There’s got to be a better way. As car buyers in the State of Maine know, this requires a trip to your local city hall to pay excise tax and start the paperwork for your registration. Normally this is not a big deal. However, these are not normal times.

Due to the virus, appointments are needed in order complete this process at Portland City Hall (when business is not shut down by protests). After going online to schedule an appointment, the first one available to registrar a new car was seven weeks away.

I understand and appreciate the concern for the safety for city hall workers, but I believe there’s a simple solution that would lead to a win-win situation: Expand the current capabilities of the state’s online Rapid Renewal facility to allow for handling of the registration of newly purchased vehicles from the dealer.

Dealers could scan and post online all the required paper for the registration, similar to the way the documents are used to verify a Real-ID. Once the documents have been checked and verified the payment could be completed by any of several standard online payment procedures. This would save the register from having to go to city hall and allow the City/State to get their money quicker.

This is the 21st century. It’s time to complete the update of our State’s online vehicle registration payment system and save both citizens and public workers time.

Samuel Rosenthal

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