Your car may be the most advanced piece of tech you’ve ever owned. The rear camera for backing up is 4K Ultra-High-Def — you can actually see the individual hairs stand up on the neck of the person you’re about to hit! It’s got heated pedals!

But you still have to crouch down in your dirty garage and stick tabs on the plates. How quaint. Someday we’ll have electronic plates that connect to the internet, and you’ll change the tabs by some super-convenient means. Take a picture of your car, say, “New tabs,” and voilà: There are pictures of bodybuilders on your phone because it heard “Nude abs.”

“No, New tabs.”

Searching for Newt Ads. OK, I found three advertisements for pet stores near you that sell Newts.


And then the tabs will be updated electronically. Won’t that be nice?

I got my tabs notice in the mail the other day, and, as usual, there are several ways you can go about renewing them, including mailing a check, for those of you who also like to put the harness on old Dobbin and take the buckboard into town.

Or you can renew them in person, which I always like to do.

I’m serious. Once a year, I get to sit in a waiting room hearing the robot voice of the government announce that they are now serving H 23, which means what? You watch to see who stands — oh, OK, he’s getting a tuba license. So that’s what the H is for.

It always goes fast, and the clerks are usually nice.

“Hi, it’s me,” I introduce myself, “the latest in an unending series of faces that blur together into a meat parade your subconscious erases every night while you sleep. How are you?”

“Mild institutional response.”

“Great. I’m pushing my papers across the counter now.”

“Peering at them and getting out my stamper thing.”

Having lived on the East Coast for a while, where the DMV employees wear bags over their heads because their hateful gaze turns men to stone, the efficiency of our tabs-renewal process is always a relief. But even if we had instant-tab update apps, I’d still forget to order them. I’d get pulled over and then frantically try to order the tabs before the cop got to my window: “Gah! What’s my DMV password? It has to have one capital letter and one number and the atomic weight of at least one element. …”

“Sir, do you know why I pulled you over?”

Saying “I forgot my password to update my tabs” will be the 2035 version of “my license is in my other pants.” And it’ll work just as well.