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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wrestling With License Plates

We're pretty proud of our "R SANITY" license plate.  We've had that plate on all of our last three motorhomes and have received many a great comment about it.  It was a no brainer to get the custom plate when we lived in Virginia, going online we chose not only the plate, but we even had a choice of backgrounds, so we picked the Shenandoah Mountains, close by to where we lived.  Ten dollars with our credit card, the order was placed and in two weeks we had our custom license plate. :c)


During our crazy working years, hopping in the motorhome and sneaking away for the weekend gave us the respite we needed, we felt our "batteries" were recharged and we were ready to face another week.  Marti was the one that came up with the idea for the plate and we even named our blog for it.  If you look closely at our header picture you can see the plate on the Journey.

Enter South Dakota.  After selling our house and "moving" to Sioux Falls, we went to the DMV in person and asked about gettting the same plate in South Dakota colors.

 
We were informed in no uncertain terms that because we didn't actually "live" in South Dakota and had just a personal mail box, we were not authorized to have a custom plate.  Huh?  Isn't my money that I'm paying to register my motorhome just as green as a South Dakota resident that lives in a stix-n-brix?
 
I asked for a supervisor, who told me in no uncertain terms the same thing.  We are second class citizens because we live in a mailbox.
 
I figured that was the end of it.  But out of curiosity, I asked a question about it on the RV Dreams forum and received a reply from Cherie, aka Technomadia.  She has a custom South Dakota license plate on her bus conversion.  She told me how she got the plate.
 
I followed Cherie's instructions, found the South Dakota DMV website, download and filled in the form, then sent it in with my $30 check.  O boy! 
 
In my next mail delivery, I received my check and form back from the South Dakota DMV with a note saying I had to go through my county (Minnehaha) where I had originally registered the Journey.  I guess Cherie must have registered her bus conversion in a friendlier county than mine.
 
Great.  Back to dealing with the same DMV that told me in no uncertain terms we were not authorized to have a custom license plate.
 
Then, in one of my rare moments of brilliance, I remembered that our remailing service, Alternative Resources can register your vehicles for you by mail.  A quick phone call to their DMV guru, Karen, put me on the right track.
 
She said in no uncertain terms that I can get a personalized South Dakota license plate even though I reside in a mailbox.  She really knew her stuff.  She was even ready and willing to give the Minnehaha DMV office a heads up call to help me out.  Great!
 
Just one small catch.  Minnehaha County DMV requires you to turn in your current license plate first, then they will issue you a temporary plate while you wait the four to six weeks it takes to have the custom plate made.  With our twice a month mail service it would mean we'd certainly  have to remain in one place for over a month, or longer to first wait for delivery of the temp plate and then the real one.  One final tidbit, I'd have to enclose a money order because the DMV won't take a personal check.
 
We'd probably be better served to plan to go to South Dakota in person again and stay there for four to six weeks.  That's not going to happen any time soon.  For some reason, I can't see us sitting anywhere for that long...
 
So maybe someday we'll get that R SANITY plate from South Dakota.  Except we may change our minds, with all the grief and hoops we'll have to jump through, we might be better served changing our custom plate to:
 
"N SANITY"
 
Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.
 

22 comments:

  1. We have to jump through enough hoops to be doing what we're doing...I couldn't care less what my license plate says!

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  2. I thought the whole idea of vanity plates was to generate extra income. Only a government entity would create such a hassle to make more money. Good luck if you decide to do the hoop jumping.

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  3. Sorry it is such a hassle, but letting it go is really the best for your sanity;o))) Hey, we know you with or without that plate!!!

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  4. Our Government at work, can't wait to see what they do with our new healthcare system!

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  5. We had decided to get one, but we can't think of anything to say :) I always had personalized plates on all my cars. We'll keep thinking!

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  6. Government at its best, be very afraid

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  7. That DMV office sounds like just about every one I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with:(

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  8. Good grief! What an exercise in frustration!

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  9. Not sure we should judge all government based on a South Dakota county. I have some very hard working friends in government at all levels and even in healthcare.

    I know you will get that plate, it is just a matter of time. Whether you will have any sanity by then is another matter. ":-))

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  10. Not sure we should judge all government based on a South Dakota county. I have some very hard working friends in government at all levels and even in healthcare.

    I know you will get that plate, it is just a matter of time. Whether you will have any sanity by then is another matter. ":-))

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    1. I used to work for the government too and there are quite a few people whom I made unhappy. Of course that's because I put them behind bars. ;c)

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  11. Terry took the license plates and flew to South Dakota with them when he ordered our plates. Since our motorhome and vehicle both had two plates, he took one of each. He came back with temporary plates for both. The plates were mailed to our mailbox. When they were there we just ordered them to be sent to the post office closest to where we were at.

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  12. Good luck with the plates. We've never had personalized plates - I could never come up with anything clever enough.

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  13. N Sanity works for me :) I'm glad we decided not to go with SD vanity plates. They won't let us use "Gypsy Turtles" anyhow...too many letters...too bad :)

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  14. I like the idea of the n sanity plates! It has a nice ring to it.

    I always get a kick out of folks who say "that's the government for ya". It's almost as if no one eh has ever had a problem with a private company.

    What about HMO's, drug store prescription refills etc. Not to mention the wonderful business skills of Wall Street GM and Chrysler. Seems to those geniuses ran like a business and then needed a government bailout to survive.

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  15. Good to give up the battle now for Ur-Sanity; perhaps someday you'll have occasion to return to SD and can deal with it then.

    We never had vanity plates; and probably wouldn't have gotten our Two to Travel plates now had Florida issued two plates per vehicle instead of one.

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  16. Sometimes things are just too complicated.

    I have a question about your mail service. Do they only forward your mail twice a month or is that just what you request? We can get ours anytime we want and I don't think I'd like twice month delivery.

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    1. We signed up for twice a month, they have a variety of plans available. After using the service for a year and slowly and painfully getting everything either on line or with the new address, we may revisit the plans and go to once a month. Right now I have a mailing sent around the 15th and 30th of each month.

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  17. It's not what you know, it's who you know! Strikes Again!!!

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  18. Wow! This is a very useful page and I really enjoyed reading article and all users’ comments. This is a best way to buy South Dakota License Plates .

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