Bureaucratic Chaos

Posted by Garth on Friday, November 21, 2008

This morning I woke up at 7:45am so that I could deal with the car ownership transfer, insurance, etc.  Basically car stuff.  At that time the car was in Kathu.  The plan was that I was going to go to Phuket Town with Chanisa, meet up with the owner, do the transfer, go to Kathu with Chanisa, pick up the car, drive it back to Chalong and get insurance.  This would have involved a single uninsured trip from Kathu to Chalong, about a 30 min drive.  But that's not how it worked out.

Chanisa and I arrived at the "DMV" (or whatever it is they call it here) around 9am.  The owner showed up a few moments after we did.  The DMV guy checked all the papers, and then proceeded to tell me (via my translator, Chanisa) that I needed a Residency Certificate with my address and photo on it and that I needed to go to the Immigration Office for that.  He also told the owner that the car needed to be onsite to be "inspected" before the ownership transfer could take place.  So, Chanisa and I took off to the Immigration Office and the owner went back to Kathu to get the car.  We met back up about 45 mins later and the car proceeded to the inspection area.  After a semi-thorough review, the inspector told the owner that the headlights weren't bright enough due to the headlight covers, so the covers had to be removed.  So the owner took off for a few minutes and removed them (they literally pop on and off) and put them in the trunk so that I could put them back on after the inspection.  The second inspection didn't even involve turning on the headlights, and was far less thorough, and really was quite pointless.  But, it passed.  Even though - as I found out once I started driving it - that the speedometer doesn't work at all, nor does the gas gauge.  Minor details in the eyes of the Thai inspectors I suppose.

With all of the appropriate paperwork and the green stamp of approval on the inspection, the transfer was able to go through.  The problem I then encountered is insurance.  It seems that you can't get insurance without the "Blue Book" (ownership deed basically), but the DMV takes one business day to fill it out with the new owner information.  And it's Friday.  So at a bare minimum I have to drive the car from the DMV back to my house without insurance, then come back Monday without insurance to pick up the Blue Book, then drive from there to the insurance company (since I need the car with me when I'm getting the insurance) without insurance.  But since it's Friday, it's highly likely that I'm gonna be driving it around on the weekend without insurance as well, because it's my new toy and I can't just let it sit in my driveway collecting rust.  So I just need to be extra careful and watch out for mosquitos.  I also need to get a custom bumper sticker, in English and Thai, which reads "Crazy farang driver. Pass with extreme caution."


Vinhsanity said...

We don't call it "DMV" here's the MTO you dirty American poser.

Vinhsanity said...

Oh, did you finally get the transfer complete and avert all catastrophes?

Garth said...

Ya, got the Blue Book and ownership is in my name. I still don't have insurance yet though... mostly due to laziness on my part. Need to get that sorted out this week.

)uffm@n said...

Sweet ride Garth! I was expecting a total POS until I scrolled down to your previous post. Too bad you can't tell how fast you are going.

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