Watch| Nick Stafford carried five wheelbarrows of pennies into the Department of Motor Vehicles in Lebanon, Virginia, on Wednesday to pay sales tax on two of his new cars. He said he wanted to give the DMV his two cents regarding a FOIA request he had made.
"Pennies weighed 1600 pounds"
The pennies weighed in at 1,600 pounds and was worth $2,987.45, he collected hundreds of rolls of pennies he needed and hired 11 people to help him break open the paper rolls with hammers Tuesday night.
Stafford also purchased five wheelbarrows to deliver the pennies which cost $400, paid 11 people $10 an hour, costing him a total of $840 in the preparation alone, affiliate WJLA reported. Not to mention, he paid $165 for three lawsuits and the nearly $3,000 he paid the DMV for his cars.
"Bone to pick with the DMV"
Stafford mentioned he had a bone to pick with the DMV, not about agonizingly long lines or a bad picture on his driver's license, but about 10 phone numbers. Stafford told his version of the story to the newspaper, it goes:
"Back in September, he wanted to know which of his four houses spanning two Virginia counties he should list when licensing his son's new Corvette. He attempted to call the Lebanon DMV but was routed to a call center in Richmond.
He then submitted an FOIA request a submission under the Freedom of Information Act that citizens, journalists, and others can use to obtain public government information to get a direct number to the Lebanon DMV, which he was provided. When Stafford called the number he was given, he said the employees at the DMV told him the phone line wasn't meant for public use. However, Stafford said after repeated phone calls, the DMV eventually answered his licensing question.
He then decided he wanted the direct phone lines to nine other local DMVs because his local DMV wouldn't provide those numbers.
So, he went to court to obtain them. The three lawsuits were filed against two specific employees at the Lebanon DMV and one against the DMV itself.
The phone numbers are irrelevant to me, I don't need them. I think I proved my point here.'
A judge dismissed the lawsuits on Tuesday and a representative of the state's attorney general handed Stafford a list of the requested phone numbers in the courtroom.
"The phone numbers are irrelevant to me," Stafford said. "I don't need them. I told the judge 'I think I proved my point here.'"
The employees chose to count the coins by hand, and if you were wondering, Stafford is within his legal right to pay in pennies. According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, "United States coins and currency are legal tenders for all debts, public charges, taxes and dues" under the Coinage Act of 1965.
As of 8 p.m. Wednesday evening, workers at the DMV were still counting coins and Stafford said he remained at the DMV until the counting was complete.