Credit where credit's due: Indiana's BMV continues to surprise me; not only have they sped up processing at the License Branch locations, they offer many services online. I had procrastinated long enough that renewing my plates by mail wasn't an option and I assumed online renewal was likewise out.
Not so -- for a small additional fee, they'll expedite the process and get new plates to you, the hapless taxpayer, within three business days.
If (and it's a very big if) we're gonna have to shell out to get ID tags stuck on our own vehicles, at least the process is otherwise painless. The BMV didn't wish themselves into existence and they're not competing for customers against the Brand X BMV down the street -- so props to 'em for not makin' dealing with them any worse than it has to be. They were not always so user-friendly; the BMV of my teen years was like takin' a trip to the gulag, except not as nice and there weren't any meals, which was a pity since it usually took long enough you'd've wanted to bring lunch.
...Hard-core anarchowhatever types will snarl at me over this but there are better ways to cope than to kick and scream over every little thing -- and far better places to direct one's energy than against low-level bureaucrats who are doin' their level best.
When I was very young indeed and working part-time as studio help for a small cable TV company, we had a fellow from the Social Security Adminsitration, as stereotypical an accounting-type as could be, who did an hour program, live, one evening every week in which he would explain in great detail how to get through this or that arcane procedure at Social Security -- what forms you'd need, what documentation to bring, and so on. It was dry as dust and looked like it was a lot of work; I asked him one day if he got paid extra for it and he looked surprised. "No," he said, "I just wanted to try to make it easier for people to figure this stuff out."
Social Security is a crummy Ponzi scheme, a socialist institution of which I have a very low opinion -- but that guy is nevertheless one of my heroes. Given a preposterous job in which the ill-prepared run headlong into the inflexible, he neither quit nor became a cynic; he rolled up his sleeves and went to work. He was just a little nebbishy guy at a little office in a little town -- and he didn't let that stop him. I've got a lot more respect for a fellow who steps up than for the folks who sit back and sneer, even when I'm not impressed with his particular cause.
The future belongs to those who show up. See that you do.
2 weeks ago