Developments, part IV

Most people enjoy doing what they are good at. Therefore, if your profession entails law, you most likely will enjoy filing paperwork to some extent. If you aren't a lawyer, though, the process of paperwork promises to be tedious and overwhelming.

Naturally, when it's all over with, the feeling of relief is endless.

This time around, I am one of those people. Not a lawyer, but somebody doing paperwork. This is much easier said than done.

In Serbia, any particular insurance policy (along with the license plates) is fixed to the car, not the owner. Each year – when you renew insurance – one must effectively buy another policy for the car, assuming it passes the annual and recently updated safety inspection. The default if you do nothing is that the insurance is assumed cancelled, not expired.

As he didn't drive it that much anymore, the previous owner of the Fića cancelled its insurance policy – about a year before we ended up purchasing it.

The previous owner did everything by the books, therefore we didn't have any unexpected problems. But this is Eastern Europe, a region notorious for creative bureaucracy. Sometimes in some countries, "desk maids" go so far as to not do the job that they are paid to do until you pay them under the table first, taking advantage of the fact that you are – in a way – at their mercy and annoying you into submission.

However, there is another way out: should you have a relatively well-positioned friend who can sidestep the middleman (middlewoman?), they can get your passport, license plates, ID, or anything else you get from a public institution in your hands faster and with less stress.

And besides, a beer for your friend is cheaper and better-spent than a bribe for the desk maid...

Or, if you're in Canada and opening a casino, make your well-rooted friend a new deck for free.

Though, if you have no such connections in the MUP (the police, who also operate the DMV's) and in government offices (where you sort out the change of ownership), perseverance is your only guarantee things will be finished quickly.

But when I remember my phone calls to Canadian government offices, who gave me a different answer every time to identical questions, I'm not worried at all: in Serbia, everyone actually knows what the procedure is, and I'm a very persistent man.

So how did we fare? Is it even over yet? I'll acquaint you with all the details soon, when I post part V.

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