1. The Man sends you a piece of paper telling you it’s time to begin the process.
2. You take the paper and $9 to a building where they give your automobile the equivalent of a breathalyzer. They give you your paper back but keep the $9, and, assuming your automobile isn’t exhaling heavy fumes, they give you another piece of paper. You now have two pieces of paper.
3. You take these two pieces of paper to another building along with $49. They keep all three and give you a smaller piece of paper, albeit one with heavier stock, that also bears a sticker with a number. I’ve never seen this as a fair trade, but The Man says it’s fair, and that’s all that matters.
4. You peel off the sticker with a number — this part is very important — and stick it onto a thin piece of metal affixed to the rear of your automobile. You then take the paper they gave you, minus the sticker with a number, and place it in your glove compartment. You take out the piece of paper they gave you last year, possibly saying something trite, like “Out with the old, in with the new.” This is to partly assuage the feeling you have that you just got gypped making that 3-for-1 trade moments ago.
5. You can now legally drive your automobile for another twelve months.
6. Repeat process in one year.