I have been to the DM V 6 times in the past month and a half. Only one of those times was for myself, to renew my license. THAT trip was easy as pie--I discovered a new license office in my county, much closer to home than the other one, and I was in and out in under 20 minutes. Believe it or not, the only DMV I've ever been to that was quicker than this one was the Drivers' License Express office in midtown Manhattan.
As some of you know from Facebook, my company received an incredibly generous donation from Honda---a 2008 Odyssey van. As Director of Touring, I am technically the company's point-person for our vehicle pool, so I was responsible for taking it to get registered and such. The first step was gathering information. Naturally, the laundry list of things you need to register a vehicle for a company (especially when it was a donation, not a purchase), is quite different, and it's not something the DMV deals with very often. For two days in a row, my coworker Lito and I stood in long lines just to figure out what we needed. Our boss thought a satellite office might be a better idea, so on the third day, we set off for Bessemer, Alabama, which is about 8 miles from the middle of nowhere.
Forgetting about the fancy navigation system in the fancy van, we used the GPS on one of our phones and ended up at a pawn shop. Finally we found the DMV, where we were harrassed by a man with a clipboard trying to get us to sign a petition without revealing what the heck we were supposed to be signing. Once we got to the door, we were informed that the tag and title office was closing for lunch and that our wait would be 2-3 hours.
I went back the next morning, explained what I needed to do to a nice man working the line, and was handed a power of attorney form and sent away.
Fast forward to today. I arrived at the DMV office at 7:15am and the line was already wrapped around the building. I visited with a couple of nice ladies in front of and behind me while we waited. They let us in 10 at a time. Once inside and through the security line, the wait was still over 2 hours. While waiting, I encountered some very colorful characters and moments. The couple in front of me who may have been all of 20 years old were making out. And I don't just mean kissing, I mean hard-core making out. I cannot think of a place on earth that is less sexy than the DMV at 8:00 on a Tuesday, except perhaps an infectious disease ward. GET A ROOM.
There was an elderly man who cut in line because he wanted to sit. On 8 different occasions, I heard him refer to different people as, "colored." And I died a little.
Once I finally got to the window at 11:15, the lady was trying SO HARD to be rude to me. I finally just stopped, looked at her, and said, "Look. I'm as unfamiliar with this process as anyone, but if you'll just tell me what you need, I'll get it for you." She chilled out a bit.
Finally I was done and back to the office, where I consumed a Lean Cuisine pizza as though it were the finest steak in the world, and treated myself to some extra caffeine.
And I hereby vow not to step into another DMV office until my own license expires in 2017.