Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The DMV & Me

My driver’s license was up for renewal…an event that occurs every 8 years,

I usually take care of it by mail to avoid the bureaucratic hassle inherent in these types of governmental transactions, but I thought I’d better upgrade my photo because quite a bit of time had passed since it had last been taken.

I really have no idea how much time, but I’m thinking 20-25 years.

Wow…20-25 years, gone in a flash. I guess that’s what happens when you stop paying attention.

You mosey about, shuffling through life, minding your own business, trying to keep your nose clean...and soon you find yourself looking at a photo of some glassy eyed dude, encapsulated in the 80s.

The dude in the photo stares back at you with defiance and the unfettered judgment of youth, challenging you to reclaim your wild side; to walk out on the wire and stare into the abyss….

So I decided to take a trip over to the local DMV.

I was tired of looking at that former long haired slacker, not to mention listening to the snickers produced by security guards at the various establishments that one passes through from time to time that requires a picture ID.

“Were you really Sonny Bono?”

Like I said, it’d been awhile, but I was not totally unfamiliar with the set up at the local DMV. I’ve come across some people who now live in caves, that have actually survived their encounter, and with some therapy, have gone on to live mostly productive lives….except, like I said, underground.

Located in a downtown strip mall, the new DMV facility is now fairly modernized in comparison to the older building that had once housed it before the great flood.  The system in place back then was entirely different from today’s computerized world of online transactions. In the 70s and 80s, long lines were the rule and the expectation. And while they were not readily used, as much, the old, rusted arm and leg shackles were still attached to the surrounding walls.

Forgetting to fill out the proper bureaucratic form was a no-no.

The DMV workers, at that time, were all pretty much holdovers from the Truman administration, when friendly, governmental, customer service was not so much a point of emphasis, as “giving hell”, whenever and wherever possible, seemed to be.

But, as I said, that was then, and this is now. Thing are different; modernized, computerized, and…while I would like to say “pleasant”…let’s not get carried away.

One thing I’ve learned is that preparation and strategy is still a key to a successful DMV outcome.

Day of the week, time of the day, weather conditions….all significant factors in planning your trip.

My initial step was….

”Procure all proper renewal forms on-line”


“Fill forms out in advance”


And if I’d only remembered to include “Print Forms” on the list, I’d have been golden.

Well, you didn’t think I could get an entire DMV story done in one sitting did you?

Well, maybe if my mind didn’t wander I could…but here we are.

Next time I’ll let you know what I found upon my arrival and why I’ve learned that the FBI is my friend.

Just kidding…there’s no FBI involvement in this story whatsoever.

I just didn’t think you’d really care what I found upon my arrival….

The DMV & Me - Part 2

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