17 August 2012

#22 In Line

As we settle into this next chapter of our lives, entitled 'The New England Experience,' we are wrapping up the last few things.  One of those was probably the most arduous.  It's an activity that strikes fear into the hearts of the bravest of the brave. Even the most stalwart among us fear it.  Of course, I speak of this:
Beelzebub's Agency Here on Earth
That's right - the Department of Motor Vehicles.  It is, in fact, an agency run by Satan himself and it is where common sense goes to die. It is a place where government employees delight in byzantine rules and where they take in inordinate amount of glee in seeing people crumble before them in frustration.

We arrived at the DMV early - 35 minutes before they opened.  We were already #22 in line at that point.  That said, we knew going into this that it was going had the potential to be ugly.  Three out-of-state cars to register and four out-of-state drivers licenses to issue, including one for a minor. In our little corner of New England, the rules for a minor getting a license are akin to getting someone from PETA to wear fur to a veal tasting (um, nigh unto impossible), so we knew this would be fraught with trouble.  It turns out that getting the Boy his license was almost the easiest.  I say almost because he won't get it until next month.  Yes, next month.  The next available appointment for the road test is next month.  Sadly, you can only make appointments for the road test when you are at the DMV.  There's no pre-scheduling, unless you pay a private driving school a few hundred bucks.  Like I said, this is where common sense goes to die.

Only one of us walked away with a license today and that was me.  And that was only because the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML couldn't get her license (because she didn't have our marriage license!) and I was able to use some of her residence proof for me.  You need to know that I spent several hours reviewing the document requirements and I checked it all off as I assembled our package (I'm not kidding - I walked in there today with a friggin' dossier). Apparently, because we live in a place that has two names according to the US Postal Service, this was too much for the DMV to handle.  You know the DMV is jacked up when the USPS can handle a concept like an address having two names which can and are used interchangeably and the DMV can't. I don't have the strength to detail the conversation with the agent and the ensuing run-around that went down about this. Frustrating does not even begin to cover it but I did get my license.

Then it was time to register the cars.  If only we'd been greeted by someone like this:
If only she'd worked at the DMV today
Instead, we got a lady who started smoking when she was two.  When I presented the three forms, her eyes rolled into the back of her head, and she wheezed out, "One form at a time!"  If you ever saw "Ma's Roadhouse," you'll get a flavor for the voice we encountered.  She would occasionally look up from the task of reviewing our paperwork.  I worried that three cars may cause her to get up and go out and smoke a pack (which she could probably do in about a minute and a half) but to her credit, she got them done.  And I'm hopeful we didn't get lung cancer from the residual haze.

So, three cars have new plates and are appropriately registered.  Only one of us has a drivers license, which is ridiculous.  Four of us still have to go back.  I can't send the Boy alone into that mess.  I'm not looking forward to the return train wreck visit.

1 comment:

Scott Hinrichs said...

I feel for you. I have recently paid three visits to the local DMV for driver license matters for four family members. (We could have done it in a single visit had we been able to coordinate schedules.) The visits were surprisingly quick and simple. We had short (or no) lines and good customer service. I wondered if I had wandered into the wrong place because it's a lot better than previous visits. Here's hoping that your new state of residence someday takes lessons from my state and emerges from the dark ages.