When we began our full time RV adventure seven years ago, we decided to remain Wisconsin residents for a number of reasons including inexpensive vehicle registration costs. We have used our son's address for our mailing address since that time.
Several counties in southeastern Wisconsin require bi-annual emission testing including the county our son lives in. However, we spend the summer working at a park/campground that is in a county without the requirement. Diesel trucks are exempt, so it would just be for our 2000 Pontiac Grand Am that we only drive in the summer.
When I sent in our registration one of those first years, I noticed that you could report the vehicle is kept in a different county than your mailing address/residence. Since this fit our situation, I registered that car in Dodge County and never heard another word about. It saved us the hassle of having to get it tested when it wasn't necessary.
Two weeks ago we received a letter at our son's house stating that our car had been observed at our residence and we needed to get it tested. Reporting false information was a crime, and could result in a fine for us. There was a number to call if you wanted to talk to someone about it.
Well, I was pretty upset. I visit Eric about twice a month, so how was my car observed at his house?? Are the police in his town running the plates of vehicles parked in front of residences? Are we on some kind of watch list? I think I probably overreacted, but it was a strange feeling.
I called Paul at the DMV and had my whole story ready for him. He was probably the nicest public employee I've ever encountered. All I had to do to resolve the issue was send him a text with a picture of our pay stub from the county we're working in, and all was well. He closed the case.
I asked him how our name came to his attention. It turns out that repair facilities that do the testing for the state are randomly inspected by the DMV. There is a list of people who report keeping their vehicles in a different county than their address on their driver's license. When the inspectors are out and about, they cross reference the list to see if any of those addresses are near them. It just so happened that my car was at Eric's house on a day the inspector was in that neighborhood.
I found out that people falsely report a different county to avoid testing a car that will fail the emission test, or to avoid a wheel tax in some counties or for cheaper car insurance prices than in the county they live in. Well, we weren't cheating, but I can understand why they check up on people.
It's amazing how much we are being watched without even being aware of it. Cameras are everywhere, and I think big brother is definitely out there :)
In other news, we've been very busy at the park. Weekends are completely full, and we've even had quite a few sites occupied during the week. In our free time, we've gone golfing a few times and visited Eric.
Last weekend was the annual quilt auction at the camp our son Korey works at. Each year nearly 500 quilts are donated and the camp raises nearly $100,000. I've been donating some quilts for the last few years. The winning bid for my quilt this year was $325. That's the most any of my quilts have earned. Yippee! I did donate another small infant sized quilt that went for $50. I enjoy quilting, and this is a great cause for me to donate to.
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