This is a quote from "Hillel the Elder" from the first century. (I thought I was so original!)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Vehicle Insurance/Registration

These are the stickers on the trucks and cars that I am responsible for.
The bottom one is insurance and the top one is the road tax.

The mission had eleven vehicles when I arrived and now there are twenty-five to keep track of.
When a new truck or car would arrive I would get insurance and then be able to pay the tax.  It was clear when we picked them up at the dealership what had to be done.  However, sometimes the dealer would deliver them and they would already be insured and have the tax paid.  I made an error in assuming that each payment was for a full year.  The first of October three new vehicles were pulled over for not having current registration.  Kristi was driving one and not happy.  Her day stopped and a fine of 300 kwacha was required to get her moving again.  I then had to spend a lot of time getting the paperwork current.  The dealership had paid for only one or two quarters and not a full year.

One other panic that happens often is the date is misunderstood on the sticker.
The one below is not March 2015 but end of 3rd Quarter 2015.

Across from the post office (where you can register your car) is a row of mini vans.
These are the mobile offices for several insurance companies in town.  It is very handy as you must have insurance to register your car.

I asked if I could take their photo for this blog.  I got a 50% O.K. so this is the shot I got.

Our insurance company doesn't have a mini van out front so I first had to go to their new building.
I am sure we own most of it.

It is much nicer than the one I used to go to.  However, their procedures are still the same and very time consuming.  Below is my representative taking my check to the cashier and waiting while he copies every number on the check then calls the bank to see if there are sufficient funds.  Then he writes out a receipt for the check.  I wait at my agent's desk while all this happens.

This is the girl who helped me.  At the old building I always went to the same person but now it is a different person each time I come.  Fortunately she did not make me complete the task by bringing the new vehicle so they could visually see there was a new car.  That takes a lot more time and coordination.

Once I have insurance I head to the post office.  It was clear what line I was to get in as this was just past the beginning of a new quarter and most of these folks are like me and have out-of-date stickers.

Well, one more lesson learned for me.  Not everyone registers their car for four quarters.  It can be one, two, three or four.  I tried for five or more but that isn't allowed.
Some days I think I have learned all the lessons I need in Zambia - but clearly I am not finished yet and there are more lessons coming.