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11 December 2012

Is it Festivus Yet? - The Airing of Grievances begins:[More:]The mister and I had to renew our licences and we did so last Friday. It cost $75 for each licence. On the plus side, since we live in BFE the total wait time was about ten minutes (includes time waiting to pick a number and time waiting to have said number called). Licences last five years here, and I believe they were $50 last time (which is still outrageous).

What do licence renewals cost in your neck of the woods?
If you want to feel better, our passports this summer cost us FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS.

(Course, we did do the in-person next-day rush thing, so that upped the price, and they're good for ten years, but still.)
posted by Pips 11 December | 21:25
Good for three more on the license.
Grievance would be the Navy cutting Seabees terribly on the active side; and by 45% on the reserve side. So much for actually learning a 'hands on' and applicable trade in the military anymore; I would have had to pay 10's of thousands to get HVAC training and licensing in civilian land... Bah.

On a positive; it was like, incredibly wonderful training; and the instructors were up with the best of college profs of days gone by... pedagogy sans pariel.
posted by buzzman 11 December | 21:54
$45 for a Washington state ID card.
posted by Ardiril 11 December | 21:57
Only $29.50 for a driver's license in the the great Commonwealth of PA.
posted by octothorpe 11 December | 22:26
Why is it that, even though I own my home outright... nothing owed... that I can't get either a mortgage or a loan on it until I have lived here for a year? I need the fucking cash to pay off my bills and be able to continue to live here for fuck sakes.
posted by Splunge 12 December | 00:10
That's crazy. It's $15 to renew a driver's license in Alaska.
posted by rhapsodie 12 December | 00:32
License in MA is $75 for five years. Seems fair to me, basically. Surprised it's so low elsewhere.

On reflection, it all has to do with state-level/province level revenue, so it all depends on what other funding sources your government has happening and how this balances out with other taxes, fees, and revenue streams. So it's not going to be too predictable place to place.

And it's a little misleading to look at it in isolation; lining it up against all other auto-related fees would reveal more about the true cost to run a vehicle in a given place. Inspection fees, auto registration fees, excise taxes, gas taxes, garaging/parking fees, parking ticket amounts, speeding ticket amounts, expired reg ticket amouts, etc. all create the context that situates the amount for licensing wherever it is.

Like, when I lived in PA licensing was low, but for 19119 auto insurance they basically open up an artery.
posted by Miko 12 December | 00:46
That's all true, Miko. We had AirCare here (cars over five years old, I think, had to go thru it) and that cost $20 something I think. Gas is more expensive here too, than in the States. Canada is a socialist country, etc., so most stuff like licences is probably more expensive.

Passports are for five years in Canada and cost $87. I renewed my US passport a couple years ago, I think that was about $100.

But $15 in Alaska seems really low. Isn't it one of the poorer states? And people are always complaining about the roads up there?
posted by deborah 12 December | 01:11
yea it's cheap to get a driver's license here in CO, maybe $25 IIRC but they're good for 10 years so it's likely gone up (I renew in 2014).

annual car tag fee OTOH (registration) is highway robbery (ahahaha). The Subaru cost something on the order of $200 (and something) to renew this month.
posted by lonefrontranger 12 December | 01:20
I got mine renewed about 3 months ago and cannot remember how much it cost. But I remember so clearly the person working behind the counter.

Since I moved from one state to another, I had to take the written test. You do this at a computer console that looks like a TV from the 1950's. I passed the test and a message popped up to return to the counter.

Somehow, nobody was waiting in line, so I was first in line, yay! The lone attendant for sure saw me out of the corner of her eye but she was very preoccupied examining one of her fingers which apparently had just suffered a paper cut.

For the next several minutes, as the line behind me grew, she tended to the finger. Pretty soon a toddler in the stagnant line started crying and that seemed to startle her. She carefully wrapped her damaged digit in a band-aid provided by the state, and called me over to the counter.

"Oh, you're supposed to go next door when you finish the test. Next!"

But then I would have missed the finger show. For a moment I considered giving her my own finger show but instead shuffled off to the proper window.

Thanks for the chance to air my grievance.
posted by Kangaroo 12 December | 07:15
Raising fees on things like license and registration is a way to raise taxes without actually looking like you're raising taxes. The're regressive as hell too.
posted by octothorpe 12 December | 09:37
I just renewed my passport (well, it hasnt come back yet but...) and my license and I was surprised by how much they cost, especially the passport. For a renewal! not even for a new one! I think it was $100 and that was not the rush price, it was the slowest price.
Makes me wonder how people not as lucky as I am who need to travel can do it with all these fees.
posted by rmless2 12 December | 15:11
Are there vouchers you can get for licenses and passports if you are below the poverty line or can prove hardship or something?
posted by rmless2 12 December | 15:12
The Subaru cost something on the order of $200 (and something) to renew this month.

Ah, Americans and their cute little fees... Down here a licence is $170 for ten years, or $50 for three. Rego for a car is $695 per annum.
posted by pompomtom 13 December | 00:30
The 12th Day of the December Musical Giftstravaganza || Bunny! OMG!