Thursday, June 26, 2008

I discover that the Department of Motor Vehicles really does not want to help me.

In September I acquired this fine trailer from this fine gentleman farmer in Greensboro. Eventually I put a back door on it, and I also acquired from this nice man a tail-lights kit, and I fitted my van with the appropriate hitch.

Then I spent a week engaged in a clicker-training fruit-loop-bribing program to get Jethro to hop into the trailer. And for a couple weeks I had him eating all his meals in the trailer.

Hannah wants us to go packing in the mountains with Jethro on July 18. But it occurred to me it might be fun to find a carriage-riding event we could take him too. As I was calling around today, I discovered there was a perfect one this very Saturday in Blowing Rock. "We would love to have you," said the organizer, "your donkey would be the hit of the day. And we can put you between two very steady horses, your donkey will learn a lot."

This set me into a mad frenzy - how to be ready? Now I am tangled in a mire of problems and am trying to figure out how many of them I have to solve in order to actually go on this trip to Blowing Rock.
  1. I am terrible at backing up the trailer (well, probably one could manage by going 100% forward).

  2. The trailer lights are not completely hitched up (well, probably can finish doing at least a bad job of this tomorrow morning).

  3. Jethro has forgotten that it's ok to get in the trailer.

  4. I do not have a license plate for the trailer - this turns out to be a bureaucratic nightmare worthy of Gogol's Inspector General.

    See, since I was given this trailer for free I have no "title" to it, also since it is home-made there is no "Vehicle Identification Number."

    The lady at the DMV was almost choking she was so reluctant to tell me what I'd have to do to procure a license plate for this vehicle.

    • An inspector must make a house call, inspect the trailer, and vouch for its being roadworthy;

    • THREE appraisers must come out and estimate the trailer's value, as the Motor Vehicle Department wishes to charge me highway tax based on the highest of the three valuations. "Why would three appraisers do this for me?" I asked. "I don't know, nobody has ever asked me that before," she explained;

    • I must get a form and apply for a Vehicle Identification Number;

    • I must get an indemnity bond - my insurance company may or may not provide this sort of insurance, but I must get one from someplace;

    • After all of the above, I must submit a title application.

    "If you just want to haul mulch from one side of the road to the other, and you own the land on both sides of the road, you will not need to go through this," she reassured me soothingly.
What to do? Give up? I may just try to lure Jethro into the trailer tomorrow afternoon and drive, slowly, out to Blowing Rock and see if I get away with it. Or I may chicken out.

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At 9:52 PM, Anonymous Craig said...

It seems to me that if your trailer is of the do-it-yourself variety, all of your certifications for it should be as well. Could make it a big ticket item.


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