Monday, September 28, 2009

Oh how does the DMV suck? Let us count the ways.....

We all know the DMV sucks. That is no surprise.

The surprise is that the DMV doesn’t seem to know that everyone knows it sucks. Or they don’t care. I like to pretend it’s the former, for at least the removes vindictiveness from the process. And that makes me feel better. Somehow.

So the story starts at 1 a.m. in a town called Wilton. Wilton, for those of you not from Connecticut, is Native American for “So rich I live where you can actually see stars and, sometimes, a bear.” It’s rich. Not much happens. Except for rampant teenage drug use and aldutery. But we don’t talk about those things here. And the cops there don’t have much to do. Except, apparently, harass motorists and supply them with misinformation.

Here's the quick story: Family party. Few drinks. Not severe. 1 a.m. Sirens. Sir you’re speeding. Whatever. License. Registration. Wait. Wait more. Sir, your license is supended. Officer that’s impossible. Have you been drinking? Sobriety test? Suspended you say? Tell me more.

Yes my license was suspended, but I didn’t know. Stemmed from a year old seat-belt ticket in New York City. A seat belt violation! There’s no hate crime or crane collapse to worry about? Grrrr. Anyway, I couldn’t pay that ticket online due to a misspelling of my name by the cops. But no, they are not dumb.

So while I awaited my court date and settled up the suspension question (8 business days, handled by mail. Went seamlessly - Only the postal system can shine in the shadow of the DMV) I needed to obtain a non-driver state ID, also issued at DMV. Ug.

Line 1: Information line. Which turned out to be the lack-of-information-but-heres-the-form-you –need line. Okay, at least I’m moving forward

Line 2: Type your name onto this touch-screen computer that 15,000 Connecticut residents have touched since the last time Windex was in the budget. Okay, that’s cool, the picture part is done.

Line 3: Find out you don’t have the proper documentation by an unforgiving DMV employee. (But if you can go get a copy of your birth certificate today, you can bypass lines 1 and 2. Uh, what part of I don’t have my license don’t you understand)

(Go get my birth certificate; return hours later to line 3)

Line 3, Part II: Welcome back honey, what do we have here. Two copies of birth certificate. Excellent. Give me all your papers, and go to the license renewal line. I’m gonna give them all your documents. Huh? You’re keeping my birth certificate? Thank God I got two!

Line 4: License renewal line. With 45 of my closest friends. Hmm, that girl is cute. Yeah….you get your license at age 16… Well, her mom is cute. 45 friends, 75 minutes. Could be worse. I’ll have my ID when I’m up there.

Line 4.5 License renewal discussion (by the way, the license renewal line irony has not escaped me). Okay, everything’s here. We got your birth certificate (but a ha, I have two!), forms are good. Take a seat, doll, and we’ll call you up to have your picture taken

Okay, this is the part I don’t get. I took my picture. It was on line 2, remember, earlier today. I see the copy of my picture there and, might I say, I look kind of dashing.

Baby doll, that’s for internal DMV purposes, so we know it’s you handing in your forms.

Uh, don’t you have like the last five drivers license photos of me? Look, it’s the freshman 15! Right there!

They’ll call your name when it’s your turn

Well, it’s my turn after 45 of my closest friends have their picture taken. That one’s kind of cute right? No, the mom!



Wait more



Shit, was she before me or after me?

Who the hell is that guy? Where’s he been hiding


Mr. McFreeley?

Really? Where do you see the R in my last name. Just call McFeeley and smirk to suppress the laugh like everyone else. This is not Brett Favre where you can play games with the alphabet.

Behind the line. Look straight at the camera. No, honey, straight on. Not at an angle.

But. But that’s my good side. See, no wandering eye.

Straight on honey.


Wait with my 45 closest friends. Maybe that girl is 18. I could ask to see her new license. Then mom would get pissed. Damn. Decisions, decisions



What time is sundown anyway. I’m so hungry I could eat that fat guy over there. Or maybe that pen chained to the desk over there.


Ug. But wait – that means I’m done!

Grab the non-license ID from the license renewal photographer/bureaucrat

Hey, I’m a handsome devil.

So that was it. Seven lines, and seven hours (not including the birth certificate side trip) later I had my loser-you-lost-your-license-because-New-York-AND-Connecticut-DMVs-fucked-up state ID

My question remains. Well two questions. DMV – don’t you know your reputation? Wait, don’t answer that. Second question – why take my picture twice in the SAME DAY when you could have saved me two and a half hours of my life (that will be 400 dollars in lost work please – ha!) because of your “procedure”

I swear I need to run the world. Then you couldn’t get your license til you were 18. Only thing worse than bureaucracy is ambiguity.