Saturday, May 15, 2010

No, You CAN'T Make this Stuff Up

Yesterday, Friday, was the last day for the annual safety registration of our car for 2010.  While the ownership of our car is registered in Zhovti Vody, because our residence is registered in P'yatkhatskii Raion, we must go to the office of the Motor Vehicle Police (DAI) in the "county seat" of P'yatikhatki.  To register, one is required to provide a safety diagnostic from a licenced provider and a health certificate for the main driver.

Tanya had gone to P'yatikhatki several weeks ago to find out what the protocol was for the safety registration and what documents we needed.  Last time it took 10 minutes to get out little card.  I had traded a box of chocolates and a jar of coffee to the local head doctor for her signature on a health certificate printed on what we used to call scrap paper and we didn't need a safety diagnostic. Because our car was new when we first registered it, we had two years before we needed to come back.  I was not new but apparently my health certificate could wait the two years too.

This time there was no fooling about the health certificate.  They had a new fancy blue form which was constantly in short supply. Mine has my picture and stamps approving me as healthy enough to drive trucks and cars but not public transportation.  Andrei and I went to the local diagnostic centre where they check the brakes and steering, turn signals and head lights.  We got an official print out, which I didn't read, but it must not have mentioned our cracked windshield (nowhere near my line of vision but illegal none-the-less) or the fact that no matter how often you set them up, the emergency brakes do not work.

We also needed a copy of our insurance policy, my driver's licences and the usual passport copies.  We were set.  Oh, yes, one small detail.  Andrei had a couple of speeding tickets from some time ago.  When Tanya first went to check, she found them posted on the computer under our car's registration.  They have to be paid before you can get the safety registration renewed.  Andrei paid them Friday morning in Zhovi Vody.  Because his residence is in the city, he has to pay his fines there.

I picked up the receipts from his home and Tanya and I headed for P'yatikhatki.  First, because the fine payment would not have time to work its way through the system, we had to stop at the office in Zhovti Vody which deals with all fines.  Tanya took the bank receipt to them and got another receipt.  By 2:30 we were in the DAI office in  P'yatikhatki.  We sailed through the first part but when it came time to deal with the fact the tickets were paid, we had a problem.  TWO tickets require TWO receipts, not one for both.  After some discussion we got a document from them that had to be stamped by the DAI in Zhovti Vody.

So at 3:00 we headed back to the city, got the required stamps and by 5:00 we were back in P'yatikhatki. Tanya walked in the door and the computer crashed.  This is the program with every vehicle in Ukraine listed, which prints out the safety registration cards.  We waited until 6:00 closing time to see if the computer would come back up.  N'yet.

Kyiv sent a man down this morning to check the computer as it was not the main program which crashed.  He turned it on and it worked perfectly.  The man at the DAI office called tonight to say he would meet us on our way through P'yatikhatki tomorrow and give us our card.


  1. And I thought it was getting bad in this country.
    You didn't have to give the doctor your underwear again did you? :-)

  2. Health certification to drive is a novel idea. We've got all of these old people that can't turn their heads but thank goodness they can still drive - there must be some benefit to all of that paperwork.

  3. I agree that both a road worthiness certificate and a driver health certificate is a good idea. But the health certificate didn't check my eyesight, hearing or flexibility. It checked my heart (ECG)lungs (for TB)and blood sugar (for diabetes). go figure.

    No, I didn't lose my short on this deal.

    May-B, we had to cross railway tracks four times and twice we had to wait for trains. the first time, I turned off the car and it wouldn't start (bad gasoline fouled up the plugs)and we had to wait 10 minutes. It just wasn't our day. The DAI guy said the computer crashed just for Tanya, too.

  4. Glad you agree with my comment on your May 12th post. All I can say is, "Yup."


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