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How do you declare your time at an MTC?

Let's start with "What is an MTC?" That's an abbreviation for "Main Time Control". In general, you will only see these at the end of a day of rallying. This means that the very last control that you check in to is likely to be an MTC.

MTCs are still time controls, you pull in, hand over your card, there are signs, everything is very normal, except for one little thing: you can tell the volunteer what time you would like them to write on the card.

Normally, the volunteer writes down the time of whenever you actually hand over your time card. This time, however, you can request a time for them to write in. They'll write down any time you like as long as it hasn't passed yet. So, if it's 2:00pm, and you ask for 2:05pm, no problem. If you ask for 1:55pm, that minute has already passed, so the best they can do is the 2:00pm since that's the time now.

Now, pay attention, because you will still be scored on your answer. This is still a transit like any other and knowing your check in time is still required, like any other transit. So when the volunteer asks "What minute would you like?" the answer "Uhh... this one, I guess?" will earn you penalties, and here's why: the allowed transit times are usually a bit generous. For a transit that really takes 20 minutes, you'll often be assigned 25 minutes to do the transit, to give you extra time in case of slow traffic, traffic lights, and so on. Given that the transits are generous, you should always arrive several minutes early. At an MTC, if you say "Give me this minute" when you arrive, it's very likely that you're asking for a time that is early by several minutes. And each minute early is a one minute penalty. In this example, a whopping five minutes worth.

So the correct answer to "What minute would you like" is the check in time that you calculated, not the current time.