Hi Mr. Officer, The State Pennsylvania Has Got Me Covered!

You might not believe it, but even a good guy like me gets pulled over once in a while. Like yesterday in the township of Montclair. Of course I had no clue why, and initially I did not even think that the police was after me, but – driving on a one lane road – though he wanted to pass me by at first. Big mistake.

So, after two blocks I slow down, turn the corner, and wait until I am approached. Now, this was one of the tough looking Dodge Chargers, in disguise, and the officer who exited the car reminded me like Robert Patrick in Terminator II – so I was not taking any chances… we all know how you could end up then 😉

First violation: I performed a California Roll. Bad idea. Worse, I had not even a clue – it happens so automatically. Fine – fine. But then, I was in luck. Because the evening prior to that, I decided to test out the online vehicle registration from the State of Pennsylvania.

I had to, because when I bought my car, a year ago, although I did have proof of my registration, I actually never received my registration card. But when I renewed my registration the day before, you get such a nice little print-out. Nice.

Well, I thought it was nice. This officer did not like it one bit. Now, I am 36 and drive a Lincoln Town Car. Usually a car of choice for guys a couple of decades older or a taxi driver. I am neither, but coming from Europe, I enjoy the thought to drive a big American car. And I love the style of the older Lincoln Sedans. But it is not the first time I am pulled over, and get very questionable looks from officers when I mention I drive the car (voluntarily even).

Providing him a crinkled piece of paper, printed freshly, did not really do any good for my relationship with my new friend from the police force. Actually, after that I did get a huge fine for having both my GPS and my SiriusXM radio attached to the windshield with the message I needed to remove one.

And, of course, the fact that I also had let my driver’s license expire did not do any good for the total amount of the stack of tickets that I received.

But…. but…. but….

Yes! I am lazy! I admit it!

I wake up every morning at 4am, leave for work at 5am, and am home again around 4.30pm. After that I don’t like to go to the DMV and stand in line for hours and hours.

But then there is… PENNSYLVANIA.

Sure, it is not New York, but I live there now for the last 5 years pretty happily. Not only with lower property taxes, but mostly, I am so glad that the government there has a pretty good understanding of what IT can do for them.

This morning, while at work, I could easily renew my driver’s license, got another temporary one I could print out that worked as a companion for my expired one. Perfect. Sure, it would not make the officer happy if he pulls me over again – but I get everything done nicely.

Sure, the design of the websites of the DMV are crappy, but come on, it is a government website. It still needs to have the idea you don’t really want to be there – otherwise it would be too good to be true 😉

But not only all the car stuff, having my own company I also file my taxes online with them every 3 months. And even better, by doing so I actually get one extra percent rebate on my sales tax. 5% instead of 6%.

And it all makes perfect sense. The fact that I do not have to bother someone in the office with my time, adds to everyone’s experience. The site is very clear in what they need from me. And I know it before I start. No more unpleasant surprises after you waited an hour at the DMV and finding out you needed that other paper too. Saves me time, aggravation, and I have it. Oooooh…. instant satisfaction! I love you!

But also, the people at the DMV, or the local tax office, don’t have to deal with me. Because, if it is not about computers or things that interest me, I am a complete moron. I am the guy who always forgets everything when I go to the DMV.

And it saves a lot of money, time and resources. Simple. And I have to admit, Pennsylvania has my attention in the IT. Having worked a lot of times with governments in IT projects, I know most of those projects are recipes for disaster, but this one, it looks like it is done quite nicely. Not perfect, but nice. And nice is good.

Sure, there might be other states too that do this, but I have never encountered it done this way, and I like it.

Sure, it still will not get me out of the California Roll issue, but hey, it is a start.

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