This week, I'm tackling car talk in a little mini-series I'll call Driving Me Crazy. For the next few days, I'll post related to one of my biggest expenses that I also consider a big pain in the butt.

Owning a car is expensive but if you live in a rural state like Maine (which is not well connected with public transportation options outside major cities), you have to own one.

Every year, car owners have to pony up some money to pay taxes on your car in the form of a car registration. You need to register your car wherever you have residence so there's no finding a better deal (unless you change cars of course). In my city, there are three options:

1. I can go to the DMV and the Town Office to pay.
2. I can pay $2 to do the paperwork online (need required documentation in front of you and access to a printer).
3. I can do all paperwork at the Town Office and be charged $3.

Waiting in line at the DMV indefinitely? I think most of us would pay a little extra to save some time. I tried to do the registration online only to find my VIN number on my insurance and on my registration didn't match. (I understand a "1" can look like an "L".) I had to go to the town office on my afternoon break.

A few things to consider:

1) Older cars are cheaper to register, at least in Maine (I'm not talking antique autos but old cars).

2) You'll pay taxes on "luxuries" such as air conditioning.

3) If you are willing to spend a little time waiting, you can save a couple bucks but in some cases you'll just have to go into a town office to register. (For example, my now-deceased father can only be taken off my registration if I physically bring in a death certificate.)

Fifteen minutes and $150 later, my yearly duty has been taken care of. In case yours hasn't, you have a three month grace period to get it done (this is according to a law enforcement friend of mine).

For more then you ever wanted to know about car registration, check this out.

Tomorrow on Driving Me Crazy: Why I'm Keeping My SUV

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