the Bag of the Day. A friend brought me something
in this, and I immediately connected it with the origin of the
logo. Can you? Did he?
I'll find out the latter by email. If
you cheat and look it up, I'll never know.