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North Carolina does it backwards now. You pay the yearly County tax on the vehicle when you get your tag renewed. They make sure to get the tax before you get a tag or title.
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Would've made a lot more sense to call your local Dept. of Motor Vehicles branch...
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On 9/17/2015 3:48 PM, Doug Miller wrote:

ROTFLMAO! Perhaps *your* DMV is more "consumer friendly" than most of those that I've dealt with over the last several decades! I'd imagine a long wait on the phone -- followed by a dubious answer (with no "guarantee" of accuracy... sort of like calling the IRS!)
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On Thursday, September 17, 2015 at 8:20:56 PM UTC-4, Don Y wrote:

My local DMV office is very "consumer friendly" and my recent title/registr ation questions asked via the main DMV phone number for my region were answ ered accurately and efficiently. Granted, getting through was tough at time s. The hold times weren't long because you simply are told to call back lat er. Actually, that's even more frustrating, because I can sit in my office and work while on hold, hanging up whenever I want. It's more annoying to h ave to keep calling back.
However, the local office is pretty good. I have registered 2 used vehicles in the past few months. In each case, there was a problem with the paperwo rk (sort of my fault). In one case I had to get a different Bill Of Sale wh ich was going to take me a few hours. The nice lady at the counter gave me a rain check so that I wouldn't have to wait on the main line once I had th e paperwork. I could get a window number immediately. The second time I nee ded a different insurance card, but my agent's office didn't open for anoth er 20 minutes. The (different) nice lady gave me the fax number of that DMV office, told me to call my agent and have her fax it to the DMV and then c ome right back to her window, "don't wait in any lines." I was in and out i n a matter of minutes, even though the line was out of the door.
I grew up in NYC, so I know what a brutal DMV experience feels like. Unfrie ndly, unhelpful employees, long customer lines, hot crowded offices. It's n ot like that where I live now.
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On 9/17/2015 6:06 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

I've only had to visit the local DMV (here) twice (at least, for *my* needs) in the past ~20+ years. Once for a DL, and again for a DL renewal (I think when the Feds instituted the new DL requirements; I recall having another photo taken, etc.).
Unlike other places I've lived (New England, Midwest and West), a DL is issued "until you're 65" -- none of this renew every 4 years sort of crap. And, other places seemed to like to zing you with tehnicalities: "Oh, you forgot to bring your birth certificate? Gee, you'll have to come back another time..." "Hmmm, this birth certificate isn't *notarized*. You'll have to fetch one that *is*..."
When SWMBO moved, she contacted DMV regarding getting a new license with her updated address: "Oh, sweetie, just write your new address on a slip of paper and attach it to your DL with a paper clip..."
[Yikes!]
The last two vehicle purchases had titling all handled by the dealer so we just waited for a title to appear in the post. We kept the plates (transferred) so didn't even have to pick those up.
OTOH, I've had friends who've been spontaneously notified that they must have new photos taken (!) and had to sit through the process.
The local office is probably the size of a football field. With a "split" in the center ("50 yd line"). You roll the dice when you decide where to sit -- you may be serviced by staff on either side based (apparently) on some random criteria (e.g., whoever is FREE when it's your turn).
There appears to be some specialization involved among the staff as you will often see folks who arrived *after* you getting serviced long *before* you! Observers failing to realize this would undoubtedly sense some "unfairness" in the system! They try to push folks to their web portal -- though we're not keen about doing many things "on-line". You never know *where* your packets are being routed/processed.
[E.g., our local library is serviced by a firm in *Canada*! What privacy guarantees are *they* required to observe?]
As with most bureaucracies, it's not something I'd want to deal with unless I absolutely *had* to!
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It seems that most if not all states are amassing huge databases of facial recognition data. Real police-state stuff. To do this they need high-res digital photos. (Of course they assure us the data won't be misused, will be protected, etc. Maybe they have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell us as well.)
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On 9/18/2015 5:24 AM, Roger Blake wrote:

Yes, that was the assumption I made. A neighbor was told she had to have her photo retaken "because she was smiling" (?) Perhaps they assume most people RARELY smile and want the recognizers to work with your face in its "normal", grumpy state! :>
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Fortunately there are countermeasures to facial recognition. Even wearing large mirrored sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat can be enough if there is not already an identified facial image of you wearing those things in the database. There are even active sunglasses using near-infrared LEDs under development that will prevent the cameras from recognizing that a face is present.
As the police state and corporate interests continue their inexorable encroachment on our liberties in the U.S. It is definitely going to become more difficult to preserve a modicum of privacy.
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On Sat, 19 Sep 2015 14:54:27 +0000 (UTC), Roger Blake

If you were wearing that the last time you were in the casino, they have it.

What privacy? Everyone got their panties in a wad over the NSA but Goggle knows a whole lot more about you than the NSA and they read/analyse every byte of thor Gmail if you use it. I imagine most "free" email services do. We are the most spied on populatrion in the history of the world and the computer power makes all of that information searchable, unlike the Stasi in East Germany that collected reams of data that they could never actually use.
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But at this time they don't have a name attached to it unless you voluntarily give it to them. (Also if you use active glasses their cameras will have difficulty even identifying a face.) The concern is now that government is collecting facial recognition data into a huge database you'll be able to be identified by name, address, etc. No doubt this will ultimately be sold or leaked for corporate use.

No, Google does not, since I do not use any of their products or services.
It is still possible to have a modicum of privacy if you work at it; and there are things you still have control over. For example, I don't use any Apple, Microsoft, or Google products or services. For my primary email I run my own mail server. I do not participate in any social media. All local purchases are made in cash, and online purchases are rare. I do not use a smart phone. (It's not really an effort, really I'm just continuing to live the way I have for decades. For me it would be strange to live any other way.)
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On 9/19/2015 12:38 PM, Roger Blake wrote:

Is Roger Blake your real name? Google has 33,000,000 hits on it. One of them may be you.
You do kep a low profile, but if you ever had your name in the newspspwr or the like, they may have something.
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On 9/19/2015 9:56 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

In the late 70's, I worked for Kurzweil Computer Products. We made a machine that "read books" (or newspapers!). It was oriented towards visually impaired users (Xerox now owns the technology).
Imagine (remember, this is 40 years ago!) someone sitting down and placing each page of each major newspaper on the scanner, waiting for it to "read" the text on that page, feeding that text into a database that notes the publication, date, page number, etc. for later (or current!) analysis.
Imagine MANY of these machines (they weren't particularly fast) staffed by an army of GRUNTS. I.e., even without access to the typesetting equipment of these newspapers, you could still get "current data" in essentially "real time"! Store a photographic copy of the page as you are scanning it (TIFF) and you can then have a human analyst "review" any articles that a machine has deemed interesting (e.g., look at the photos associated with the article).
With todays technology, you could *photograph* pages quickly and scan them just as fast -- without resorting to a serial, mechanical "scanner".
But, you're doing this every day just to remain "current" with the latest publications. When does the volume of data overwhelm your ability to process it in a meaningful way?
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That would be telling. :-) For the sake of this discussion you may assume that I don't use real names in anything online. It is not an uncommon name in any event, there's even a UK actor by that name. Maybe that's me? (Probably not.) Anyhow if it's real someone would have to check quite a few people out.
I'm not completely off the grid by any means of course. That's why I say a "modicum" of privacy. You'd pretty much have to live in a shack out in the woods to be completely anonymous. I just believe in making whoever might be interested work for the information rather than simply handing it over to them. (One example is I do not receive any targeted ads. How I spend my money is nobody else's business. Never even received an AARP invite, and they're pretty relentless.)

Hasn't happened. Likely won't except for possibly an obituary after which it won't matter to me much. The young people out there are the ones who are really going to have to deal with the consequences of living in a full-blown police state.
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On 9/19/2015 11:36 AM, Roger Blake wrote:

*This* is the clincher! folks who voluntarily GIVE AWAY information! It *obviously* has value -- else others wouldn't WANT IT! So, why would you just give it away? Unlike something tangible, you can never "get it back"!
And, giving it to folks who will then easily make it accessible to others is doubly stupid! *They* make money off of something you've SURRENDERED to them!

Buy a car, own real estate, get a divorce, have someone name you in a lawsuit, have a driver's license, accept a package from UPS/FedEx, win an award/honor, participate in a charitable organization, own a business (or be an officer of any institution), etc.
I was contacted by a "strange woman" some years ago. She made an inquiry into one of my *aunts*: "Do you happen to know _______?"
Being careful to protect *other* people's information, I was coy and didn't directly respond: "Who are you and why are you asking?"
Turns out, she was a child that my aunt had given up for adoption some 40 years earlier. So, she had gained access to her birth mother's name (which is protected, by law!), managed to research her mother at the time of her own birth, identify any relatives and then find me -- her "cousin" -- on line.
[The last part being relatively easy -- I don't try to be "anonymous"; rather, I just want to be "hard to contact". E.g., list your phone under a different name, use a *private* postal box (not a POBox as those have rules regarding how the information can be disclosed)]
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That's it. Obviously if someone thinks I'm interesting enough they'll be able to do some digging and put some things together. I'm not going to willingly hand over the info though, whoever wants it is going to have to work for it.

For those sufficiently serious about it there are ways around that too with dummy corporations, holding companies, etc. They can be penetrated of course but someone will have to work at it.

Pretty much the same thing I'm after. I'm not naive enough to think that nobody would be able to put some pieces together. I just don't hand it all over on a silver platter.
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On 9/19/2015 12:16 PM, Roger Blake wrote:

Again, that just draws attention to yourself. "What are you trying to hide? Why are you taking these elaborate, co$tly steps? Why not just do it the way 99.999999% of the population does?"

What is amusing is how easily people are intimidated/cowed into disclosing things that they don't have to. When I moved here, a couple of ladies showed up on the front porch one day to inquire as to my "religious delusion": "I don't see how that's any of your business!" "Well, are you at least *Christian*?" (Hmm, I guess Christian must be the bottom of the barrel given their use of the phrase "at least") Again, "I don't see how that's any of your business!"
I guess I didn't realize that it's acceptable practice to knock on strangers' doors and ask highly personal questions! Had I known, at the time, I'd have asked them of their sexual activities and preferences, perhaps they were gay lovers? Or, perhaps they'd *like* to be?? :>
In previous locations, the "Welcome Wagon" lady would show up with a fruit basket and book of coupons: "Sorry, I don't like fruit! And, coupons are such a PITA to keep track of!". Then, close the door.
(No, you don't need to know my name, how many folks are in my family, what we do for a living, religious practices, etc. And, you expect us to forfeit all of this "intelligence" for a basket of dubious fruit??)
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On 9/19/2015 3:01 PM, Don Y wrote:

Much of the law has been changed. Both our kids found their birth parents easily when they wanted to.
My ex BIL had a daughter show up at his door 20 years later too. Surprise!
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On 9/19/2015 1:06 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

It depends on the state where the adoption was recorded and the agency (or private individual) involved. OTOH, with a bit of work, you can bypass these restrictions; or, find a "sympathetic soul" to drop a name or two.

That's what my "cousin" eventually did. And had the door closed in her face.
My wife's SinL found out late in life that she was adopted and had a similar experience.
This is another one of those "tough" issues to address. Folks give up kids with the understanding that they can put it behind them. Then, later, someone (legislator with no skin in the game) decides the rules should retroactively be changed.
I think, nowadays, even places that keep records sealed will initiate contact on your behalf and, if welcomed by the birth parent, either facilitate communication (acting as a proxy) *or* exchange identifying information.
There's an argument to be made for facilitating the exchange of medical history (esp if it is *updated* medical history! Who cares what ailments your birth parents DIDN'T have when they were 20! More important to know what they have as they approach "Carrousel" [sic]!
OTOH, I'm told much of this information can now be determined without "history". Of course, at a cost!
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On 9/19/2015 9:38 AM, Roger Blake wrote:

The problem runs the other way: companies collecting data (because they can, legally -- part of the terms of use that you acknowledged but didn't read0 and then the gummit accessing that data (search warrants, voluntary disclosure, patriot act, surreptitious hacking, etc.).

Do you avoid contact with EVERYONE who has a gmail account? Are you sure someone hasn't forwarded one of your messages to someone else who does?? Are you sure MyISP.com isn't subcontracting their mail services to Google??
Have you avoided every web site that uses scripts supplied from other domains (googleadservices, ackamai, etc.)? Does your IP address change frequently? MAC address? Do you alter the fingerprint of your web browser with each HTTP request? Do you ever click on links (which provide referrer tracebacks)? Does your ISP share information with others (warrants, voluntarily, etc.) without your consent?
There are many articles that decry the absurdity of "anonymous" data sets; showing how many of them fail to truly hide identifying information.

My eyes opened when I was in school (70's) and exposed to the capabilities of (at that time, newly modern) technology.
My sister suspected my BinL of being unfaithful. Looking at *her* phone records (which also covering *his* phone use), it was easy to show which days he had CLAIMED to be "at work" -- yet was dozens of miles from work! It was possible to actually track his travels along the roadways by noticing which cell towers handled his calls along the way!
Looking at the phone numbers involved made it pretty easy to sort out *who* he was "meeting up with".
Likewise, look at the credit card transactions on those days and times and you can further confirm the "evidence" from the phone record.
"Oooops!"
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My ISP for email is myself. :-) I use a variety of different email addresses for different people and different purposes. (I'll use one-time throwaways on free services sometimes just to sign up for something and then don't use that account ever again.
It's not perfect, but I don't just hand information over willingly. Someone is going to have to do some digging and analysis.

I use a browser armored to the hilt where I control who can run scripts and what other domains can be contacted. I use a foreign-based VPN service that offers quite a few exit points and keeps no logs. Yes, I have an addon that randomly changes the browser fingerprint. My ISP has no idea what goes through my home connection beyond initiation of the VPN tunnel. They have no information to share.

Another good reason to pay in cash.
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