I went and got the new license plates from the Department of Nothing-logical (Motor Vehicles) today. I have to say, it wasn't too bad.
First, my wife made sure that I had everything specified in the thoughtful-reminder post card to take with me. This included tax receipts for two years, two inspection certificates, a copy of my childen's birth certificates and a drop of blood to verify that I was a red-blooded American.
Then, after having checked I had the correct size wrenches to takeoff the old plates, I drove down to "The Bureau" (sounds like a TV show). They wanted the old plates for recycling.
I lucked out and found a parking spot without having to drive round and round the parking lot for 30 minutes. I got out of the car with my trusty socket wrench and took off the front plates. I walked around to the back of the car only to discover the locknuts were rounded off (Who did that?) and the wrench wouldn't fit. Crud!
I had two choices. I could go back home and get a pliers to take off the offending rear plate or I could take my chances that the agent wouldn't care. I sucked in my beer gut and went with the latter. I gathered up the ream of paper required quickly checking I had everything, took a deep breath and presented myself to the Bureau.
I had arrived 10 minutes after they opened. I was the 12th person in-line counting the four standing at the open windows at the counter. I figured I had an hour wait...
I was surprised. The line was moving quickly. A couple of folks were there together, so I was only about fifth in the line. Next!
I apprehensively approached the window. I was greeted my a young lady with a disarming smile. "I'm here to renew my plates," I said, thrusting my handful of papers forward to her.
"Oh thanks, you have everything," she said.
"My wife is very efficient," I replied.
"Well, thank her for me. It's $52.xx. Here are your new plates," she said as she took the single old one not even mentioning the one still stuck on the car.
I walked out of there in under fifteen minutes...ecstatic.