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No. of Recommendations: 3
We charge a $57 doc fee at the dealership where I work.

For $57 you get to skip such experiences.

I think you're getting a bargain.


I don't know how many times over the last nine years I've been told by a title clerk that "the state doesn't do it that way anymore. Now we have to do it this way. No, they didn't tell us ahead of time. We just have to do it this way now. Sorry."

Here's my all-time State of Illinois registration nightmare. It was on my own personal vehicle, and it took me three months to fix.


Step One. The plate falls off the back of my motorcycle. Hey, its a Harley, Harley's vibrate. So I handwrite an application for a replacement plate and sticker, filling in every box by hand myself. I submit the required fees, and receive my replacement plate and sticker. All is well. Time passes.

Step Two. In an unrelated matter, I separate from and am divorced by my wife. More time passes, spring rolls around and I start looking in the mail for the renewal notice for the tags for my motorcycle.

Step Three. My exwife calls me, very angry, wanting to talk about the Pontiac I have purchased and titled jointly with her. She knows what I do for a living and knows that I could easily do this. I understand her concern and we arrange to meet the next morning for coffee and discussion.

Step Four. My exwife shows me the registraton renewal she has received, stating clearly that the motorcycle plates have expired on my 1995 Pontiac 4 Door Moped, which coincidentally had the same Vehicle Identification number as my 1995 Harley Davidson Sportster. She is somewhat mollified by the coincidence, but is still quite a bit upset as she doesn't really trust me. We leave as unhappy with each other as ever, and I pay for the coffee.

Step Five. I go to the DMV thinking this will be a 30 second fix. I am told that I will need to provide the title to my motorcycle, a copy of the certificate of origin, the motorcycle itself, and allow all those things to be inspected by an officer of the Illinois Secretary of State Police.

Step Six. I realize the clerk at the DMV is not kidding. Really.

Step Seven. I go to the title service where I have a friend, who knows how things work, who calls the dealer that sold me the bike and the lienholder that has the title, who takes some pictures of the bike, who makes a couple trips to Springfield, and three months later I have an accurate registration card.

None of the foregoing is made up.
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