Friday, January 13, 2023

Punishing the Righteous

 I have a confession to make.  I do my best to do everything correctly, because I seldom get away with anything.  If you can drive 90 down the sidewalk and have done since Methuselah was a pup, the first time I try it, the drones are up, and forty eleven troopers are waiting for me in my own glovebox.

I traded for a trailer a while back.  Got it from the welder I was helping out a year or so ago.  Did you know that Lincoln made a trailer??  Yeah, I didn't either.  Traded a couple old things I wasn't using for this rig. 

I can't pull it without supporting the local government via it's revenue officers, so I needed to register it.

Here are the steps you take for an out of state trailer, with a VIN, that has never been licensed.... anywhere.  Per the STATE OF TEXAS DMV:

1 - Evidence of Ownership- I have a signed bill of sale and a copy of the owner's DL

2 - VTR-141 Trailer Statement of Fact - I read the definition of a trailer and this IS one.  Signed and dated

3 - Weight Certificate - 20 bucks at the local feed store, a must for an out of state trailer without a title, empty weight 1100 lbs.

4 - VTR-68-A - Trained Law Enforcement officer runs the VIN to make sure there aren't any warrants.  No charge, but if it comes back with a warrant, it's impounded.  So don't be an idiot and put your welder on it BEFORE you take it.  (Like I did, boy was I lucky)

5 - VTR-270 - VIN Certification - I found a tag and this is the number on it.  Signed and dated. 

6 - VTR-130U - Title Application.  Registration only checked.  Signed and dated.

6 - Take the info to the Tax Office, pay the money and get your registration and tag

But WAIT!  Can the local Tax Office allow you to do this without putting their own rules and regs on it?  Oh heck no.  Even the TEXAS STATE DMV said this next bit was unnecessary as trailers less than 7500 GVWR don't require a title, even if they have a VIN.  But the county plutocrats won't move forward unless I:

6 - VTR-130-SOF - Application for Bonded Title.  signed and dated

7 - I put pictures of each side to assist the DMV with their appraisal of value.  It'll be the minimum $4000.

8- Submit all this stuff to the Regional DMV office, $15.00 check, and $9.90 at the post office.

When / if it all comes back okay, I get to spend an additional $100 for a bond, then, it's off to the Tax Office to try again.  That'll be another $100

 My irritation level was "majorly chapped buttocks" today.  It was maddening...  But why not.  I may need to sell it.  It'll cost someone a cool $10,000 to pay for my aggravation and bp meds.

After this is done, I should have a nice little portable welding rig I can drag around for who knows what.  I had the welder from a different trade several years ago.  It's a Miller Roughneck 2E (the manual says December 1973)  Mine looks pretty nice. (I found a date on it, Nov 1980)

Well, after I get the new tires for it.... and paint it....  and finish the loom for the wiring....... then.....

Cute but heavy.  Pulls pretty nice, even with ratty old square tires.


  1. Registration anywhere in state is a hassle, let alone out of state STxAR. Were I you, I would "price" that benefit in if for some reason the time came to sell.

    Looks like a nice rig!

    1. It's just a mess. I know that they are trying to cut down on theft but the folks that write these laws NEVER have to run up against them. It's pretty obvious when there are dozen forms to be filled out with no need for a notary or witness. And to swear that you read a definition and in your best estimation the vehicle is what the definition stated is asinine. It's mission creep of the bureaucratic hellscape.

      And a small town / county tax office isn't the place to make enemies. Not enough turnover. So smile, be polite, even if the agent is in a rush and overlooking what's sitting right there. Good character development, I suppose.

  2. My Bill of Sale for my motorcycle said I got it for less than the State said it should have been. So, Pay Tax for the value They put on it. I asked him
    What if I had paid more than your assessment?
    Well then you would have paid taxes on That amount.

    1. Oh man. The DMV lady in Austin said the lowest estimation is $4000.00 The bond will be a C note. No way around that. at 6.25% of 4k ≈ $250 minimum tax. Glad I didn't pay cash. I did an even trade, so that's taxed at $5.00. I spent the last umpteen years accumulating stuff. If I can find someone that can use it and is open to trading, it makes for two happy people. I try and do that as much as I can. Money is kinda tight now.

    2. Since the weight classification is below 4000, you don't have to have the serial number stamped on the frame. That's a good thing, but if a trooper decided to be ornery, and the combined weight is more than the registered amount, they get an attaboy from their sergeant for another ticket.

    3. At our tax office, it's best not to push too hard, or you may not get it done ever. Almost like Houston was in that regard. But the amount of help isn't big enough to gamble with.

      I got the paperwork back today from TXDMV, "please remove the welder and take another picture, and fill in your email address and resubmit." What is character building for $100....

  3. That is the problem we have in Canada - big time. The gov't HATES small business people and they make damned sure you know it if you should dare try to be your own boss and make your own way. STxAR... I dunno how many small shops and tradesguys were born and stangled before they even got out of the gate up here. Throw in the fact now that they can shut you down for years at a time because of the flu...? Or send your costs through the roof to save the environment? Sorry - I am not willing to throw the dice on small business investment with creeps like that running the market.

    I am not surprised Lincoln got out of the trailer concept. Any welder can build his own trailer. But our pipeline guys just bolt them to the truck up here.

    1. I'm not even doing this for a business. It's just personal use right now. When I get it registered and titled, then I can get the top dollar for it. Otherwise it's not worth much. Same with untitled vehicles down here. I went through the same stuff for the F150. But that made sense because it's a motor vehicle. Not a screwy trailer.

      Our state government is very business oriented, but these stacked forms are goofy. And with our county tax offices being semi-independent, it's messy at times. I can't imagine what it's like in a commonwealth.

  4. Went to school with the tax lady's mother who is county clerk. I get my stuff all done with special help and no problems with any vehicle stuff. 1500 people in town another 1000 in county. We all help each other out here!!