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Three Meter Zone | JD's Bunker | Poetry | Chapel | American Journal

Thoughts While Running Sitting at The DMV

J. D. Pendry

Hi folks, here's another bit of information that may be useful to you and your wallet at retirement time. If you decide to live in a state where you don't have your vehicles registered you'll have to change that plus get a new driver's license for the new state. But you knew that, so why am I bothering you. Let me tell you a short story.

As I was clearing the Transition Point on Fort Myer, I thought I had to obtain my retired identification card because that's what I had been told. The lady at the ID Section told me she could give me the cards now, but suggested I keep my active duty cards up until the last day. She said getting the cards early had caused some folks problems - she cited medical claims for one - because once issued the retired card the system carries you as retired. Sounded logical to me so, although a bit hesitant, I listened to her advice.

While sitting at the DMV filling out the form to transfer the title to my vehicle to another state I noticed the 5% privilege tax that had to be paid along with the transfer. When the auto-matron called my number and told me to report to window number five, I was prepared to do battle over taxes using the Soldier's and Sailor's Relief Act as my ammo. When the clerk at the window started putting my information and required fees into the computer I stopped her when she got to the tax part. I informed her that since I was in the Army I should not have to pay the tax. Her response "Give me your ACTIVE DUTY military ID card." Which she copied at the direction of her supervisor and attached to my paperwork - exempting me from the 5% tax. The supervisor made a point of asking me if I was still ACTIVE. Fighting back the urge to ask her "still active in what way", I very politely said "yes ma'am", and silently, I thanked the ID lady. And I was active for two more months of transition leave time. Total cost of this transaction to me? $43 for Title, License, and Driver's License. Compared to an additional 5% of the value of my vehicle - not bad.

By now, you realize that if I had my retired ID card instead of an active one, I would have had to pay that tax. The lesson, keep your active duty ID card until the last possible minute. If you're out here away from a military installation, don't fret. There are plenty of National Guard and Reserve Centers that can and do provide ID card support.

More to follow. Keep improving your position and keep the sandbags full.

© J. D. Pendry