The DMV Is My Own Personal Hell

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The DMV Is My Own Personal Hell

Ever find there’s not enough hours in the day? The daily 9-5 grind leaves a lot to be desired, especially when adult chores come into play. Need to get an oil change? Great, the only garage in town that doesn’t overcharge closes conveniently at the same time you get off work. I love the grocery store, but that’s at least an hour and a half operation from start to finish.

Weekends are supposed to be to relax, recharge and prepare to go back to work on Monday. That also never happens as there is always shit to do. I miss the days when weekends were for going out, watching football and nursing hangovers. Our fraternity chef, Jeffy, would take care of the rest. I could drop my car off over winter break, get all the necessary work done from my dad’s high school friend and use my mom’s car. These days, everything involves doing a balancing act, and I’m learning to ride the wave.

Recently, the Mrs. and I purchased a home. Any law abiding citizen knows that when you change your address, you have to go to the DMV and update your license within 30 days, and you have to go to the USPS to have mail forwarded to the new address. Three months after I realized I had to do this, I finally found time to go.

Really, I had no idea I had to do this. I went to purchase a new addition to my gun collection and learned I needed an updated driver’s license since my address changed. I’m a big fan of old guns, and the price was right at my local gun store. I probably could have just used my old address, but I’m not one to mess with the FBI.

It seems overdone to hate on the pillar of frustration that is the DMV. As someone that has a job due to state dollars, I usually give these kind of places the benefit of the doubt, knowing that the common folk don’t know or understand the red tape and unnecessary procedures and protocols that are everyday life as a government employee.

Last time I went to the DMV, I sat and waited for an hour while a Chinese national argued with the DMV employee as to why his Chinese driver’s license would not guarantee him one in the United States. The woman in charge of sorting people into the right lines had to inform this man that no, you can’t just get a license because you have one in another country. This took a while because the man barely spoke English and the woman was not very sensitive to that fact.

When I went to change my address, I knew what I was getting myself into.

After waiting in line for 25 minutes or so, old license in hand, as well as two bills (my student loans and Comcast) and a copy of my mortgage with my name and address on it about 85 times, I finally made it up to the counter. I thought my documents would suffice as evidence but I was promptly told that I needed an actual utility bill and that no, my Comcast bill would not work. Why the fuck would I pay that shitbox Comcast for someone else’s house? At this point in time, I blew my cool, told the lady, “I know it’s your job to make people hate you, but this is ridiculous.” I was met with no response. Just a vacant stare. I always wondered if the people from the DMV were made like Uruk Hai’s in Lord of the Rings, grown from the ground with black hearts, filled with despair.

For the life of me, I cannot fathom why having a mortgage signed by the lawyer that has my name on it would not suffice. It was easier to purchase a deadly weapon (albeit being covered in grease) than it is to simply change my address. The Mrs. pays utilities, so I had to then get her to sign a paper proving that I lived there, like I am some sort of tenant in my own home. What a time to be alive.

After collecting these documents and having to go back a different day, wasting more time I could be enjoying the short-lived moments I’m not at work, I again waited around 20 minutes, only to be told I didn’t have something. After arguing with the woman, she finally yielded when I showed her thirty pages of my name on the mortgage. From there, I sat in line for another 30 minutes, even though there were not that many people there. Ever go to a store with 15+ checkout lines, yet only two are open? Welcome to the DMV.

Finally, after being called I had to sign papers, wait another 15 minutes to get my picture taken, and finally, after another ten minutes get my license, the process was over. In all, updating my license took over two hours. Two hours! After driving across town, I could finally pick up my coveted new range toy, which took less than ten minutes, even after having to rewrite the form due to my terrible handwriting.

The DMV is an evil place — a place where time stands still. There is no sense of other people’s obligations; it’s like a public, government-funded version of Comcast. They have to know they are universally hated, yet do nothing to update policies to make life a bit easier on themselves or their fellow man. I did lose some weight, so I got to update my driver’s license weight and round up on my height… so I have that going for me which is nice.

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