Civil Rights

Two Reasons The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles Sucks

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1. Yesterday, I went to the Ohio BMV to get license plates for a car I'd recently bought. I wanted to pay for the tags and registration with a credit card but was told that the BMV didn't accept that form of payment because the credit card companies "charge a transaction fee" that the merchants have to pay and "that would eat into our fee." When I asked why they don't charge a convenience fee for those paying with credit cards, the clerk shrugged.

Such is the world of public-sector service provision, in which business practices that are universal (I've paid for cups of coffee with credit cards without hearing vendors bitch about merchant fees) are decades late in arriving. To its credit, the BMV did have an ATM machine right there. And they do take checks (but not check cards).

2. More seriously, here's a development covered by the ACLU in which the BMV has decided to get ahead of schedule in dinging folks born in Puerto Rico if they want a driver's license issued by the Buckeye State:

Earlier this year, Puerto Rico passed a law requiring that all birth certificates be reissued in order to combat identity theft. On September 30, 2010, all birth certificates issued prior to July 1, 2010 will become invalid.

However, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles has preemptively said they will no longer accept Puerto Rican birth certificates effective immediately. This has left thousands of American citizens born in Puerto Rico without proper documentation to obtain a driver's license or state-issued identification. Many of these citizens must wait weeks or months before the Puerto Rican government can issue them a new birth certificate. Reportedly, Ohio is the only state to preemptively reject these birth certificates.

A state-issued ID is vital for people to access important social services, employment, voting, and travel throughout the country. American citizens born in Puerto Rico will face increased obstacles in exercising these fundamental rights.

More here.

Hat tip: Recidivist commenter Citizen Nothing.

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  1. Picking on Puerto Rico? Ohio isn’t even a state!

    http://www.straightdope.com/co…..s-ratified

  2. *A state-issued ID is vital for people to access important social services, employment, voting, and travel throughout the country.*

    Maybe they should of thought of that before they decided to cross our sovereign border illegally. Ship them all back if they don’t like it.

    1. God I hope this is a troll, but if not.

      Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

      1. I prefer commonweal. It sounds dirty.

      2. *Commonwealth of Puerto Rico*

        Then why are they so poor, dumbass?

        1. Yup. Troll.

          Dude, you gave it up so EARLY.

          1. Watch your mouth, tacofucker. I haven’t given up on my country like you immigrant lovers have. You might think it’s a good idea to have foreign nationals roaming around with no documentation, but I don’t and neither do any other right-thinking folk.

            I can’t tell the difference between a Arab terrorist and a Porto Rican. Are you really trying to tell me that you can?

            1. My Gawd, are you really as ignorant as you sound?

              I’m not an ILLEGAL immigrant lover, but I CAN tell the differance in a PR and an Arab.

              1. So much for solidarity among A3Pers. I guess you’re just another tacofucker now.

                1. Please get it right. We are sheep fuckers, not tacofuckers.

                  1. Mr Whipple speak for yourself! I don’t care whether or not Joel Pile fucks sheep. It has no bearing upon the suckitude of the BMV. Plus, P refer peanutbutter.

                  2. only the consenting sheep

                  3. I’d fuck a taco, if I could.

                    Mmmmm…..dirty taco sex.

              2. I CAN tell the differance in a PR and an Arab.

                No doubt.

                The arabs have that wonderful belief system and the ricans are horrible catholics.

                Oh and they smell worse.

  3. In PA you used to have to pay for everything with a pre-paid money order. Which meant you had to know exactly how much your bill would be beforehand.

    Now, I do everything online and zip through the “I spend money on a computer and internet rather than sneakers and baggy t-shirts” line, much to the dismay of my fellow dmvers.

  4. Government – you can live without it, but it won’t let you.

  5. Somehow, though, credit cards are OK for paying taxes.

  6. When I asked why they don’t charge a convenience fee for those paying with credit cards, the clerk shrugged.

    I know that for most businesses at least, the credit card companies won’t allow that. You have to charge the same price whether the customer pays by credit card or cash.

    1. surcharge vs convenience fee

      http://www.merchantcardservice…..ience.html

    2. surcharge vs convenience fee

      http://www.merchantcardservice…..ience.html

    3. surcharge vs convenience fee

      http://www.merchantcardservice…..ience.html

      1. Yikes! The dreaded triple post.

      2. “A convenience fee is charged to all payment methods. The payment method must provide a convenience, is in a non-face-to-face environment, and is outside the merchant’s normal payment channel.”

    4. I don’t know where you are at, but that not true here. I recently paid a fine to the State by CC through a 3rd party online processor. I also register my kids for rec activities online. I was charged a convenience fee of around $5/transaction for both of those transactions.

      1. That was a convenience fee. You paid on line. Read the credit card agreements at the links posted in comments above.

    5. Businesses can offer a cash discount, that is they can charge a higher price to customers paying with a credit card. Gas stations often do this. What businesses cannot do is to offer different discounts (negative fees) to customers paying with American Express and MasterCard. Even though one of these cards may be more expensive for businesses. Also, businesses cannot offer any discount to customers paying with non-premium credit cards even though businesses are charged more for taking a rewards Visa card than a standard Visa.

    6. My local gun store charges 2% if you want to pay by credit/debit card. They don’t take checks. With the price of guns and ammo, I just take cash.

  7. fucktard spam filter.

    Can I charge a convenience fee, and if so, under what circumstances?
    http://www.merchantcouncil.org…..ce-fee.php

  8. Can I charge a convenience fee, and if so, under what circumstances?
    http://www.merchantcouncil.org…..ce-fee.php

  9. BTW –

    I can’t believe Gillespie doesn’t realize that as a sovereign individual he can make up his own driver’s license and license plates.

    You really need to read more about the Freeman movement, Nick.

  10. I just moved to OH at the beginning of July and have made no less than 12 trips to the BMV in order to get all my ducks in a row. Huge ordeal. I have to believe it will all be easier from now on with renewals since most of it can be done online.

    1. Interesting. I know someone who moved to Texas from Ohio and had a hell of a time getting things worked out between his two sets of DLs etc. after getting a traffic ticket.

  11. Except for the rectal exam, going to the Kentucky DMV has some surprising similarities with the prison processing scene from A Clockwork Orange.

    1. You mean the DMV rectal exam is longer and more painful?

  12. My state privatized the DMV. Now, instead of an all day/evening event to renew a registration, it’s as easy as getting a cup of coffee at the 7-11.

    Oh, and vendor’s fees suck. Anybody that uses a credit card at a local small business is a dick. Except, a local supplier denied me a 30-day “same as cash” for my business, so now, I always pay with a credit card, even if I have my checkbook with me.

    1. Oh, and vendor’s fees suck.

      I have worked for a lot of small businesses and merchant fees are invariably the bane of the owners existence.

      Also, when you tip on a cc it has to be reported to uncle sam. So leave cash and help starve the beast whilst you gorge yourself.

      1. I own a small construction company and I don’t accept credit cards, but I’ll take a check. If your check bounces, I know where you live, and how to get in your house.

      2. Bullshit on the tip. It doesnt work that way anymore.

        1. Just because they have a computerized pos at the Olive Garden that you work at doesn’t mean that everyone is taxed on a percentage of sales. Many smaller establishments operate differently.

    2. Anybody that uses a credit card at a local small business is a dick.

      Clearly the vendor does not think so, or why would they have the capability in the first place?

      1. “…and they don’t take American Express.”

        Many businesses do not accept AMEX because the fees are so high. These rewards cards are almost as bad. Some small businesses like the security of CCs over a check. Do they increase business? I guess it depends on what business you’re in. But I don’t think you will find many SBs that don’t at least complain about CC fees.

        1. There is a rumor that Discover? likes to fuck sheep as well.

          1. I think for a while Sam’s Club would only accept Discover. So, I guess Sam Walton was a sheep fucker, as well. I guess that’s why I can’t find any 100% wool sweaters at Wal-Mart.

      2. Thing is that previously the only person a business had to pay to process transactions was the cashier. Now you must pay the cashier in addition to the cc company, or risk losing business.

        I am not saying any of this is unethical behavior on anyone’s part, but if you were a small business owner operating on a small margin would you welcome decreasing profit?

        1. Decreasing margin. If CCs increase the business enough, they would have higher profit despite the lower margin.

          1. Maybe you haven’t noticed the ubiquitous use of debit cards by consumers. Also, I have noticed no proportional correlation between increased debit/credit card usage and an increase of business.

  13. I had no idea that the West side of Cleveland was filled with Puerto Ricans until I moved there. I still don’t understand why, though.

    1. Cause they all know they have a decent shot of breaking into the Indians’ starting rotating?

  14. Maybe they gave Nick a hard time because of the stupid poseur Fonzie wanna jacket and the Justin-Bieber’s-creepy-uncle haircut.

    Just a thought.

  15. Maybe they gave Nick a hard time because of the stupid poseur Fonzie wannabe jacket and the Justin-Bieber’s-creepy-uncle haircut.

    Just a thought.

  16. I paid my registration/property tax on my car last week. With a Visa. At the county clerks office.

    My license was also expiring, walking into the room next door to get a new license. They took CCs, but charged a fee (county clerk doesnt). Also, they didnt take Visa. I paid cash.

    Im guessing its a county v state difference, but really, WTF?

  17. You should come to Indiana – I moved here and the BMV (they call it the Bureau of Motor Vehicles) is fantastic. Mitch Daniels basically turned these into small businesses where the employees are actually held accountable for wait times. Their pay raises (which can actually be 0% if they are not doing well) are dependent on the overall average wait time, so they really try to get you in and out fast. Since the changes, my longest time actually in the BMV was about 15 minutes (your receipt actually has your wait time on it) and they give you a discount to do the standard stuff online. Plus, if you do have to actually go in, you can schedule an appointment before you go in.

    1. Prole from the Glorious People’s Socialist Republic of Connecticut here. Imagine all my hate channeling towards you right at this very moment. While I wait 6 hours at my cocksucking DMV to get my license transferred. And then get told after 6 hours of waiting that I need 2 pieces of mail proving I live at my current address, not just 1. Pure unbridled rage seeps through my veins as I watch the 30 employees behind the desk, who all look busy but can only manage to process 1 person every 20 minutes.

  18. Who needs “teabaggers” for racism, when the government does it so much better?

  19. You should have paid in pennies. Visit the discomfort on them, and they will change.

  20. I live in Ohio. I don’t think the BMV is so bad any more. It used to be a nightmare. I register my vehical on line every year. Get the sticker back usually within a couple days. I just had to go in and get my Drivers License renewed last week. No problem at all. Of course I knew they didn’t accept credit cards. They haven’t for as long as I can remember. A quick check of their website which I would always check before going shows types of payment excepted and costs.

    http://www.bmv.ohio.gov/fees_for_services.stm

    They also provide the information needed for Puerto Ricans.

    http://www.publicsafety.ohio.g…..dation.pdf

    That’s not so difficult. It’s called the internet Nick. It’s very useful.

  21. I’ll give the Dealaware DMV credit: In the past few years, they have become fast, efficient, and friendly. They accept all major credit cards, and I’ve never been there for more than 45 minutes on a weekday evening or 20 minutes during the daytime.

    1. I lived in Delaware for 20 years (Newark area). My visits to the DMV never took more then half an hour, even when there were quite a few people there. Then I moved to Connecticut and I got the 18″ long shaft of understanding shoved rudely into my mouth over and over again. It took about 8 hours and over $400 spread out over 3 days for me to get my license transferred and get my car registered. My only wish when waiting in the interminable line was for a meteor to fall from the sky and obliterate the place in its entirety. Sadly, my wishes went unanswered.

  22. To its credit, the BMV did have an ATM machine right there.

    And how much does THAT cost them to have on site?

    @Ranilen: Did they find some way to warp spacetime or otherwise cheat the timeline?

    1. And how much does THAT cost them to have on site?

      Nothing. It was probably placed by an ATM company that lives on the transaction fees. Given that the transaction fees are charged directly to the citizen subject, the state of OH doesn’t give a shit.

  23. The office in Florida that handles registrations and titles, AKA “the Tag Office”, is run by the County Tax Collector, an elected official. The one’s I’ve encountered run pretty well, something that may or may not be due to the fact that if people are dissatisfied they actually know the name of an official they can blame and vote out of office.

    On the other hand, drivers licenses are issued by an office run by a state bureaucracy and one definitely gets the vibe of uncaring distant officialdom from them.

    That’s been my experience at any rate.

    1. “one definitely gets the vibe of uncaring distant officialdom from them.”

      Sort of like the cable company?

  24. When I asked why they don’t charge a convenience fee for those paying with credit cards, the clerk shrugged

    Oh, Nick. Oh, Nick. You really deserve a *facepalm* on this one. CC companies usually contractually forbid businesses from charging different rates to those who use cards. They use their oligopoly power to get away with this scheme. I really is sad that you don’t know this.

    Without this monopoly power, most stores WOULD offer a cash discount that was larger than any “cash back” the CC companies give you. Customers would stop using their cards for many transactions, and the CC business would fall significantly.

  25. My DMV has a webcam in the lobby. I can sit in the McD’s a block away and use their WiFi to surf porn and wait for there to be no line, while I drink coffee and smoke cigarettes. I still have to wait the same amount of time, but it’s a much pleasant-er sort of waiting.

  26. Accept Credit Cards Online has excellent customer service, no contracts or cancellation fees and very reasonable rates. I have never had any issues with them, and plan on keeping them as my processor for a very long time. My sales rep was Danielle at (877) 877-9592.

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