I wanted to write this article for a while now, but got delayed so now it’s about the old auto tax in Romania (it kinda changes every year). Still, I doubt that much has changed about the people there.
A few months ago I bought a new car and went to register it. I had heard beforehand about the bureaucracy at the Ministry of Finance, and I was prepared to wait for a while. Still, in the hope that I would get away cheap, I went to the Treasury next to my home, but it turns out that first I had to have my tax calculated (even if it’s a simple formula and there is an online calculator for it). We’ll call this office 1.
So the next step is to go to the place where they could calculate it. There you have to go to a room(office 2) in order to get a form which you can’t find online despite the law requiring all such forms to be online; you have to fill the form and return it to the same office along with the other 5 copies of different documents you need in order to justify the request. They will give you a registration number, a place (office 3) and a time (or should I say deadline? I would hate to find out what happens if you miss that time) when you can pick up the paper.
When you come back, you find out that 10-15 other people were called at the exact some time (which, by the way, is in the middle of the day). After waiting for half an hour outside office 3, you finally get the paper that says how much you have to pay signed by no less than 3 different people.
From there, you go to the cashier to pay (office 4). Except… you can’t 🙂 Turns out the cashier is not actually a cashier (i.e. she can’t handle cash), so she only prints the receipt, signs it and then passes it to her colleague at office 5, which takes the money and signs the receipt again. And with that, you’re finally done with the Ministry of Finances, you can move on to the Ministry of Administration to actually register the car.
All in all, in order to pay some money you need to go to their offices in 3 different days (well, actually 2 once you know the drill), involve 7 people from 5 different offices, and move lots of papers with lots of signatures on them around. I think only writing and printing those papers costs more than 1% of the sum I paid. The salaries, building maintenance etc. are on the top of that. All this could be done instead with a single server and a website where you could upload a scan of your car’s identity card and pay the amount online. But not in today’s Romania.