What To Do: Way to Go, Bama!

To click or not to click, that is the question
To click or not to click, that is the question

My 84 year old mother, wisdom of the decision notwithstanding, has bought a new car. Unfortunately, the joy of the occasion has been sullied by the infrrastructure decay of my hometown Motor Vehicles department that has retrenched to only two working offices. Lines require 6 to 8 hour waits to do simple transactions like getting mom’s registration and tags. Can I please help her, she asks?

So after no small amount of muddling around first one layer of the site and then another, at least I find the online form I will be able to use to enter her VIN numbers, maybe SS numbers, and all the other details the site might ask for.

And you see what pops up–not the kind of thing that instills confidence that all this personal info will be secure. Email (finally) to report the problem: unanswered 24 hours later.

So is there a way to open the site and thereafter confirm I’m in a safe place to do my mother’s simple business? I should warn them, they don’t know what kind of licking they’re going to take if they make her come down there. Trust me, she won’t rest until she see justice done. And pulllleeeze: there’s got to be a better way than this to treat your tax-paying citizens, B’ham!

Ideas for where to go from here–for me or for her? Does somebody have a way to confirm the owner of the site linked above? Help!

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Well, the whois on the aletaps URL comes back with:
    3M Motor Vehicle Systems
    5151 E. Broadway Blvd
    Suite 1400
    Tucson, AZ 85711
    Phone: 520-790-7600

    Record expires on 13-Mar-2010
    Record created on 13-Mar-2007
    Database last updated on 13-Mar-2007

    A quick lookup on the company name shows 3M as in the big company that makes Scotch tape, among other things, like transportation software. I think it’s probably a legitimate subcontracted service provider. However, they did a terrible job of integrating that into their website.