Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Adventures at the DMV

Everybody hates the DMV. AAA members can get some DMV services at their local AAA offices, but sometimes, you just have to visit the mothership.

Yesterday, I had to renew my driver's license. I was reading an article online Saturday, about the new California "Real ID", and out of curiosity, looked at my license to see the similarities. And noticed the expiration date...my birthday...last month! After a few minutes of mental and verbal abuse, I went to the DMV website to see what I would need to do first thing Monday AM (probably the worst day of the week to go).

Honestly, after I got up to the counter and started to complain, I stopped short. I suddenly realized that although I'd waited for three hours just to get to the front door and another three and a half hours in a hard plastic chair, that the lady in front of me had been there doing boring repetitive paper pushing for seven and a half hours before I got there, and she had at least another hour and a half of this before she could go home. I felt a little sorry for her, the amount of paper she had to shuffle and rubber stamp (I can't remember the last time I saw anyone use a rubber stamp) just for a simple license renewal. And how many times had she had to tell someone that they could not renew their licence, registration or whatever, because they didn't bring the proper documentation with them. It's not her fault.

I heard several sob stories standing in line about how they'd stood in line for hours, only to have to come back or have someone bring them something they didn't know they'd need. Again, not the clerk's fault! I went on line, tried to figure out what I'd need, brought more than I needed and even studied six sample tests in case they asked me to take a written test. (They didn't). And my presbyopia hardened my corneas to correct the nearsightedness of my youth and I flew through the eye test. She mockingly called me a "showoff" Heh.

Success! They took my picture, which I'm sure will be horrible, and handed me an interim driver's license, and I was a free man again! Master of my own transportation, unburdened for the next five years! But again, next time you must pass the portals of doom, which is the DMV, put yourself in the shoes of one of those long suffering clerks, who suffer minor carping if not rudeness and abuse, because they require that you give them precisely what they ask for because that's precisely what they need to give you what you want.

One last thing...I thought I'd read online that the renewal fee was $33. It was $35. Thankfully, I'd made sure I had $35 in my wallet (although I was expecting change!)

In short: Be prepared. Don't go on Monday. Carry cash. Don't complain. And don't let your license expire before you renew it! Oh, and if you have to go on a Monday, take sunscreen, maybe a hat (I got a little sunburned ), consider a folding chair and the phone number of a pizzeria that delivers!

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