Nearly two years since the Polk County Treasurer’s office opened from pandemic era closures, its post Covid efficiency is admirable. Unlike a sentiment I overheard today, the old way of doing this is, THANKFULLY, dead!
I recently transferred ownership of a car, had the new owner register it in another state, and returned the original Iowa plates to Polk county. Three transactions whose complexity had sent shivers down my spine at having to work through two separate government bureaucracies. In pre-pandemic days, I would’ve had to walk-in to the treasurer’s office’s motor vehicle division, obtain a number from those old school ‘take your number’ machines, sit patiently until called, and then do the business. Three times over. Here is how it went recently:
The county website laid out the requirements clearly, complete with simple, one-page forms. The instructions were in simple English, easy to follow, and the big blue button guided me to an appointment. Yes, a 15-minute window picked from a calendar. One I could schedule. When I showed up and checked-in, I was given my sequence within the 15-min window and promptly called to the counter. The agent was knowledgeable and verified all info and guided me to the next step.
Registration in another State
The other state did not have such a “modern” facility for its residents and the new owners sat in a waiting room, contracted by the DMV, for over 2 hours as the various paperwork required to register the car were validated.
Back in Iowa, I was instructed to simply walk in and turn in the old plates and registration for a refund of the unused registration period. I approached the reception desk and the representative, learning that all I was doing was returning plates for credit, formally received the plates and registration herself, recorded the date of transfer, and informed me of the time to receive a refund. In and out of the office in < 5 minutes.
I overheard a person behind me comment how Covid had messed things up and how you needed an appointment now to transfer titles. He was commenting because some one had walked in for a transfer and was guided by the same receptionist to the appointment process for the future AS SHE GRACIOUSLY MADE AN APPOINTMENT FOR HIM!
I’ll take today’s post-COVID formality over the past’s as the post Covid efficiency saved me time, money, and frustration. Well done, Polk County treasurer/MVD.