It’s Tuesday, 10:30 AM. I turn into the DMV near USC and drive 3 feet. There’s a dude parked in the middle of the lane. Oh good, there are cars just like his sitting around the whole lot, all waiting for a space. No way I’m dealing with that so I back up, get honked at 3 times for doing it, and try the other lot. Same deal. Why does everyone want the DMV today? Street parking it is, but the only space is a quarter mile away, and there’s a one hour time limit. Do I a) park here and hope my appointment means something and that I’ll be back in less than an hour, or b) brave the terror that is hell-lot, wait my turn, and assume I’ll be in for a full day of anger but not have to pay $40 for an expired meter. Hmm. That lot sucked. I park on the street. T minus one hour. It’s 10:41. It takes seven minutes to get to hell-lot. I MUST leave this place by 11:34 to avoid a ticket. I look at my note as I approach the entrance: “Report to second floor.” The doors automatically open, but the hall is blocked by one thousand people. It smells like ass. I weave through, trying to find the stairs. Maybe the second floor is a beautiful oasis with comfortable seats and English television for while you wait. Nope. There is one room on the second floor that could hold 100 people but instead there are 300. I wait in the one line to check in with the one guy. “I have an appointment.” Dude hands me a ticket. F-047. There are two queues…G and F. F are appointments, G are “Gee, I wish I had an appointment.” It’s 10:51. I stand there and wait for my turn to pay $24 and have a mandatory thumb print because I couldn’t send in my renewal letter. 11:04. For every F called there are six or seven G’s. 11:18. I start to think I’m not going to make it. How could the rest of this process only take 14 minutes? Finally I’m called. While I’m at the window, a dude asks my teller if he can pay her to skip the line. She does a sort of grunt/laugh and the man walks off. I get my renewal thing and the stupid thumb print which makes me think I’ll ultimately lose some civil liberty, and I’m out by 11:30. Nice. The moral of the story is that you MUST use the automatic mail renewal thing.

7 thoughts on “DMV”

  1. Hey you got off easy. Last time I stepped foot in the DMV I spent an hour arguing with the lady, her manager and another person that Alaska was indeed a state in the US and that I didn’t have to take the drivers test again because I was in fact a US citizen. Sigh. All other DMV transactions have been through the lovely people at AAA from then on. So much less hassle and faster.

  2. Some DMV transactions can be done at AAA, but generally registration-related, not license-related.

    Why anybody ever goes to that DMV location without an appointment under any circumstances is one of life’s great mysteries to me. With an appointment, I managed to replace a stolen license in under 15 minutes.

  3. When you have an appointment, whatever you do, don’t miss it. I did, and ended up waiting in the lamer line for about 2 hours – all to pick up a license plate. But, no sweat. I just used my Sierra Aircard and surfed and emailed the whole time. Talk about jealous onlookers, “Are you on the internet!?”

    When do you think the gov will allow hotspots at every DMV?

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