Monday, May 4, 2009

DMV: A Debilitating Moving Violation?

Don't know if the same rings true in your state or part of the country, but here, in California, in Stockton going to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) offices is a debilitating experience. Thank God that most transactions, like typical renewals etc. can be done on the internet. But woe to those without computers!

First, the parking lot was full, so I had to circle the offices for several blocks to find a parking place on the street. I crossed one street just in front of a funeral procession, and found a spot about two blocks away.

There was a line about 15 deep outside the doors, and another 15 deep inside. These were the poor souls with no appointment. I had to fight my way through the door which was blocked by one huge white man and a black lady, and those pushing their way to get out. Luckily, I had the sense to make an appointment on their website before I went. The place inside was packed with nearly every seat taken by desperate looking people.

I elbowed past the mob to the desk for "Appointments Only", and gave my papers to the lady at the desk. I was given a slip of paper marking my place in line: A 005 and sat down.

About two weeks ago I had received a letter from DMV telling me I had to go to the offices to renew my licence, take a new photo, get a vision test, take a written test, and get fingerprinted, the works! You'd think I was registering for the FBI or the CIA! I mean, I could see getting the vision test and a new photo, but finger printed? A written test? Do we grow new finger prints at age 69? The questions on the written test were not easy, and you had to read each over carefully. I feel sorry for those who are not native English speakers. I barely passed the test with the maximum three wrong answers allowed. I guessed at all the rest, just like my students used to do on their exams.

Actually, I have to hand it to DMV because my wait was less than 10 minutes, and was treated cordially and efficiently by the staff. I even smiled this time, and opened my eyes on the new photo!

No comments: