A DMV Rant

I’m going to have a DMV rant right now.  If you love the DMV or work there, then perhaps you should skip this post.

My license got lost sometime between Thursday & Friday evening of last week, so I needed to go to the DMV to get a new one.  However, it wasn’t just a new one.  It was a new license for our new home state in New England.  You see, I hadn’t done the state transfer of license since moving here 3 months ago, so the license I lost was from the Midwest, and here I am in New England.  I went online to our new state’s DMV, searched for what I would need to get a new license after having lost an old, out-of-state license, and thought that I was all set.  Chris picked me up after work at 4pm, and we headed to the DMV (which closes at 5pm).

The guy at the DMV kiosk asks what I’m there for, then tells me that unless I have my old Midwest license, then they can’t help me.  I will have to either request a duplicate license from my old state or get a certified driving record (CDR).  Oops.  So, we get in the car and head home.  Upon arriving, I go upstairs to search my old state’s BMV to find out how to get either the duplicate or the CDR.  A duplicate will cost $30 and probably take about 2 weeks to arrive, minimum.  In other words, Chris will be driving me to and from work for awhile!  So I click on the “CDR request” link, and lo and behold!  I can order it online through the myBMV website!  Hooray!  Not only that, but I can pay with credit card and get it instantly – double hooray!  I buy it, print out the PDF document with certified letter from the BMV state commissioner, and tell Chris the good news.  “Let’s get in the car and drive back over there – maybe we can still deal with this today”, he says (the following day was Veteran’s Day, so the DMV would be closed, making me have to wait even longer to get this straightened out). So, at 4:40pm, we hop in the car to zoom over to the DMV (again, it closes at 5pm).

Whew – we made it!  It is 4:48pm, and they let us and one other person have numbers.  I’ve got my passport, SS card, a check with our address, the completed forms, and the CDR.  The kiosk employee says it looks great and sends me on through.  I should’ve known that it was too easy…

I get to a station and immediately the woman gets suspicious about the CDR.  She says that she’s never seen one like it before (not surprising, since it’s from a state 14 1/2 hours away), and asks if I printed it off of a computer.  I explain to her about how I paid with a credit card not 15 minutes ago and got it off the government’s BMV website, where it specificially said that this was a CDR, not a copy, and that it could be used in lieu of a CDR picked up in person or received by mail.  She was still suspicious, but she filled out the information on her computer, got my signature, and took my picture.

Right at the end, she tells me that she’s going to have to check on something with her manager.  So, I wait and wait and wait.  And wait.  At one point, I look over and see her chatting and laughing with some of the other employees – and we are still standing there, waiting.  She finally comes back over and says “I’m sorry, but we can’t accept this.”  Apparently, to get a license in my new state, they need the CDR from my old state to say “date of issue” with the original date that I got my license (back in 1997).  The form that I had from my old state did not say “date of issue”, it said “effective date”.  I point this out to her and explain that the “effective date” is the “date of issue”, but she still says that she won’t accept it.  You have got to be kidding me!  It’s now 10 after 5, and I can tell she’s ready to scoot me out the door.  Too bad, lady.  I ask to speak to the supervisor, and get sent over to another station.

So, we go to the other station and wait.  And wait.  Finally, the supervisor comes out, and I explain the whole spiel to her again.  She’s sympathatic, but says that without a form saying “date of issue”, there is nothing she can do – I’ll have to request that my old state send me a form with that information, then come back.  O-K.  So I explain to her again that this is my old state’s CDR – there isn’t some other CDR that says “date of issue”, there’s only this one that says “effective date”.  Her reponse is that “maybe that’s the way it’s done in your old state, but not here.”  I guess I must look like a criminal, because she says that the date and address listed under “effective date” means nothing to her, that as far as she’s concerned, that could be the area for citations.  I point out to her the area on the form where it says “Citations” and explain that this is where citations would be listed (if I had any), and think that that should be explanation enough.  Nope.  She says that her hands are tied, and that without a form saying “date of issue”, the only way she could put this through is with approval  from the state capital.  So, I ask her to call the state capital.

Remember, the next day is Veteran’s Day, so the DMV will be closed and I really want to get this taken care of.  She gives them a call, all the while telling me that she doubts anyone will answer.  Only someone does answer.  She explains the situation, and right away I get the impression that the person she’s calling is irritated.  With her.  They ask “Does she have a CDR? (yes)  Does it list her license expiration date? (it does) Does it list “date of issue”? (no – it lists effective dates in reverse chronological order) Does she have proof of identity? (yes, a passport + SS card) Does she have proof of address? (yes, a check from her bank)  Then give her the license.”  Satisfaction!  She hangs up, says that it’s approved, and prints out my temporary license.  It is now 5:30pm, and while I really appreciate the fact that this woman stayed late to deal with this, I think that it is partially her fault.  I understand that not all DMV employees are such sticklers, but this struck me as bordering on ridiculous, don’t you agree?

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3 comments

  1. southern daze says:

    Bravo for making them address the situation and not allowing them to just scoot you out the door! Congrats on your new license 🙂

  2. PamperingBeki says:

    Oh.My.Gosh.

    This is why I HATE dealing with stuff like this!! It makes me crazy frustrated, I generally end up in tears, and beg my dh to take care of it all for me. I can’t handle it.

  3. Mamma Waldher says:

    Go Jenny!!!! I am soo proud of you!!!! You were doing everything correct, it was the employee not doing their job. I am soo proud of you for speaking with the supervisor and for demanding they call the state capital. Their job is to help you not hinder you. Perhaps this was a lesson to all DMV workers at this branch, let’s hope. And for you to be the “bringer of understanding” is fantastic, you who are super patient and graciously kind, hmmm… you are just the person to handle this situation with grace and bulldog determination to see the problem through while being patient. ahhh, I know the DMV is rough but I am actually happy to read of you encouraging others to do their job!!! okay so I’ve rambled I am just glad for you and your license and for your determination that reminded us to do our job 🙂

    how did your picture turn out ???

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