They heard the “hosanna” all the way up in Sacramento

So I get this notice last December for my vehicle registration renewal. And it says (woo-hoo!) that I can now go online and pay via credit card. Convenience! Postage savings! Extra Yahoo! points!!

Only I can’t. After three tries inputting the renewal number printed on my form and my CA plate number, I get frustrated, give up. Try again in late January, rested and refreshed from my week in the cold and three weeks here getting over a cold. No dice. (I then tried paying via automated voice system over the phone, but telling a computer your three middle license characters are “G”, “P” and “D” is an exercise in frustration I’m not repeating anytime soon.) The voice then tells me that I can either mail in my payment or bring it to a local DMV office–but only cash, check or M.O., no credit cards.

Well, that did it. I immediately dashed off a letter brimming with (polite) righteous indignation demanding that an actual human DMV employee call and straighten this out with me, and enclose a check as a measure of good faith. And I think, “Yeah, right–like they’re gonna call. 10-to-1 I see my insane letter reposted on Craig’s List for the amusement of the R&R crowd.”

Only I got a call. Today. Make that TWO calls: Dan, the DMV guy, left a message, then CALLED BACK before I’d had a chance to reply. He explained that the system wasn’t set up to accept payment more than 90 days before renewal was due, which explained December’s comedy of errors. Neither of us could figure out why it didn’t work in January, although my transposing of numbers on my (polite) letter of righteous indignation makes me suspect operator error.

Anyway, Dan was sweet as pie and seemed very sincere in his desire to square things away. He stayed ON THE LINE with me while I submitted the form in its entirety.

The third time was, apparently, the charm, and I am now 158 points closer to a fabulous Marshalls gift certificate. Perhaps somewhere pigs are flying and I’m pretty sure someone in hell just threw on a sweater, but fair is fair: ALL HAIL THE CALIFORNIA DMV!