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Sunday, April 13, 2014

DMV

Went to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) Friday to get my driver's license renewed. There is a short line at the front counter where the ring master verifies that you are in the right place for what you want and that you have all the necessary papers in hand to accomplish that. While I am standing there he makes an announcement on the PA system asking people to return their clipboards as he has run out. Within a minute his desk is awash in clipboards.
I get to the counter, he inspects my documents and issues me a clipboard and a number: 189. They are "currently serving" #125. I fill out my form, turn in my clipboard and notice that the number hasn't advanced. There are 70-odd people waiting and a half dozen or so people working, so it's going to be a while. It's a nice day, so I decide to walk around the building. It's a biggish strip mall; it takes me five minutes to walk around the building. We are still on number 125. Gah, there must be a clog in the system. I take another lap around the block. We're up to 130. Okay, I see how this is going. It's going to be two hours before my number is called. I go home, get some lunch, check my email, pick up a book and hustle back, because you know as soon as I walked out the door the clog became unstuck and they processed the next 50 people in fifteen minutes.
   Actually, no. They are progressing about one number every two minutes. I sit down and read a chapter in my book, but I'm not in the mood for reading so I get up and go exploring. There is a Harbor Freight store a couple of doors down as well as a Dollar Tree. I take a tour of both, but I don't really need anything, so I wander back. Eventually they call my number and I get to discuss my application with a pleasant young woman. Turns out I didn't really need two pieces of ID like they claim. My expired driver's license (which could hardly be considered valid, I mean, it's expired) and my passport were sufficient.
    Now the paperwork is done, all I need is my picture taken which entails another wait. This one is short, no more than five or ten minutes and then I'm all done. Elapsed time: two and quarter hours.

3 comments:

Ole Phat Stu said...

Whan does renewal / denial depend on Charles? Here my licence is eternal.

Charles Pergiel said...

I think it must be every 5 or 10 years. I think the idea is to weed out the old folks who are no longer safe to drive. Or maybe it's just to remind people to mind their P's & Q's.

Ole Phat Stu said...

Statistically, we old folks are safer. Testosterone-laden young males and drunks of whatever age are 3 to 7 times more likely to have an accident.