Here's my biggest peeve over driving in Virginia -- a continuous and repeated need to deal with multiple public and private bureaucracies, all operating on different schedules and procedures, just to keep one driver driving one car. Here's my list (did I forget any?) of their multiple unsynchronized demands:
- Driver's License
- Car license tag
- County car tag
- County personal property tax on car
- Car safety inspection
- Car emissions inspection
Jeez, it's 2007. Modern systems could collapse these into a single annual electronic payment to a state-administered car license/permit system. The state would compute the amount due, based on information now scattered among state agencies and 100 counties, bill it, collect it, and post a secure encrypted "paid" receipt on the web with a copy to the licensee.
Services thus paid would be delivered to the driver/owner automatically, upon his request or appearance at the appropriate location, on whatever schedule is convenient to the driver -- just by showing his "paid" receipt or authorization code.
All parties entitled to a portion of the proceeds (counties, inspection services, towns, etc.) would simply log onto the State site and bill the state on whatever schedule they choose -- perhaps annually for county treasurers, perhaps monthly for inspection shops.
Benefits: One annual bill to every driver, always on the same date, which includes all
driving licenses/permits/taxes/fees. Much lower administrative costs, as a thousand redundant local clerks are replaced by a single state computer. Result - lower costs, less annoyance to customers, greater net revenue to government and contractors.
I don't object to paying for these items (although I think car property tax should be zeroed and car license fees should be increased) but I do object to the grossly inefficient system that presently operates and think we should demand that it be consolidated and simplified.
Get a horse.