DMV the Ultimate Equalizer

DMV the Ultimate Equalizer

DMV the Ultimate Equalizer
California DMV


DMV the Ultimate Equalizer: I recently had to go to the DMV to register my car. I really thought I could register it at AAA but I was sadly mistaken.  Upon my arrival at AAA I was informed that because I bought my used car from an out of state dealer I had no choice but to actually go to the DMV.  My heart sank at the news because I knew what I was in for and I was not disappointed.

It doesn’t matter who you are, what your schedule is, or how long your particular transaction will take.  You are checked in, given a number, and asked to sit and wait and wait and wait while numbers are being called in an order that doesn’t seem to make any sense at all.  C 87 is called before B 55 who knew?  You try to Make conversation with the people around you, even the ones that don’t speak English and they try to talk to you but then everything melts into silence five minutes later.  After all, you figure, you will be there for hours whether you have the time or not and no amount of gravitas is going to change that so why not meet some knew people.  Oh well, you tried anyway.

Getting back to my own experience, my husband and I  went on a Friday afternoon because we both had the day off. I know, the worst possible time but what choice did we have?  We brought the car, got our number and sat down and amazingly were called within a few minutes. I was already into my happy dance when I was informed that this was just one of two calls that would make my day.  I really didn’t understand why my particular registration process couldn’t be done in one transaction.  It would have bee so much more efficient but then again we are dealing with the DMV.  So the idea that I was going to have to apologize to the DMV for being critical before I even showed up were dashed when I was told to continue waiting after the car was verified. Who knew they would need to physically verify my car and the paperwork wouldn’t be enough? Did they think I was going to pay to register a non existent car?  I literally had to drive my car to a person who looked at and checked the VIN to make sure it was real. That person could not complete the process.  I had to go back in and wait again until my number was called again.  Bad luck for me.

Anyway, once the car was verified I was back waiting for my number to be called again. Now the real wait was on. My husband had time to walk to the supermarket to get us pastries and water while I continued to wait in total anonymity and silence.  After all, I had already spoken to everyone around me. Their numbers hadn’t been called either so they were all the same people.  Finally my husband came back with the water and pasteries.  That was diverting enough for about ten minutes but then it was back to surfing the Iphone.

Don’t they realize I have things to do kept running through mind.  Don’t they know I have other places to be that are more important than this?  Don’t they care? No.  The answer is no. I, notwithstanding my own self importance, am not important to them and neither are any of the other myriad people waiting with me.  You can be a celebrity, a baseball star, or just a regular person like me but you are the same before God and the DMV. There are no special privileges or short cuts. There are only numbers and time and it is the same for everyone.

I suppose on a social level it should and according to Jeff Hajek in his article in Velaction on April 26, 2012, when you crunch the numbers the time wasted by the population at the DMV could easily be calculated to be in the $15 Billion per year range.  Obviously, the more money you make the more you take out of the economy when you are wasting hours sitting at the DMV.

Needless to say, three and a half hours later, I was finally able to finish registering my car.  It has been fully verified, given registration documents, and license plates. The DMV has assured me that from hereon in I can register my car at AAA without any trouble or by mail.  Should I believe them.  I’m not sure.  We will see next year at this time when I have to update the registration. I’ll keep you posted.




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