Coolest online government service!

With the advent of technology, a lot of government sites have done pretty good stuff in past few years. Most of the stuff is pretty much about providing informations but I’m most impressed by couple of extra filing related services.

Just the other day my car got impounded. My registeration ran out and usually they send a reminder but I didn’t get it this time. Anyway, I got stopped for speeding and it turned out that the registeration was expired as well. So they impounded my car. I was in a different state than the one my car was registered in. For me, it seemed like almost a nightmare. I had very few options. Probably to rent a car, go to the state (adjacent state) where car is registered and renew it. Well, a friend of mine told me that you can now renew your car registeration online if you have the pertinent information on hand.

I went to a friend’s place and went online. It took me 10 minutes to renew the registration and print out the temp registration that’s good for next 10 while I get the actual in mail. Ha! I was happy.

I got my car back today. I tell ya’ there is no pleasure other than to sit in your own car, drive it, and be secure of the fact that if you get stopped by a car, at least it can’t be impounded. True that there is always something worst that can happen, exactly when you feel that worst has happened.

What other online government services have people used around here?

I’m a genealogist. So when about 3 years ago Texas put massive text files on their website which contained every birth from 1926-1998 (some of the early years didn’t have all births recorded) with those up until 46 having parents as well, all deaths for about the same time, marriages and divorces as well from the 60s to present I was so happy. I filled in so many family lines.

Unfortunately I deleted the several hundred megabytes of data thinking it would be up forever but they took it down shortly after since some adoptees used it to find out who their birth parents. Man, I’ve looked for those files but I guess no one wants to use up that much bandwidth. They did just recently put marriages and divorces back up though.

The U.S. Patent Database. You used to have to go to a designated Patent Repository (Like the Boston Public Library), or else send for patents by mail. Now you can call them up on your monitor in seconds, and print them out. Absolutely indispensable for looking up previous work in a field.

Fern Forest, you can still find most of that information here.

The “Do Not Call” list is pretty hot right now. It makes me suspicious that you need to give them your Email however. I wonder if instead of telemarketing calls, I get a shit-load of spam instead!:smiley:


“Lets get them meek bastards NOW!

DMV in Nevada does the same thing. Register on the web with a credit card, and they send the stickers in the mail. Also they posted all the forms you could ever need in pdf format. Download them, and fill them out before going to the DMV. Makes the trip much faster.

I have heard that some states also let you do searches for personalized plates online to see if it is already taken. Wish I could do that here. I want a personalized plate, but don’t want to spend the day at the DMV to find out that it is already taken.

You know, I think I’ll have to go through and reconstruct all of those because man do I kick myself for deleting all those files. You can also search through them at here. California also had births and deaths removed too which was also extremely useful to me. Forgot about them.
Anyway after that I would say second would be the do not call list. I can’t wait till that takes effect.

Topozone is also very cool. It’s partnered with the USGS so I guess it only sorta counts.

Earthquake reports are really cool too. There was a small earthquake off the coast of Maine earlier today. I keep waiting for the opportunity to fill out one of those “I felt it” reports but Oahu just doesn’t get them. But whenever there’s a quake inthe Pacific basin I head on over to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center to see what it did. We haven’t had a real tsunami in Hawaii since the 60s. Which is kinda freaky.

Library of Congress’ Prints and Photographs Online Catalog. Searchable, and for a reasonable processing fee plus a fee based on type/size, you can order prints. They have an amazing collection.

What’s the “Do not call list” link? Thanks.

Ohio’s BMV has an online search for personalized plates. Unfortunately, while it will tell you if a plate is not in use, that does not mean you can use the plate. It would still need to be checked by a committee to see if it was of unsavory character.

Do not call