Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Registering a Car - Part 1

The following are the continued steps we had to take to purchase our car here in Bolivia and get it registered:
- Then came the process of registering the transfer of ownership of the car.  The first stop was the mayor’s office.  We had to make a copy of all the ownership papers and the purchase contract that had to be submitted there.  The line there was very long and it took all morning to finally get to a reception window where we submitted the required papers.  We were then given two documents.  One was a bill for the taxes owed for doing the transfer.  The other was a document to turn in to the Motor Vehicle department so that they could legally register the car purchase with the government. 

- We got into another line at the Mayor’s office to pay the taxes owed for the transfer of ownership.

- With the receipt for the tax payment in hand we made another copy of all the documents and then went to the Motor Vehicle department.  When we got there we saw on the wall a long list of requirements for getting the car registered.  We already had most of the required documents, but there were two that we didn’t have.

- The first requirement that was missing was a vehicle inspection.  When we got to the location of the vehicle inspection with the car, they had their own list of required documents in order for them to be able to make the inspection.

- We went to get the required documents for the vehicle inspection and the next day returned to the vehicle inspection site.  This time we were successful in getting the vehicle inspected.  However, the vehicle inspector told us that we would have to get photos of the small plate located on the inside of the windshield which had the number of the motor on it and also a picture of a sticker located on the door frame of the car. 

- We went back home and I took the pictures of the two items that had been requested and printed them.  The next day we took the printed pictures back to the inspector and showed them to him.  He rejected them and said the pictures had to be done by a professional photographer. 

- We found a photographer who took the pictures, printed them out, signed his name to them and this time they were accepted.

- We had to wait a couple more days for the vehicle inspector’s report to get sent back to the Motor Vehicle department.  When we returned there, we were told to go up to the third floor in order to obtain the other required document that we still did not have.

- At the office on the third floor we were told that in order to get the document that we needed, we would have to go to a different office called SENATER in another part of town.  At this office they would send a telegram to the city where the car had been previously registered in order to get a copy of the former registration papers.  The officer signed a paper giving the order for the telegram to be sent.

- We then drove to the SENATER office where telegrams were sent from and gave them the signed paper that we had received from the officer at the Motor Vehicle building.  We paid their fee and they gave us a receipt and told us they would call us when the answer came.

- Three days later they called us and told us to go back to the Motor Vehicle department in order to get the answer.  So we went back to the Motor Vehicle department, went back up to the third floor and asked the officer there for the answer to the telegram.  He replied that he did not have the answer.  We would have to go back to the SENATER office in order to get the reply.  He signed another paper authorizing SENATER to give us the reply.  Then off we went back to the SENATER office.

- The SENATER office did indeed have the reply to the telegram.  The reply stated that they were not going to send the information by telegraph.  Rather we would have to go personally to the city of Cochabamba in order to get the required registration documents. 

- So that I would not have to interrupt my classes, Francisco and I went to a lawyer’s office and I had a power of attorney document written up for Francisco.  He was then able to make the trip to Cochabamba with out my needing to go along. 

- When Francisco got to Cochabamba, he went to the Motor Vehicle building there and inquired about the registration document that was needed.  He was told that the only officer who could do the search for the required document was not there that day. 

- Since Francisco did not want to wait around possibly for several days until the officer in question would return, he asked around and was able to get the phone number of the officer.  He called the number, but a family member answered.  The family member said she would try to find the officer, which she did.  The officer agreed to go with Francisco to the Cochabamba Motor Vehicle office to search for the required document.

- When they got there, the search began through a whole room full of file folders.  The officer examined the file folders one by one and he allowed Francisco to also examine each folder.  After four hours of searching they both concluded that the required file was not there.  The officer then made some calls and discovered that the former registration documents were actually in Santa Cruz.

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