Button: Pride 2020

This Is The Best DMV Revenge Story, Ever

Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
Imagine hating a government agency so much that you're willing to spend $840 to pay your $2,987 fee in pennies. Nick Stafford, who has been fighting with Virginia's Department of Motor Vehicles since September, did just that and has zero regrets. It all started when the Cedar Bluff, VA, resident called his local DMV to ask a question about car registration, he explained in a statement. He was rerouted to a call center in Richmond, VA. He then submitted a Freedom of Information request to find out the direct number for his local DMV, and was given that number — but told he couldn't call it. In the end, he got an answer to his inquiry, but it took the department forever to respond (Sound familiar?), and he complained that he was repeatedly given the runaround. He took the issue to court, filing three lawsuits, according to the Bristol Herald Courier.

"If they were going to inconvenience me, then I was going to inconvenience them," he told the newspaper. "I think the backbone to our republic and our democracy is open government and transparency in government, and it shocks me that a lot of people don't know the power of [the Freedom of Information Act]." But a judge dismissed his cases, so Stafford found another way to get back at the DMV: He decided to pay the $2,987.14 sales tax on his two new cars in pennies (that's nearly 300,000 coins), buying five wheelbarrows to deliver them. All those pennies — weighing almost 1,600 pounds in total — broke the coin-counting machine and the poor DMV employees had to count them by hand, reported BuzzFeed. The DMV was required by law to accept the pennies; after all, they are legal tender. It took the staff over 12 hours to count the coins, and a few employees even stayed late to finish the job. You can see them counting in the video below. (We feel kind of bad for them — it's not their fault Stafford had a bad experience.) How did he spend $840? According to the Bristol Herald Courier, he hired 11 people to help him break open the rolls of coins before delivering them. It took four hours to break them open with hammers, and he paid each person $10 per hour, which brought the total to $440. The wheelbarrows cost $400. And this isn't counting the almost $200 he spent in legal fees. In other words, this took commitment. But for Stafford, sweet revenge on the DMV was priceless.

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