“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13:1)
My last couple of postings have been in one way or another “heavy”, controversial, thought-provoking, spiritually oriented, etc. This one is going to depart from all that stuff.
Most of you know that my late father was a career employee of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (like the “D.M.V.” in most states). The Massachusetts Registry HAS changed in some ways. The driver license tests are now conducted by CIVILIAN examiners. If you stop over on Pearl Street, Framingham sometime and watch the examiners greet the folks coming to take their tests you’ll be surprised that most of the examiners are young, many are from minority groups, and these young people look more like they’d be bagging your groceries at Market Basket than conducting a driving test. Well, maybe that’s a subject for another day.
My main point in writing is to tell you there’s been a big change in the law regarding the annual state inspections all cars have to undergo. It went into effect on October 1, 2008. If you’re a Massachusetts AAA member, you can read all about it in the November issue of the AAA Horizons newsletter. Under the old system, your car had to be inspected once a year. Under the old system, the car had to undergo the major emissions testing (which a number of vehicles failed) every OTHER year. Under the NEW system, your car gets an emissions test EVERY year. Incidentally, you may have noticed the inspection stickers now look a LITTLE bit different. Instead of a big number in the center of the sticker, there is a smaller number in the center of the sticker with one of those computer bar codes under the number.
If you have an OLD car (as I do) the good news is that all 1995 and older cars are COMPLETELY EXEMPT from any more emissions testing! That means I never have to worry about that again regarding my 1989 Volkswagen Golf. IF an old car has a noisy muffler with thick black smoke coming out the exhaust or something like that, of course that COULD become an issue, but no more emissions tests, per se.
ANOTHER factor for whether your car will pass or fail is the LEGIBILITY OF YOUR LICENSE PLATE(s). That was not a factor before. I had a letter published in the MetroWest Daily News a little over a year ago in which I called for the old “greenie” series of plates from the late 1970s and early 1980s to be discontinued and recalled- largely for that reason. Incidentally, I DO have one of those plates on one of my vehicles. I’ve had that plate since 1983 and at this point it IS still legible. It’s not just the “greenies” that are a problem, however. I’ve got a friend who has Spirit of America series plates (which most of us have) with the paint almost completely worn and faded off. That car won’t pass. Take a look at your plates. If they’re not legible, I recommend you contact the Registry. It’s likely that if you have standard issue plates, they’ll issue you new plates, probably with a new number. IF you have “reserved” plates (like I do on the a Volkswagen- I have plate # 280) in that case, they’d have the prison make up a new set of plates for you. I’m sure there would be a cost, but I think we all agree with our law enforcement officials that for the safety of all, it’s important for plates to be clear and visible.
No, I’ve never worked for the Registry, but with the Registry history, knowledge, and insight I have, I feel like I could be called a “Junior Registry Man”!
Jesus says, “Me too.”
22 hours ago