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Paul Rolly: The good, the bad and the ‘silly’ at Utah’s DMV

By PAUL ROLLY

| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Jul 25 2014 01:01 am • Last Updated Jul 25 2014 07:29 am

A Salt Lake County woman, whose husband died April 9, noticed the registration on his 2004 Camry was scheduled to expire at month’s end, so she went to a Division of Motor Vehicles office and renewed it, paying the $105 tax.

While there, she asked what she needed to do to change the title into her name and was told she needed to bring in her husband’s death certificate and proof that she was his widow.

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She applied for and received the death certificate, then dutifully took it back to the DMV.

When she presented the certificate with her application for a title change, the clerk said she had to wait 30 days after her husband’s death before the change could be executed.

That was in late April, so she waited a couple of weeks, then returned May 12. But she had to pay the tax again. The clerk explained that when the car’s title shifts to a new owner, that owner must pay the tax.

Her protest that she had paid the tax a month earlier went unheeded until a supervisor told her she could apply for a refund.

She did.

A few weeks later, she got the refund, but it was only half the amount she had paid because it was only the state’s share of the tax. She had to go to the Salt Lake County assessor’s office for a refund from the county’s portion.

At the county, her request for a refund was denied because she had paid the taxes in April and waited until May to change the title. When she protested that she was told by the state that she had to wait 30 days, the clerk in the county office said, "That’s silly."

Perhaps the state and county folks should talk to one another more often.


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Finally, after appeals to supervisors, she received the county’s refund about three weeks later.

A good DMV experience » After reading my columns about several folks having received less-than-acceptable treatment from the DMV, a Washington County man told me about the opposite experience he and his wife had at the Hurricane office.

His wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about eight months ago, and her doctor advised her not to drive. She received a letter recently from the DMV, requesting she come in for testing to renew her license.

The couple scheduled an appointment for July 17 at 10:30 a.m. and since the husband’s license was set to expire in September, he asked if he could renew his license at the same time. The division told him what papers to bring and that if he brought in his veteran’s documentation, he could get that recognition included on his license.

They came to the appointment with a clerk named Treesa, who immediately came to the lobby, greeted them and asked the wife if she wanted her husband present during the testing process.

After the agility and general common-sense questions about driving, Treesa went on to the written test, which the wife did not pass.

Treesa explained the results, treating the wife with courtesy and respect, and then related similar experiences with people much younger. She did her best to make light of the situation, jokingly telling the wife she will now be her husband’s co-pilot and can tell him where to go.

In the end, they left with a state identification for the wife and a new license for the husband, who said the experience could not have been more pleasant.

prolly@sltrib.com



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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