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When I registered my new used van at the license plate bureau, I asked how much time the law allowed for me to get the van inspected. The clerk conferred with another clerk and then stated with authority, "As soon as possible."

Somehow that did not seem like a good answer. I asked the clerk these questions. Suppose I was driving it to the inspections garage right after I put a plate on it but got stopped by a cop along the way. Could I be given a ticket under these circumstances? Or suppose I had it repaired for a week so that it could pass inspection, and then drove it to the inspections place but got stopped by a cop. Could he or she give me a ticket?

Again I got the same answer. "Get it inspected as soon as possible."

Now, I was sure that the license agency would know the answer since they dealt with this kind of problem day in and day out. However, I also knew that "as soon as possible" was not a legal term. I was also certain that there was a specific amount of time that was prescribed by law once I had registered the old van.

So I rethought the question. "Who could give me a definitive answer?" I asked myself. "Why the police, of course, since they are responsible for enforcing the law," was the obvious reply.

So I called the state highway patrol. I explained that I had just bought a used van which had been sitting in someone's driveway for years. The inspection sticker had run out and did not need to be updated since they had not driven the car. Now, I was going to drive the car, but it seemed obvious that the law would allow some time between changing the title and putting on a license plate and having it inspected. Without hesitation the highway patrol told me, "You have ten days from the date of registration."

Now that was a real answer. And I was sure it was an accurate one.

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At Savvy Discounts Newsletter, we pride ourselves in giving you good accurate information. We will never tell you we know something when we don't. I would much rather say that I cannot answer a question that try to give a definite answer. I might suggest some ways to get an accurate answer, but I will not say I know something when I don't.

I feel that the key to knowledge is this: understanding the difference between what you know and what you don't know.

Many people and institutions are authorities in some areas and not in others. Often it is up to you to figure it out.

I thought the license bureau would know the answer to my question but it turns out they only knew the law when it came to tags and registration.

So when you go about saving money, make sure that you get full, accurate, reliable information from someone who knows, or someone who has thoroughly checked out his or her answer.

Anything less is a crap shoot.

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