Thanks, Texas, for letting me help you buy another inch of freeway

Well, I’m officially a Tayuxun (Texan) now. Got my temporary driver’s licence, which of course is a sheet of paper that will not fit in any known wallet, even when folded, while the permanent photo ID is 2-3 weeks away. Got my plates, which have little space shuttles (flying, not crashing) cowboys and oil wells on them. No cliche left unturned, in other words.

The plates cost 172 bucks (plus another 40 for inspection and emissions test). Seemed a bit steep and I tried to explain that I already had purchased my car and didn’t see why I had to buy it again from the state, which of course cut no ice with the nice lady. She patiently explained that the plates are actually collectible works of art, each set lovingly created by dedicated, world-class craftsmen who by one circumstance or another happen to be temporary residents of Huntsville State Prison.

Amongst the many premium features found nowhere else, especially in “them yankee states” she said, every licence plate is carefully forged from a single ingot of pure titanium, sprayed with several coats of bug splatter-resistant paint, includes reflective inserts of powdered natural ruby, and are constructed for years of service under the harshest combinations of heat, humidity and strip-mall parking. Best of all, no two sets are alike!

After that explanation, I had to agree that they were a bargain at twice the price.

So, that’s my day so far. Guess I have no choice but to do some work now.

Howdy and welcome!

Enjoy those purdy plates! You DO own a truck or SUV, right?

Does anyone know how many states don’t have reusable plates?

Look, just be glad you didn’t have to register a car in Minnesota.

Congratulations on joining us in the finest state in the Union, El_Kabong! :smiley:

Where exactly is “Spider Ranch, Texas?”

I ask because it sounds to me as if you’ve encountered what I fondly call The Walking Texas Cliche. And since I work at a tourist bar that caters to 90% out-of-state visitors, people are always disappointed and confused b/c they haven’t encountered The Walking Texas Cliche yet. The one they’ve seen in all the movies…the one they thought was everywhere.

I tell them they’re in South Texas…that the Walking Cliche is found further north, perhaps a bit west…usually in small dusty towns with names like “Paris” and “Lucky” and “Diboll.” I am sorry, I say, but yes, I am a 5th generation Texan, and yes, this is my “real” accent. No, I don’t say “howdy.” No, I’m not from “the midwest,” even though you think I sound “too normal” to be from Texas. No really, all of my friends sound just like me. No, they’re Texans too.

Yes, I’m “from here.”

So I was thinking if you could perhaps direct me to the lady you encountered when purchasing your plates, she would satisfy this primitive need to encounter The Walking Texas Cliche.


What brings you here?

I still like my old Sesquacentennial plate that I had in Houston from 1986. I kept it.

Way cool.

I still like my old Sesquacentennial plate that I had in Houston from 1986. I kept it.

Way cool.

I still like my old Sesquacentennial plate that I had in Houston from 1986. I kept it.

Way cool.

Not too far from Conroe. Old family place, been runnin’ arachnids on it for generations (of the arachnids, at least). Raise 'em, rope 'em, ride 'em.

Montgomery County Courthouse Annex, The Woodlands.

Actually, the Other Nice Lady (at the DPS office in Conroe where I applied for my licence) had a distinct New Yawk-area sound to her diction. Oh yeah, and after I signed everything she said “welcome to Texas”, so I guess I’ve officially been greeted by the state. Colorado and California never did that.

And my not-actually-a-girlfriend is from down around McAllen, and no one I’ve met from there seems to have anything like the WTC accent either. So there you are.

I still like my old Sesquacentennial plate that I had in Houston from 1986. I kept it.

Way cool.


I’ll shut up now.

So, NoClueBoy, how’d ya feel about that Sesquacentennial plate they issued back in '86? :smiley:

$172? I don’t think that’s the worst by far. IIRC, Indiana plates were running $500 when my parents lived there…and they weren’t even made of gold.

The Valley has is own accent and set of rules, btw. But, you already found that out, I’m sure.

I liked the Woodlands. Pretty. Lots of money there, too. I learned a lot from some old timer tradesmen while on Woodlands jobs. (River Oaks, too…)

Man, there ain’t nothin’ like the color of green you have out there right about now. A firend of mine from Tomball had a cabin out on Lake Conroe. Surrounded by trees, gorgeous. (Damn it all! Now I’m getting home sick.)

I’m guessing that it’s somehow due to registering your car for the first time in that particular county or transferring the title to Texas.

Short of registering a car in my own name for the first time, I don’t recall ever paying more than $50-60 for the sticker/plates, and I’ve lived in several Texas counties. You have to get new plates every 5-6 years, but they’re only like $5 extra.

Here’s the registration fee info:

I agree- those new plates are atrocious. If they bug you that much, there are a whole set of special-interest plates that cost more, but don’t look quite so obnoxious.

As I recall, in Florida, plates have to be replaced every 5 years because the 3M reflective coating on them wears off after that time. That’s the official line, anyway. Texas might use the same coating.

I’m moving from New York to Texas in 27 days, at which time I will need to get a new license and registration on a car that is currently in my father’s name, so I’ll need to get a new title on it and stuff too.

If I walk out of there having spent only $200 I’ll be pleased.

Actually, you need to replace licence plates every 7 years in Texas. I too am confused about the 172 bucks, as each year I only have had to pay about 57 bucks. Maybe you have one of those fancy Cadillacs with the Longhorns in the front. Or maybe luxury cars in general cost more. I drive a simple Ford Ranger.

Consider yerself lucky, bud.

Last year, I moved from Texas to North Carolina. Not only did I have to do the whole re-register and new license plate thing (and the new plate[li] cost me about twice what it cost you), but even after all that, a couple of months later I got a PROPERTY TAX bill for my l’il car for another $200 that I have to pay before I have the pleasure of re-registering next month[]!).[/li]
[li]Mind you, I do really like that in NC we don’t have to wear a front plate; I have not, however, yet decided on a suitable front plate.[/li]
]Unless I get the position in Kentucky I’m interviewing for next week! Shhh… Don’t tell!

Man, I only pay $40 bucks!

FTR, you may replace them after five years. You must replace them after seven years.

Natives, should we tell the OP how hot it gets here? :smiley: