Yes, I knew my experience getting a license in 15 minutes at DDS was too good to be true.
By law, you're required to register your car here within 30 days of moving, and guess what? I'm not going to make that deadline. In fact, I'm starting to think it would be easier to buy a new car than to register mine in Georgia. I'm not alone, either - a disproportionate number of cars are driving around out there with a big piece of cardboard saying "tag applied for," or just a date.
My advice to anyone trying to register their out-of-state car in Georgia is to get the preliminary stuff done the DAY you move to Georgia. That includes:
1. Getting a Georgia driver's license, which will also serve as your proof of residency
2. Transferring your auto insurance to Georgia
3. Getting an emissions test - can be done while you wait at almost any gas station
You also have to make sure you have the following in order before you even think about going to the Motor Vehicle Division:
4. If you are a co-owner, you need a notarized power of attorney if only one of you goes in person to register.
5. You will need the vehicle title. If you have not finished paying off your car, see #6.
6. If your car was previously registered in AZ, KS, MD, MN, MO, MT, NY, OK, SD, WI, or WY, you need to make sure you have the vehicle title yourself or have it sent to Georgia. If your car was previously registered in any other state, you need copies of all the loan paperwork and must complete an additional form. In either case, make sure you have plenty of time before your previous state registration expires - if you don't, *renew your tags before moving.* You can get a partial refund later.
The Motor Vehicle Division seems hell bent to make your life as difficult as possible when registering your vehicle. They do not allow you to obtain a temporary registration permit if you are in the process of obtaining the correct documentation and you're coming from out of state. In my opinion, this is a serious problem for Georgia, but try not to make Georgia's problem your problem too.
My personal experience is below, subject to editing as this inconceivable hassle continues.
I called the Motor Vehicle Division, and have been on hold now for 54 minutes and 39 seconds. This is only after going in person and being summarily dismissed by the unpleasant bouncer lady. She told me that Michigan is a state that requires the lienholder to hand over the car title in order to register, so that my lien documents from Virginia are NOT sufficient to register.
I told her I did not think that was the case, that I was fairly certain that I had not handed over my title when I registered my car in Michigan. She responded rather condescendingly that "there are states, and they have different rules." I stifled the urge to tell her I'm a lawyer, damnit, and I had no choice but to leave, not having the applicable law on hand.
She handed me a form to send to Michigan to have them mail my title to Georgia, and asked me what the initials for Michigan were. I thought she was asking for the purpose of double checking that Michigan was ON the list of states that required a title - but as I discovered later, Michigan was NOT on her list, and she HANDWROTE IT IN!
I came back to the office and called Michigan, and they confirmed that the lady was WRONG - Michigan does not require a title for registration. But because of her little power trip, now I have to go back to that awful place again tomorrow. Stay tuned for the next installment.
UPDATE: apparently it's going to take two months to get my title from Virginia. And since Georgia still insists Michigan has it (I think because Michigan Secretary of State requires the title if you buy your car in Michigan, and for some reason the fact that they don't if you buy your car out of state has slipped under EVERYBODY'S radar), Georgia won't even consider giving me a temporary registration. Michigan may, however, let me renew my plates. If they do, the Michigan Secretary of State's past transgressions will be completely forgiven and it will get a big fat five star review from me. It's already got at least four stars for having the year "2007" written in about 9 point font on my tags so there's pretty much no way I'd get stopped for that reason in Georgia.
SECOND UPDATE: True to my word, I'm going to give Michigan Secretary of State a five-star review as soon as my new tags come in the mail.
THIRD UPDATE: My tags came, and thank goodness! I stupidly ran into a parked car the other day and the Georgia Tech police would have definitely roughed me up if I hadn't had a current registration.
For those new in town, Georgia splits up the offices where you get a driver's license from the office where you get your car registered, etc. I was skeptical of this, but after my experience this morning, I'm thinking it's probably way more efficient to do it this way.
I was in the DDS for exactly 15 minutes this Saturday morning and walked out in a great mood with a 5-year Georgia driver's license in hand. After having had a conversation with another pleasantly surprised patron who said that this DDS office is "one of Atlanta's best kept secrets."
Another secret - MAKE AN APPOINTMENT. As far as I could tell, I was one of only two people among what seemed like hundreds who had one. Once I said I had an appointment I was directed straight to a window instead of given a number, and was served within just a few minutes. The other somewhat strange thing about this was that no one actually confirmed that I had made an appointment, so as far as I know, I could have just walked in there and said I had an appointment and no one would know the difference. To make an appointment you just call them at (678) 413-8400 between 7 and 4.
Admittedly, there were some things hat were a little questionable, and I can imagine that people might have wildly different experiences. The building looks like a gigantic trailer where people should be tailgating before Braves games. It's a little maze-y once you get in side, too... I had to wait in line to get in the door, and the woman I spoke with gave me attitude when I asked her where window #2 was. "Uh, it's the window that says '2.'" There was no window marked "2" - only a window marked "1" and one marked "3," so even though I could figure it out from that, I did not appreciate the sarcasm! The lady who takes your picture and makes your license is really really sweet, though, so I had pretty much forgotten about the first girl by the time I left.
Now, onto getting my car registered, which I expect to be much more painful.
Why do I even bother reviewing Comcast? If you don't want to get dish, YOU DON'T HAVE A CHOICE. So everyone who comes to read Yelp reviews will learn that it is nearly universally despised, and will have to get it anyway. New to Atlanta? Need cable? Welcome to your doom.
And enjoy my rant.
Our previous tenant had a past due balance on his account, but it was actually for THIS month because you have to pay a month in advance. So apparently the guy didn't call Comcast in time to get his service cut off, and now he has to pay for service he can't use, which sucks. But I'm not going to pay for it - I don't want to adopt some random guy's cable plan. But because of the previous tenant's past due balance, Comcast refused to sign me up over the phone. They required me to come in to a "payment center" to prove that I wasn't the previous tenant with the balance due. Gr. FINE.
So I print out the directions from Comcast's website. Of course, the place is 30 minutes away and is only open 9-5 Monday to Saturday, meaning I have to go Saturday. Unfortunately, the directions lead me to a busy street with an expansive strip mall on one side and an expansive regular mall on the other side. After driving around for awhile without finding it, I call Comcast. They don't have any clue where their own place is *or* any way to find it out. After putting me on hold, they come back and say it's in the Kroger shopping center with the Burger King, the one I'd been driving around for 20 minutes in circles. After one more round on hold, they give up and tell me I'm on my own. They also have NO WAY to get in touch with the actual store so I can get some real directions. "This is bullshit, I'm getting dish," quoth I. The girl's response? "Okay, bye." She knows I'm full of it. I need the Food Network.
By this time, it's 4:40 pm and I'm starting to think I'm not going to find the place by 5, and will be out of luck. I pull up to a Blimpie and ask them where it is, and they are able to tell me concisely - it's in the mall, NOT the strip mall as Comcast had told me over the phone.
I get there, and I try to sign up for cable, which by this point is something I don't even want to do but I can't stomach the idea of GIVING UP after all that hassle. The earliest installation date they have? July 30, almost 3 weeks away. That's for INSTALLATION, meaning getting MORE PEOPLE to CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR EVIL EMPIRE. You would think that they would be a LITTLE more eager to move this process along, right?
No. Because they don't have to - they don't have any competition. I mentioned this to the mulleted 19-year-old I was dealing with, and he said: "yeah, Comcast is taking over the whole Atlanta area."
Anyone want to start a cable company?
Target is what it is. I happen to find it more user-friendly than a lot of other places, but that's a personal opinion.
But don't overlook Target when buying furniture, especially the miscellaneous stuff like cheap side tables or lamps or shelving units or trash cans. I would advise making a Target run *before* heading to a place like Bed Bath and Beyond, for example.
Target is also where I bought my portable GPS system, which is a virtual must for Atlanta. I have to say that the GPS system itself, a Magellan bottom-of-the-line that suctions to my windshield, has some real issues like the cord fraying and one of the screws falling off, but it gets the job done. Buying GPS in some form will save anybody a great deal of grief when new here, despite the additional typing required because all the streets in Atlanta are named the same thing, and I strongly suggest having it.
But anytime you make a purchase of a single item over $200 at Target, they have to call your credit card company. It is not entirely clear to me whether this is solely in the electronics department, but it is definitely a pain in the butt.
Some thieves smashed my car window last weekend, and took my ipod and GPS system, and left their dirty calzone box trash in my vehicle. I called Safelite to fix my broken window and vacuum the broken glass out of my my car in my driveway this Saturday. The skinny 17 year old kid they sent did a fine job, once he got here. Edit: NO HE DIDN'T.
But there were a few things I was not too impressed with about Safelite.
They aren't really that flexible as to time. You have to make an appointment - if you are going to drop it off and wait, they give you an exact time you have to be there. If they are going to come to you, you have a four hour window where you have to be home and available. I couldn't drive all the way out to the far side of Decatur (about 40 minutes away) during business hours, which is all they're really open during the week, and I definitely couldn't be available for a four hour block of time during the workday, so I had to wait till the following Saturday to schedule mobile service sometime between 8-12. In the meantime I had to leave my car on the street, and a cat jumped in it and peed in it. Awesome.
I set my alarm for 7:45 to make sure I was up if the guy came at 8. At about 9:30 I get a call that the guy isn't going to be able to make it until after noon. I'm sort of pissed, but he says he'll call when he's 45 minutes away so I can go out or whatever. I decide not to go out. He calls when he's about 15-20 minutes away and asks me for directions. And I start to tell him that I'm not sure how to tell him how to get here, and I mention that I thought he would have gotten directions from them, since I had made the appointment so long ago. And he says something like "this morning is the first I've heard of you or your car" to which I respond "well, that's not really my problem is it?" and he says he'll just "punch my address in," and finds the place fine in 20 minutes.
Also $200 is a lot to spend on a broken window, even with the "convenience" of having it done at your home while you are stranded waiting for the guy to show up for five hours on a Saturday morning.
Edit: my window came off track and now I'm engaging in this hassle to try to get them to fix it free. Gr.
|We've all got health care reform on the brain, right? Here are my experiences trying to cure what ails me around here.||Yes, two of my friends got mugged on the way to their cars after my birthday party. Other than that, I love my area! (No, seriously.)|
|Got dietary restrictions of the meat avoidance variety? Despite the southern stereotype, Atlanta's not such a bad place for you. Here's a list of my notable experiences trying to make sure I don't ingest anything I don't want to.||I'm trying to eat raw in January 2012, and here's where I go to do it.|
|Also known as stuff off that stretch of Monroe between Piedmont and Ponce. This is where I used to live when I was renting.||Did you come to Atlanta with a civic full of clothes and tupperware? And no money (but a decent credit limit)? Remedy the situation quicker than I did! Here's the best and worst of the furniture scene.|
|I get tired at about 10 PM, but on occasion I actually hit the town. These are the places that can motivate me to get off my couch.||These are the places I most associate with Atlanta's multiple but unique personalities, and where I recommend people take tourists if they ask me. I have not been everywhere (the King Center is notably missing), and I have not yet reviewed everywhere I've been, so I imagine this list will always be somewhat in flux.|
|Colony Square is a good ten minute walk from my office. I prefer not to go there, but the pickins are a bit slim. This is what I usually do for lunch during the week, including a few Colony Square places.||As an avowed brunch enthusiast, it was only a matter of time until I racked up enough places to make a brunch list.|
Atlanta, GA, Vereinigte StaatenYelper seit
Dezember 2006Hier bin ich häufig anzutreffen
the edge-hood... or BostonHeimatort
Williamsburg, VAMein Blog oder meine Website Was ich zuletzt gelesen habe
Secrets of the Baby WhispererMein erstes Konzerterlebnis
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