2006/07/24

Car Registration

As I mentioned the other day, I had to renew the registration on my car when I got back from vacation this week. Once again, what should be a pretty simple task was instead turned into a most of the day ordeal.

First, just before I left on vacation, I took the van to ADNOC to get the oil changed. Unluckily, the guys there overtorqued the oil drain plug and stripped the threads, so the van had a fairly bad leak that I had to get fixed before I could get the car registered. So I had to got to three garages before I found one that would fix this problem (the first two refused because the car is American - I guess they esomehow believed that re-threading a screw hole is different if the hole is attached to an American car). The last place did a fine job for only 120 dhs. Now at home in North Carolina, I would just have bought a replacement plug from Advance for 10 dhs, but I'm still way ahead on prices for car repairs, so I'm not really complaining about the price.

So, then I went to the car inspection/registration office (this is where I saw the sign that I posted on Sunday ("Please enter vehicles in the valid parking and take ticket exhumation vehicles passing for information in side the building.") Based on my experience, I'm guessing that the sign means this:

Please enter vehicles in the valid parking
translation: Park your car in the parking lot

... take ticket exhumation vehicles passing for information in side the building
translation: Go to the exam counter (inside the building) with your registration card to get your inspection paperwork.

Before I could do this, I had to go back to the University and get a copy of my "To Whom It May Concern" letter (in Arabic). This letter just verifies that I still work where I'm supposed to. (Just as an aside, does the US or UK require anything like this for non-citizens to do a basic task like register a car? I have seen non-English speaking Latinos registering cars with much less trouble than I had.)

So, back to the office for the second time, now with my letter. I also had a passport copy with me (I knew that that would be asked for.) So now I find out that I have to get my insurance taken care of, but fortunately there are six insurance offices at the registration office. So I visit one pretty much at random and reach an agreement in principle to buy insurance from them.

So, now for the actual inspection. After sitting in line for about a half hour, I was up. They tested the exhaust, the suspension and then did a visual examination of the engine and undercarriage. Then back into the insurance office so that they could come out and look at the car, then filling out the insurance paperwork (believe it or not, there were stamps involved). So, now I am all set to actually get my registration. Except now it is 1:30pm, so they are closed until 4:30pm.

So back to work until 4:30, then back out for my third trip. So after only about eight hours, I was finally able to finish up for another year.

I think that it is things like this that will ultimately be what will make me want to leave. There are just so many things that I am used to being very easy, but here they are just so much work. But still not yet

3 comments:

Marcus Aurelius said...

The Al-Ain Traffic PD is the most inept office I have had the misfortune to deal with. They make our DOT offices seem models of efficiency, intelligence, and speed.

The only thing that would help is finding a former or current student behind a desk or a counter.

At the end of the my time in the UAE I was selling my car. I held off on some offers and finally found someone willing to pay my ask and I even put some $ into it to get some things replace and make sure it was in good shape for her (a friend from Dubai). Well, the Al-Ain Traffic PD vetoed (my friend backed out of the deal she was tired of driving back & forth from Dubai) the deal via incompetence. I barely managed to get a power of attorney to another friend who sold the car to a relative.

I was about to take that car to the top of Jebel Hafeet and push it off the cliff!

Anonymous said...

Thats the UAE for you, Dubai is no better.I have a new found respect for the GA DMV here after going through such B.S. in Dubai. All these steps are just to employ high school drop outs whose primary job is to inspect a freakin stamp.GEEEZZZZ

Desert Dweller said...

My motto...always expect the worst! You will then be pleasantly surprised when things go well.