DMV Improving?

I had to go to the DMV this morning to renew my drivers license. To my surprise, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected. There wasn’t a huge line (possibly because it was on a weekday morning), and I didn’t have to wait more than a minute or so before being called to a window. For some reason, the guy that was working my window wasn’t actually there. I did have to wait a few minutes for him to return.

I was smart enough to have gotten everything ready. All of my forms were filled out correctly, and I’d already written the check. He was nice enough to ask if I’d be traveling in the next few weeks, and when I said I would be, he let me keep my old license. That’ll be a lot easier than having to carry my passport everywhere as proof of ID.

Funny story: When I was a kid (probably in 4th grade or so), I remember my teachers telling me about how bad it was in the Soviet Union. They said you had to carry “papers” with you any time you wanted to travel and that any authority could demand your papers on the spot. Is it really any different now?

Back at the DMV: Once my payment and forms had been processed I was sent to another window to have my picture and thumb print taken. Of course, nobody was at that window either and I had to wait a few more minutes. The lady that finally showed up verified my address, had me sign on one of those electronic devices that always turns my signature into mush, and then took my thumb print and picture. We’ll see how it turns out in a few weeks.

This is definitely the best experience I’ve had at the DMV. I was expecting that no appointments would be available for the next six weeks and that I’d have to wait in a 45 min. line before being helped by some grumpy idiot. It still wasn’t ideal, and I may have lucked out a bit.

Luck that kept me from being assigned to any of the windows where the attendants were more interested in steam cleaning their keyboards than helping people. The online reservation system must have been designed by some of the guys I went to collage with that never really got software design and had big plans to work for the state. So, is the DMV improving? I’m not sure, but I hope so.

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