Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Adventures at the DMV

Day One- Contact the Maryland Dept of Motor Vehicles and ask what I need to transfer my title and plates for the leased car I just purchased.

Day Two- Go to the DMV on Industrial Parkway, stand in line for forty minutes, get told that I need to have my car inspected again, plus I need a copy of the Bill of Sale. Neither of these things were mentioned over the phone.

Day Three- return to the DMV with new Car Inspection and Bill of Sale. Wait another hour. Get told that the Bill of Sale needs to be Notarized. Again, just another little detail I wasn't informed of on the phone, or the first time I went. Where do I get it notarized? "Oh there are four banks right around here." No problem. It's roughly 100 degrees outside, lovely day for a walk.

I walk across the street to the SECU Credit Union, which really ought to change it's name to SEFuck You Credit Union, because when I walk in and ask if there is a Notary Available, they say "sure, are you a member?" No, I reply. "Oh, sorry-- we only provide that service for members."

That's right- SECU will only put a stamp on your document if you are a member of the credit union. Because it's such a big deal. How big a deal is it, exactly? Glad you asked, because..

I walk a hundred yards down the street and find a Chevy Chase Branch. I'm not a Chevy Chase member, but they don't ask anyway. They stamp my document. It costs two dollars. That's right, two dollars. Thanks again, SECU.

I go back to the DMV, stand in line for another 45 minutes. Finally, my documents are approved. I get a number, and stand in another line for an hour waiting for it to light up on the big board. I note that there are twenty-four service desks, of which EIGHT are actually manned. Finally, I get my plates. My title will be sent in two weeks. I'm done, right?

Nope. Now I get another number, to stand in another line to RETURN MY OLD PLATES. Why couldnt the person who gave me my new plates take my old ones. Just not the way it's done, I guess.

Here's the good news: There's only one person ahead of me in line. Here's the bad news: this person has the entire contents of her purse scattered on the clerk's desk and is peppering him with questions as she simultaneously gabs on her cellphone. She finishes asking questions, but doesn't budge from the chair. The clerk is telling her "we're all done now. You can go now. We're all done" while this woman bleats "I will call you later. I'll call you later. I'll call you later. I'm leaving now, I'll call you later" into her cell.

FINALLY, she gets up and its' my turn. I hand over the old plates and wait for a receipt to print. The clerk asked "what happened to the old car?" At this point, I am in no mood for any more of this shit. I answer "nothing." He hands me the receipt and I'm gone.

The more things change, the more they stay the same, huh? People have been telling bad DMV jokes for forty years. Because it's a prime example of beaurocratic chaos.

Want to convert people to Libertarianism? Make them deal with the DMV. If you don't hate the government by the time you walk out, you must draw a paycheck from it already.

No comments: