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Welcome to STop, the Seattle Times Opinion blog where our editorial writers and editors share their evolving thoughts on a variety of issues. STop is a place where opinion writers and readers can exchange views and readers can learn more about how editorial positions are formed.

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May 05, 2004

Keeping tabs on licensing

A reader calls from Silvana, in rural Snohomish County, with a complaint about the Department of Licensing’s new requirement that every citizen disclose a home address. The reader has his mail delivered at a P.O. box because he wants his personal information to be secure -- and because that’s the way he likes his mail delivered.

He bought a used car and now the state will mail the title to his home address only. He’s angry. “You’re dictating how I have to get my mail,” he says.

Yep. Thank Monorail for that. Because the Seattle Popular Monorail Authority has a car-tab tax on city residents, a number of Seattle people have registered their cars outside the city. Owners of jalopies and wrecks have done this for some years now, to weasel out of the emissions test.

Now come the Monorail-tax evaders. The upshot: You can have a P.O. box if you like, but if you have a licensed vehicle, and if your home is on a mail route, you must also have a mailbox at home.

By the end of the year, the state person says, the Department of Licensing hopes to have a computer system that can include a home address and a P.O. box, and have the tabs sent to the box. But they can’t do it now. Too complicated.

“We’re not trying to get anybody to go out and buy a mailbox,” she says, but that’s what it amounts to. One more bit of regulation.

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Posted by Bruce Ramsey at May 5, 2004 04:33 PM



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