Another “Loophole” Just Closed

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It’s a measure of the government’s psychological control over people’s minds that whenever people find a way to avoid being controlled by the government, it is styled a “loophole” – implying it is disreputable to avoid being controlled by (and mulcted by) the government. It is a word often used in tandem with the phrase, “getting away with it.”

As if there were something wrong with it.

Well, a “loophole” has just been closed – and people will no longer be able to “get away with it.”

The state of Vermont used to issue license plates to people who lived in other states, via mail – and for $6. This enabled them to “get away with” not paying the obnoxious property taxes applied to vehicles in other states – as well as avoid various other obnoxious government requirements such as having to register your car with the government of the state you live in.

Italicized to emphasize the fact that having to “register” your vehicle establishes who (and what) actually owns your vehicle, notwithstanding that you bought (and paid for) it.

Some states will not even allow you to keep what many people understandably but erroneously regard as their vehicle on what they also understandably but equally erroneously consider to be their property – unless the vehicle is “registered” with the government. If not, the government will come onto the owner’s (sic) property and seize the vehicle.

Establishing who actually owns “your” vehicle – as well as “your” home.

This business of requiring all cars to be tagged and registered (which in many states requires buying insurance, even if the car never leaves the “owner’s” property) has been very effective in “clunkering” older vehicles – such as project cars and even parts cars – not just off the road but into the junkyard.

Vermont offered a reprieve.

You could get tags and registration, at much lower cost than in other states – without having to prove the vehicle was operable or met X, Y and Z requirements – through the mail and be in full “compliance” (the government word for obedience) with the laws in your state in that most states will not hassle you if your vehicle has valid tags/registration issued by another state.

This made it feasible to avoid such things as state requirements that a car have two tags -which made it feasible to avoid having to mar the front end of your car in states that require a front as well as a rear license plate.

Unfortunately, too many people used the “loophole.” Some for nefarious purposes, such as getting Vermont tags for stolen cars (this was possible because Vermont did not require proof of title for vehicles 15 years old or older) but the real “problem” was that it was being used for good purposes.

Many states have made getting a car “tagged” and “registered” so costly that getting (and keeping) a car has become so costly that many people cannot afford it. They aren’t criminals.

They are people seeking to avoid them.

You’d think the car press would defend such people – and Vermont. You’d be wrong. The car press has become a kind of PR outlet for the government, which is probably a function of the fact that most of the people who work in the field are products of government schools, where they learned that government is good – and “loopholes” are bad.

A writer for the Autopian says it was “frighteningly simple” to get a car tagged and registered in Vermont. “All you had to do was fill out Vermont form VD-119 with your actual information, include a bill of sale, include a proof of VIN check, include a check for the fees, then send that baby off to Vermont. . . Two weeks after that, you got your registration card, which stated in bold print that it was your proof of ownership. If you sent in a title, you’d get back a Vermont title. Boom, your vehicle is now legal.”

Oh, the humanity!

The writer’s fellow government-snugglers over at Jalopnik (ironically named in that jalopies are precisely what are being clunkered off the roads and out of people’s own garages) expressed “shock” over people being able to use the “loophole” to “get away” with avoiding the anti-car ukase and folderol in other states.

Thanks to them and those like them, people will no longer be able to “get away” with it. Vermont now requires out-of-state applicants for Vermont tags to provide a document signed by the applicant’s home-state DMV affirming that their state “does not require residents to register their vehicles in our state” – i.e., Vermont.

Few, if any other state DMV bureaucrats will so affirm – because most states insist that tags and registration by tied to location; i.e., to legal residence. There was still a “loophole” here, though, in that one could establish a Vermont “residence” by getting a Vermont address, such as a post office box. But that “loophole’s been closed, too – by the new requirement that applicants get a government bureaucrat in their home state to sign off on their application for Vermont plates.

That is as likely to happen as Greta Thunberg buying – and driving – a 1970 Eldorado.

Sic gloria transit mundi.

It was nice while it lasted.

. . .

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68 COMMENTS

  1. Get a PO box in Vermont? Is that a workaround? A registration workaround for the Roxor is that Utah allows it to be registered as a motorcycle… Given that, and Fiat’s lawsuit barring Roxor’s from being sold, means BINGO! Roxor it is.

  2. You don’t want to pay the Colorado vehicle fees if you can pay another state the license fee and remain insured, it saves money. Must be happening in every state.

    What is really maddening is when you buy a car and pay the price plus tax. Then comes a day when you want to sell and the buyer is taxed again on the same vehicle.

    Insurance, license, license renewal, you’re hamster wheeling it, same thing, almost.

    The insurance industry would freak if everybody just quit driving, sold their cars and/or junk them.

    Instant crash and burn, pun intended.

  3. Remember when the states were fiercely individual? When a politican would talk about “The Great State of…” and really mean it? When state governors and local boss hogs put the federales in their place?

    OK, neither do I. Before my time. That all came crashing down in the 1940s, after the war. Then it was all about Unity of the States. Because we all know for sure that damn Evil Empire™ is unified around Stalin, so we better get our s*** together and unify around the Commander In Chief too! Hell, let’s just elect the guy who won WW2 (and actually he wasn’t so bad after all, but no libertarian for sure). So states gave up their sovereignty for national defense. Then, after Nixon removed the limits on the printing press, the states lifted up their collective skirts for a few pieces of fake silver.

    It did have one massive benefit. Businesses could easily work across state lines without having 50 different lawyers to deal with, nor 50 different legislatures to grease, and 50 different customers to market to. I’m guessing someone noticed that VT was an exception and abused the loophole. Or there’s a new manager at the DOT who pushed for “normalization” of Vermont’s laws -they’re leaving money on the table after all- and so there’s no downside (for the VT DOT). Normalization is good for business, in that there’s only one form to keep track of, and it levels the field for new entrants.

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

    • Sadly, RK, I think th US is just as evil, if not more so than Stalin’s Russia. Stalin was pure evil and ruled under the iron fist of Communism. Something that, ironically enough, stupid people want here in the States because they are too damned dumb to learn from history. Whereas our corrupt leaders here rule under the thin veneer of “democracy” (mob rule), in the end such a label is merely a smoke screen to hide their end goals of wanting ultimate control. Our politicians might in the past try to make an effort to pretend to care. But in the end, both countries are more than willing to murder every last one of us in their bid to gather more power and control over the rest of us.

  4. Here in WA it’s title and registration if resident and a hefty fine for out of state plates and a WA driver license. Been this way for decades. Dad skirted WA registration for a couple years when he bought his Volvo in Oregon, with title and license OR as well. Got pulled over for speeding just south of Seattle, cop gave him a speeding ticket and another for the WA driver license / OR license plate. Back in ‘75 this was a hefty fine, I remember around $1000. No sales tax in Oregon and the registration was way less than WA as well.

  5. I smell a rat,,, a big rat called the federale’s. Anyone really think the state will willingly give up that extra cash without some kind of comp?

    It’s like that insurance thingy where one is ‘required’ to prove where one parks their car.

    Mafia.gov ‘creates’ a new law. The states comply to get their share of highway funds robbed from you to splurge. The real-ID is a perfect example. Illegals are exempt. Next up… Digital ID.

    We pay for it all. Enjoy your tyranny!

  6. Damn! Now I find out about this 😖. I got dinged here in Taxachusetts for storing my son’s car for two years while he was working in Japan; turned in the plates so no registration fee, excise tax, insurance, etc. – why pay all that extortion for a car not being driven, right? The state was clearly affronted when he went to register it again and was hit with a fine, besides the usual fees, for wanting to keep his own money. At least he saved two years worth of insurance, which more than made up for the other extortions.

  7. I don’t agree with the authors take on this completely. (surprise right!) while I am wholly sympathetic to the innocent uses of this “loophole” (and wished I knew about it when I was younger) it seems like something too easily abused by criminals.

    I’m sure Vermont set this up in a simpler time when the majority of Americans were much more honest. I’m betting that now a Honduran cartel or some other such group is using it in a massive theft/scam and Vermont wanted to stop that.

    I can see why car magazines/groups support this change. It seems like older (classic) vehicle thefts could be “laundered” under the ease of the 15 year old rule.

    I also think that cars should be registered in the state of residence as the tags/plates are a way of paying for local roads (I know that taxation is theft and no one should be forced to pay to maintain the roads they use!!). But that’s how it’s done and if it has to be done that seems to be the fairest method.

    I’m sure everyone here agrees with me.

    • Hey Cashy, don’t forget about those Somalian cartels, too.

      Well “I think” you should have to register all of your possessions with the state, lest you try to launder stolen goods. You secreting your possessions without common sense government (“the people’s”) oversight seems like something too easily abused by criminals. I just think it’s wrong and a potential massive theft/scam! This really seems to be the fairest method to deal with this. Suck it up buttercup.

      Cashy, this is too easy. Now go away troll.

      • Miss Liberty, are you a sovereign citizen? They are the guys with the balls to not pay taxes, register their cars or use license plates. Or are you just a tough talking pussy on the internet?

        • Oh no, Cashy. You just mis-gendered me! That hurt my feelings.

          Stupid Cashy just can’t help himself with the troll speak: “Or are you just a tough talking pussy on the internet?” This is the same script you’ve been working from for a while now. It wasn’t but a week a go when you asked the same type of troll questions: “Why just bitch about it on the internet? Why don’t you do something about it?”

          Buddy, you need some new material. Now go fuck off, troll.

                • I had a conversation with an elderly woman who was a farmer’s wife. It’s been long ago now. She was at her garden in town, happened to be there. After a few words exchanged, I said, “Things can get wild in the farmyard.” She said, “Yeah, well, things can get wild in the farmhouse too.”

                  If women are involved, you can only guess what happens. Women aren’t always pussies.

                  Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Don’t mess with Texas or something. Still your fault.

                  Cashy just wants to get your goat.

                  Quit being such a woman, you wuss.

    • Cashy,

      What I find remarkable is the way you have inverted the meaning of the word “honest.” According to your usage, an “honest” person is one who obeys the government and pays whatever the government says he “owes.” A “dishonest” one is someone who “cheats” the government and tries to “get away with it.”

      Think about it a little.

      • No I meant honest in that they were not trying to register a stolen vehicle. The process you described was legal so they would not be breaking the law.

          • The state doesn’t “steal” your car, they charge you a user fee for using the roads. Don’t want to pay it, don’t use the roads, and you can keep your car.

            You don’t own the roads personally, you didn’t build them and you don’t personally maintain them. Someone did and does and this is part of the users fee.

            • Cashy,

              Some states absolutely will steal your car – if it is not registered/tagged – even if it is parked on “your” property.

              We pay to use the roads each time we buy fuel; that ought to be the end of it. But of course, it isn’t

            • Have you not read several accounts here of registration fees, and penalties for late registration for vehicles that are in storage?
              “you don’t personally maintain them” And apparently neither does the state.

            • Hi Cashy,

              “The state doesn’t “steal” your car, they charge you a user fee for using the roads.”

              I disagree. They are extorting us.

              Some of the taxes/fees for maintaining the roads:
              1. The federal gasoline tax
              2. The state gasoline tax
              3. A sales tax on the purchase of a vehicle (even when that vehicle has been sold/purchased umpteen times)
              4. A personal property tax on the value of the car
              5. An annual auto registration fee
              6. A fee for the purchase of tags
              7. An annual decal fee
              8. An annual inspection fee
              9. Renewal of a driver’s license or identification card
              10. Required auto insurance premiums or an uninsured motor vehicle fee to the state
              11. Tolls to drive on highways that we already pay for under #1 and #2

                • Hi John,

                  Oh, I am sure there is even more than what I listed…these are just what I thought of off the top of my head.

                  Automobile “rental” (it isn’t really ownership) is a cash cow for the federal, state, and local governments. Where else can you continually tax the same asset 3x over? Don’t get me started on income taxes.

                  • Well I agree with the rest of humanity that the cost is excessive. However, it is “justified” as covering the costs of the various “services” provided.

                    The gas taxes would be justified by the huge expense of road repair. There are also other things wrapped up in the gas tax, environmental crap, and other BS.

                    The sales tax for the vehicle is the basic consumption tax that is typical of our over taxed society.

                    The other stuff listed are all “fees” for those items. Most not necessary but since they do them they want them paid for.

                    Auto insurance I won’t go into since that is another fun subject.

                    Toll roads, I don’t get either. We are already paying for roads, this is clearly just another money grab.

            • So why am I charged twice as much as someone who only has one vehicle? I can only use the roads with one at a time. It is NOT a users fee, it’s an extraction, pure and simple. Used to be told that license plates inhibit theft. Now the state uses them to commit theft.

              • Actually I think the tags/title is a fee for the “services” of the DMV. The gas tax(es) are the “fee” for the road. So if you have more than one vehicle you are paying for the fee for each one for the excellent, timely, and polite service provided at the DMV.

                • Cashy wags his finger with righteous indignation: “[T]hey charge you a user fee for using the roads. Don’t want to pay it, don’t use the roads. . .You don’t own the roads personally, you didn’t build them and you don’t personally maintain them. Someone did and does and this is part of the users fee.”

                  Turns out Cashy was full of shit (imagine that?), and then tries to smooth it over by becoming tongue and cheek about the “services” of the DMV. Oopsie.

                  There are some sharp folks commenting on this site and it’s tough to pull the wool over their eyes. One of the many reasons I like it here.

                  • Depends on the state. In my state the tag&plates are based on weight as well to offset cost of heavier vehicles on roads. The rest is for the DMV. The answer had some subtleties and I know dummies like you don’t do subtle, so I tried to dumb it down. I guess I’ll have to shoot lower next time.

                    • Oh no Cashy, you called me a dummy. You hurt my feelings again. Uncle! Uncle!

                      Boy, there wasn’t much subtlety when you were wagging your finger with righteous indignation. Time to eat crow, buddy.

                      Cashy, your credibility stinks right now. If it’s ok with you, I think it’s best if we perhaps disregard your assertions of fact from now on.

            • In CA, you have to pay a “non-op” fee for a vehicle stored on your private property and never sees a public thoroughfare. Tantamount to a personal property tax, one that the CA Constitution actually FORBIDS. Imagine that. Must be a legacy of Hiram Johnson. If you don’t, the DMV will hire a tow operator to take your vehicle and will CHARGE you for that as well.

              • I DO NOT agree that you should be charged for a car that is not running.

                But I think that is done to discourage people from parking dead cars on their front lawn, in the driveway or backyard and running their personal junkyard. I know that people are quick to complain about non-moving vehicles owned by their neighbors, complaining that it is an eye sore and reduces property values.

                • Hi Cashy,

                  I thought you were all for respecting private property? If a man wants to park a ‘junk” car in his backyard – that he bought and paid for – how is it anyone else’s right to tell him he may not (and threaten him with fines and seizures if he fails to bend knee)?

                  The old saw about “eyesores” and “property values” is just collectivist-speak for the usurpation of other people’s property rights.

                  • I agree. If it’s your property you should be able to do what you want.

                    Of course there are laws that contradict that. I don’t agree with them but it creates problems with your neighbors if you don’t cut the grass, if you stack garbage in the front lawn, put a giant “FUCK YOU” sign on your front lawn, or dance naked in front of the neighbors kids.

                    All things you should be “free” to do, but are usually opposed by a majority of the people that use the force of government to prohibit them.

    • “it seems like something too easily abused by criminals.”
      You mean like State bureaucratic criminals? Well they are certainly abusing it now. I’ve often made the point, and stand firmly by it, that compared to the state, common criminals are little more than a nuisance.

    • “I’m sure Vermont set this up in a simpler time when the majority of Americans were much more honest.”

      Well, I’m sure the majority of Americans are still honest. It’s just a whole lot of them are tired of an Out-of-Control Bureaucratic Government with a Two-Tiered Justice System.
      The Vermont Loophole was an easy way to register Street Rods, Restoration Project Cars and Vehicles which did not fit in other State’s DMV Frameworks of Title and Registration. When a Person had a Vermont Title, he could go to his Local DMV and either Title and Register his car or keep the Vermont Title and get a Dual Registration. Few drove in their Home States with the Vermont Tags.
      If someone tried to use the Vermont Loophole to receive a Clean Title for a Stolen Vehicle, he would have to be a Complete Idiot. If the Theft had been reported, the VIN would show up in whatever Data Base Vermont uses. Vehicle Theft Rings use a much more sophisticated system.

      • You may be right. Stranger things have happened. However, I am just going by what I read in the article: “Unfortunately, too many people used the “loophole.” Some for nefarious purposes, such as getting Vermont tags for stolen cars (this was possible because Vermont did not require proof of title for vehicles 15 years old or older) ”

        “Few drove in their Home States with the Vermont Tags.” How would you know that?

  8. I didn’t know that was such a thing. But, certainly makes sense given Vermont’s proximity to tyrannical yankee regimes in the northeast.

    • ‘McDonalds and White Castle have already begun using ALPR to tailor drive-through experiences, detecting returning customers and using past orders to guide them through the ordering process or offer individualized promotion offers.’ — Forbes

      A good reason to shun these burger chains, spying on their customers with ALPRs.

      Some years ago, I was stopped multiple times for driving a vehicle with NJ plates, while holding a NY drivers license. NJ’s system regarded me as an unlicensed driver, flagging me to be stopped every time I passed an ALPR-equipped patrol car. My situation was not illegal. But NJ said they couldn’t modify their system. It was my problem to obtain drivers license and registration in the same state, they said.

      AI-enhanced ALPRs, profiling people based on their pattern of journeys (as described in the Forbes article), are a panopticon for the roads. What a horror.

      • Hi Jim,

        As the Panopticon expands, our only realistic options will be to smash it, monkeywrench it and ignore it – and be willing to defend ourselves against it. In Europe, people are doing this as by taking cans of pray paint – and Swazalls – to these god-damned things.

        I await Cashew’s outrage . . .

        • I second that Eric, the politburo here are talking about installing speed cameras around here – for our saaaaaaafety of course, nothing to do with more revenue. I’ll be ready with a can of spray paint rigged up to my tree trimming pole.

            • Who determines what a speed limit should be? How do we know they are right? It isn’t about the speed or safety, but how much additional money the localities can get.

              Speed limits are mechanisms for control. It wouldn’t surprise me if a handful of unelected government bureaucrats throw a dart at a wheel and see where it lands to regulate a road’s maximum speed. Maybe it is the best out of three or five.

              In my section of woods there is a four mile stretch of open highway (no towns, no turnoffs, no schools or daycares). TPTB believed this roadway needed the speed limit to decrease from 60 mph to 45 mph. Did this area have more accidents? Was this a opossum crossing? Nope…just a revenue generator. Drive it anytime and there is usually a fellow with blue sirens pulling over an out of town guest. Maybe it is the welcome committee?!?

              After the four mile stretch of highway it goes back up to 60 mph.

              • I’m not trying to be critical of your post but for additional information I have a friend who is a traffic engineer. You would not believe the time they spend trying to determine the best speeds to post on busy roads. Most roads have standard speed limits based on their construction and traffic. But the engineers involved look at traffic load, accidents, road conditions (curves, hills, etc.) and have all these formulas that engineers have been working on for years to determine what the best speeds are for safety and traffic flow.

                Yes, to you and me it looks like a random thing, and some places will be carefully watched by police (speed traps) because for various reasons people drive faster in those locations. If you talk to the police they will tell you that they are stationed in areas that have a “high incidence rate” of traffic accidents, or public complaints. That is why they locate there. Not for revenue which is a small amount of their budget. I am sure it’s abused though.

                But if you were a cop would you want to hassle with traffic stops when you see all the shit that goes wrong with them?

                  • Seems like there Was a high degree of naiveness to his comment. …Either that, or he’s just plain young, dumb and inexperienced?

                    Or, do I repeat myself?

                    I never got over the fact he defended Fascism. Psft.

            • I always drive FAR below the “speed limit”, which is the speed of light, about 186,000 miles per second. Anything else is just bureaucrats doing bureaucracy.

      • Aaah yes, I read about this. People up here will be mad as hell about it, seeing is there is no such thing as a short trip in these parts.

  9. ‘The owner themself may schedule an appointment.’ — Vermont DMV

    During the 400 years since Shakespeare, ‘the owner themself’ would have been regarded as a clunking illiteracy.

    Until 1970, one would have written ‘the owner himself.’ After that, to be inclusive, it would be ‘the owner himself or herself.’

    Today, gender fluidity madness rules out such binary language, even through binary xx and xy chromosomes doggedly refuse to conform themselves to modernity.

    Probably what the DMV actually means is ‘the owner may schedule an in-person appointment.’ But that’s way too simple and clear.

    Never mind, though. Ethnic grievances may require a further amendment of the memo to ‘the owner theyself, yo.’ 🙁

    • There is already a pronoun to use instead of ‘him or ‘her’, that being ‘it’. In fact, any other is still incorrect when referring to a single entity. ‘It’ is grammatically correct, and appropriate for the occasion, as well.

      • No. “The owner himself” is correct usage. “Themself” isn’t a word and “itself” — unless you’re talking one of those freaks with orange hair and a face full of fishing tackle — is also wrong.

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