Placas y Revistas

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I’ve had a Dominican week. We were told several times before moving here that things take longer to accomplish, and if you accomplish one thing in a day, it has been a great day. With all the warnings it really has not been as bad as it seemed, but this week made up for it. The National Government announced early October that vehicle stickers would be available throughout October. Well, October was full of two short-term teams and several events which prevented following up on the vehicle stickers. This week, I finally had some time to devote to the stickers, and we started the process of renewing our Revistas. Well, come to find out, revistas are like vehicle inspections stickers. Heather and Lisselotte purchased the necessary paperwork to renew the stickers. You have to have a Dominican cedula (residency) to purchase the form to get a revista. Ponder the fact that a cedula is not required to purchase a car, and that might shed some light on the week. This took several trips to the bank (yes the bank, not just any bank, one specific bank) because you can only purchase two at a time. We were renewing seven vehicles including both personal and ministry vehicles. Fortunately, Lisselotte knew the person (a phrase I will be using often in the story, so let’s call this #1) and we were able to purchase all of them in two trips. So, the next day, Lisselotte and I head to the tax collectors office in Sosua where Lisselotte knows the person (#2) and were told we had to go to Puerto Plata, twenty minutes away for the stickers. We head to Puerto Plata, turn into a very DMV looking building and are stopped by a man at the front desk. He follows us out to my personal truck, and then asks where the other vehicles are, because he needs to check them, by the way, this is when I found out revistas are inspection stickers, I thought I was just paying a tax. Did I say this is October 30th and we have been informed that all the stickers expire on October 31st, and you can be fined our have your vehicle impounded. There is no way that I can get all seven vehicles to Puerta Plata before the office closes. The guy informs us that for a special handling fee (read that however you would like) he will process all of the paperwork. Lisellotte handles the details, we go back to the table, the paperwork starts being processed. So, my assumption is that after the paperwork is finished I will go in the office and pay the per vehicle tax, but they hand us the Revistas, and we head to the car with our new friend, and pay the special handling fee. We don’t have to pay the tax? Wow, that saved a significant amount of money, WRONG!! We head back to Sosua thinking we have accomplished our task with great success, and go about our day. The next morning Heather calls and she had learned this morning, that the tax is paid at a second bank, and we need to get that taken care of. So, keep in mind, this is the last day we can pay the tax. The line in Sosua is out of the bank on to the street, so we head to Puerto Plata, again, where we have been told the lines are shorter. We got to Puerto Plata, and the line is no longer shorter. It is know about 12:00, and the bank closes at 3. This line will not be gone by three. I call Heather, she goes to the bank in Sosua to wait in line until we get there. We stand and wait, and they close off the line, because they are out of forms. WHAT???? They tell us there has been a fifteen day extension, whew. Lisellotte talks to someone that she knows that is standing outside (#3), and is informed that this process is only for personal vehicles, that vehicles owned by an organization have a simpler process, they just go straight to the tax office. Great!!! We head to the tax office, and are informed it can only be handled at the regional office in . . . Puerto Plata!!! Well, the adventure is going to have to wait until the next day, and so will the story. More to Come!!

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