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Author Topic: Negotiating the state inspection process  (Read 3531 times)

Марина

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Negotiating the state inspection process
« on: July 17, 2015, 02:42:34 am »

Greetings,

 I am a Free Stater moving into New Hampshire in a week for a position at an engineering establishment in the Connecticut valley. Previously I was born and raised in Washington State--I have lived on the east coast for the past three years for my master's degree and subsequent temporary research work. During this time I maintained the registration of my cars in Washington as it is very cheap and easy, and of course there are no state inspections.

 The inspections bother me a lot. I grew up on a farm and take care of my cars -- and from experience as a kid forward, from my dad's travails and some of my own before I taught myself more about auto maintenance -- repair places are about half crooks and half decent. Now, I've replaced sheared off bolts from inside the frame to re-attach bumper brackets, replaced brake cylinders, alternators, etc, and with my friend and mechanic Vladimir back home pulled and replaced an engine before. Now I am going to, nominally in a state where I should be more free, end up at the beck and call of a monopoly established by the state government.

 Already I am committing to the complete reconstruction of my 1981 Volvo at a specialist facility in Maine before registering it -- something I would have liked to wait until I had some savings from this move. This is because I want a car without sophisticated computers I can always fix myself with my knowledge as a mechanical engineer, no matter what. My other car however is a 2001 Toyota Echo which must be inspected immediately as a daily driver, for which I do all the normal maintenance, brake pad replacements, etc, and less than a year ago had substantial front wheel components (tie rods, some other things) replaced as she is going on three hundred thousand miles -- I am worried all my investment in these cars will be for naught, and I will be forced to spend thousands of dollars as a slave of this monopoly, which is so ironic when before I moved to the east coast I never even knew these inspections existed.

 So I want to know what is the best approach to dealing with these monopolists and how to guarantee that the level of made-up repairs and other extortion is kept to a minimum. Is there some kind of way to find reliable repair shops? When I do need help with something I am quite generous. But I am an educated professional and I like to live as I please, and having to play this game as the price of participating in the Free State Project and working a good career is very insulting, so I would like some way to keep my money and minimize the financial pain and frankly extortion of these inspections.
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My handle is my name in Cyrillic. Among friends please call me Marina Fyodorovna. I am descended from political exiles from the bolshevik tyranny, so I am very passionate about liberty.

JasonPSorens

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Re: Negotiating the state inspection process
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2015, 02:20:13 pm »

Welcome, Marina! Our allies in the legislature have been trying to move the inspection requirement to biennial rather than annual. It's a burden, no doubt. The garages naturally oppose the reform, but it's on the table. When it comes to emissions testing, this may be of interest: http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?topic=28353.0
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"Educate your children, educate yourselves, in the love for the freedom of others, for only in this way will your own freedom not be a gratuitous gift from fate. You will be aware of its worth and will have the courage to defend it." --Joaquim Nabuco (1883), Abolitionism

Марина

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Re: Negotiating the state inspection process
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2015, 02:05:31 pm »

I don't care about the emissions testing, to be honest. To me it's the safety inspection component. There are no safety inspections on the west coast -- and in most of the intermountain states -- to the point I'd never heard of this requirement before living in Rhode Island in 2012, and I avoided it then by not reregistering my car, but this will be impossible in the long term in New Hampshire. The problem is that, of course, a properly trained driver should be able to respond to any unsafe driving condition in a way that prevents injury to others -- and a proper driver should be able to evade any vehicle handled by someone who cannot. I see the safety inspection solely as a way for crooked mechanics to invent spurious reasons to extract money from you.

 And the state won't let you shop around if you get a bad result, due to computer monitoring. So essentially I have one chance on my old Washington plates, and one chance on the New Hampshire plates, to find someone who isn't crooked.

 Reducing it to two years just makes the problem less likely to be solved permanently, as most people will be less bothered by it. I understand the "tragedy of the commons" style arguments about vehicles on roads being safe, but there isn't a sufficiently appreciable difference between Washington and New Hampshire for me to take seriously the idea that inspections do anything.

 Anyway, is there a good forum to ask for recommendations from the other Free Staters for someone in the state--I'll drive anywhere in the state, I don't care about convenience--about someone reliable? I'm quite prepared to pay well for needful work if I'm not being charged thousands of dollars for nothing as part of an extortionist government supported monopoly.
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My handle is my name in Cyrillic. Among friends please call me Marina Fyodorovna. I am descended from political exiles from the bolshevik tyranny, so I am very passionate about liberty.

JonM

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Re: Negotiating the state inspection process
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2015, 02:48:19 pm »

In the past safety inspections in NH were required every 6 months.  As it stands, they check for tires not being worn out, brakes not being worn out, stuff you would expect people to keep up on, but if you live in a state with no inspections at some point you've been behind a car that literally has pieces falling off it.  They also do check for a lot more stuff, but some are more thorough than others.  So it's quite an uphill battle to repeal it entirely, and state reps who actually own inspection stations seem not to realize the concept of conflict of interest when testifying against extending it to 2 years.
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JonM

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Re: Negotiating the state inspection process
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2015, 02:59:31 pm »

This guy near me has done good work for a fair price: http://www.claytonsautorepair.com/
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Jerry

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Re: Negotiating the state inspection process
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2015, 05:43:48 pm »

Do you have a family member in Washington that you could give your car to?

Before I figured out the glitch that prevented me from passing inspection in NH I just took it to PA
and registered it in my wife's name (she wasn't ready to retire and move) .

There are also a couple states that don't require that you actually live there to register a vehicle (Montana?)

Doesn't matter if the said state has inspections or not.  NH cops don't enforce other states inspection laws.
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JonM

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Re: Negotiating the state inspection process
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2015, 05:46:14 pm »

So long as you don't want to run for political office.
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Jerry

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Re: Negotiating the state inspection process
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2015, 09:49:09 pm »

So long as you don't want to run for political office.

Huh?  It's not illegal to have the car you drive be owned by a relative or a corporation in another state.

 I have had a NH drivers license for the past 5 years.  And my wife will be moving here soon so we will have to register the cars here soon anyway.  Now that I know about the exemption for my car, inspection will no longer be a problem.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2015, 09:55:22 pm by Jerry »
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JonM

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Re: Negotiating the state inspection process
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2015, 10:43:31 pm »

It's about appearance,  not the law.
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Марина

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Re: Negotiating the state inspection process
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2015, 11:02:48 pm »

Eh, there's nothing wrong with it other than the brake pads, which I can do myself -- raised on a farm up in the Cascade foothills, just me and my younger sister for kids, we learned how to do all that kind of thing. In particular I was just wondering if there were any other good options, but from reading and the responses, it seems all I can do is find an honest mechanic before taking it in.

 I think the inspections and the DUI checkpoints--the other insane, absurd thing we don't have in Washington State--are really just onerous control features for society. If you can't handle what happens when a car loses control in front of you -- perhaps you should not drive, or else the training requirements for licenses should be stricter. Regulation of the operator on a common carrier seems less onerous in legal principle, which is important, than regulation of the private property (the car), just in the same way that roving patrols that require some kind of reasonable suspicion to pull someone over, at least, are much preferable to checkpoints.

 I dislike loans for both philosophical and religious reasons, so I pay for my cars in cash -- thus it would be a hardship to replace them. I will find someone decent, and it will probably be alright -- I'll check out this Calayton's Auto Repair, even though it's very far from Grafton county.

 Also Jon is right, "registers car out of state" is one of those truly irrelevant things which nonetheless can be very important in a political campaign.
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My handle is my name in Cyrillic. Among friends please call me Marina Fyodorovna. I am descended from political exiles from the bolshevik tyranny, so I am very passionate about liberty.

Jerry

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Re: Negotiating the state inspection process
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2015, 11:05:33 pm »

Oh, If anyone mentions it I'll just use the story as part of my campaign to repeal the inspection law. 
"I had to drive 600 miles to get my car inspected because FOUR NH inspection stations failed to read their inspection manuals.  Why do we need to perpetuate this antiquated, broken system?"

Only 17 states continue to harass vehicle owners this way.  Even NJ stopped doing it years ago.  Let's try doing inspections ONLY when the car is sold.
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QBcrusher

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Re: Negotiating the state inspection process
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2015, 09:50:34 am »

Annual vehicle inspections? I have never heard of that one before. That's a bad law. I assume that one will be repealed as the Libertarian community grows up there.
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JonM

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Re: Negotiating the state inspection process
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2015, 10:36:29 am »

Annual vehicle inspections? I have never heard of that one before. That's a bad law. I assume that one will be repealed as the Libertarian community grows up there.
We try,  but it isn't yet low hanging fruit.
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MikeyL

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Re: Negotiating the state inspection process
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2015, 12:51:34 am »

I have heard that every year they try this and some legislator who owns a garage comes up and recites a ridiculous horror story about wheels potentially flying off the car and killing someone while going 65 up 93 (the main highway). This is of course ridiculous and proven baseless in dozens of other states with less onerous inspections. Even my old state of NJ has biennial and its only the emissions test I think.

There is at least one porc friendly inspector in the Manchester-Concord area who gives a discount. I can find out the name.

A number of people register in Montana or Wisconsin, or have family register their car wherever. In Manchester at least, there are lots of out of state plates.
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