We live an upside down hands out world

Russ Steele

We have been a California AAA member for 31 years, and we have been registering our vehicles for all those years. Today Ellen was charged a $4 dollar processing fee for registering our travel trailer. She discussed this fee with the lady at the desk, and was told that it had been instituted in October.

She was also told that DMV charges the AAA a $12.00 fee for those registration services, and the fee was to recover some of those costs. It seems to me that DMV should be paying AAA for this service, as it means a lesser work load for DMV employees.

The few times we have been inside of the DMV office in Grass Valley, CA, there were so many people waiting to be served that an unannounced visit from the fire marshal would have invoked a violation!  It seem to me that if the AAA were to stop the registration of AAA members vehicle the lines at DMV would be even longer.

I am not sure that charging an additional fee for vehicle registration at AAA is a good idea. People are already feel nickeled and dimed everywhere now, and AAA will soon find they are in for some negative public relations.


About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

6 Responses to We live an upside down hands out world

  1. gjrebane says:

    The notion that government provides an additional service for every additional tax/fee that we pay died some years back. Finding such a correlation today is rare. We are hoping that the proposed consolidated fire district tax increase will be such an exception.

    • George F says:

      gov’t can’t raise taxes any more; therefore, raise fees.

      NCity will get a larger franchise payment from Waste Management who will raise fees to us users. This beats both tax and fee limitations for the city; blame goes to Waste Management.

      Today the supes discussed a gain $1.8 mil in franchise fees; when does this come around to us?
      Gaming the system is an art form.

  2. Sean says:

    I guess the state of CA has learned saving a client’s time has value. The airlines have known this for years, charging more for flights that stop at a hub than direct flights (even if that direct flight is to the airline’s hub). Just imagine the natural extension of this. Keep cutting back services at the DMV and make an extra $12 on every transaction. More money for doing less.
    Meanwhile, I read two articles yesterday on spending in different areas of the golden state. In Sacramento, the number of retiring city employees receiving 6 figure retirement packages increased 6 fold since 2003. Many of those retirees are still doing the exact same work they did prior to retirement as contractors so actually taking home double salary. Meanwhile, the LA unified school district has to cut another half a billion dollars from their budget, reducing the per pupil expenditure to $4900. The state will give $3800 per pupil to the district and an IOU for the rest. Clearly, the role of the citizens of CA is to serve the interests of the government.

  3. Dena says:

    The DMV solution is to make an appointment. All the people you see standing around waiting for service didn’t have one. The down side is you can’t wait till the last minute because appointment lead times may be two or three weeks.

  4. Greg Goodknight says:

    Let me be the odd man out… I’ve never had an appointment for the Burger Basin DMV office (I can’t be bothered to make an appointment 2 weeks in advance), never had a bad wait. I don’t think I waited more than 10 minutes (a registration issue) on my last visit.

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