Tuesday, April 24, 2012

DMV Purgatory

I recently had to get my driver's license renewed. In Texas, you're allowed to renew your license online for twelve years before they make you truck down to the DMV office. My dozen years were up and I had procrastinated as long as absolutely possible. While on the one hand, I knew from past experience I would need a drink (or ten) to survive this torture, and on the other, I knew it was probably a bad idea to drive up to the Texas Department of Public Safety toasted. This experience was sucking right out of the gate. I did have time — plenty, plenty, plenty of time — to jot down some pointers for my fellow drivers while waiting in line.

Lesson the First: Check the calendar for holidays before planning your DMV visit. I went on Good Friday, which is apparently a holiday for every other office but mine. I had to burn a vacation day to queue up with the sea of humanity, weeping and gnashing their teeth. There truthfully was a lot of weeping. (More on that later.) I think the only person who had a worse Good Friday was Jesus.

 More than half a day at the DMV will also break you.

Lesson the Second: Bring something to keep you entertained (e.g., a smart phone, Kindle, book, brightly colored abacus). By Hour Three (BEFORE I WAS EVEN INSIDE THE BUILDING) I was sending texts in broken English saying things like "I will kill... You don't even... Screaming baby... Motherfucker behind me... Wear her rib cage as a helmet..."

Lesson the Third: Do not bring a child who can't be still and quiet for hours on end. In other words, don't bring a child. I didn't bring mine. You're welcome, everyone. To the several people who brought their SCREAMING small children — I will find you. Trust.

Lesson the Fourth: If you are an emo teen who fails the written test, this is not something to cry about. The crying quota had already been met earlier in the morning by all the babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Your tears and rending of your shirt are not necessary. If you can't identify a stop sign in a line of objects, you don't need to be on the road. Nut up.



Lesson the Fifth: Take out your mothertrucking headphones once you finally make it inside the Promised Land. It makes the deputy very, very angry when he has to repeat his instructions fifty times. You know who he takes his anger out on? The person behind you. Who's always the person behind you? Me. Fuck you.

Lesson the Sixth: Your photo will only be a head shot. There's no reason to dress like a hooker with your skirt cut up to your hot pocket. I'm talking to you, all the teen girls ever.

 "All right, Mr. DeMille, we're ready for our close-up."

The last lesson is for the DMV employees. I get that you hate your job. This isn't a novel feeling. There's no reason to be a complete and utter raging douchebag cockface. Comments like "How old is this picture?" are not appreciated. And for the love of all that is holy and sparkly, do NOT ask a question right as you are snapping the picture. I now have a glassy-eyed, slack-jawed photo mouthing half the word "yes" for the next twelve years. Retaking the photo apparently goes against all the laws of nature, and the mere request to click the little button a second time is highly offensive. Further comments like "You'll like the photo better when it's in color" are also not helpful. Will you like my foot better when it's up your ass? I doubt it. Thus endeth the lesson.

How about you? Everyone has to have a good DMV story, except for JJ, who basically has a mini DMV visit on her daily public transportation commute.

28 comments:

  1. Sounds torturous! I got my current drivers licence in 2005 and it expires in... 2014. Woop! Thank goodness I don't live somewhere where it has to be renewed annually, that would suck arse. Sorry you had a bad time, I really hope you had good p0rn to keep you occupied. x

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  2. Oh, the DMV is the worst! Exp. with kids. Thankfully I am good for a few more years. If I had to endure that on a regular basis I would lose my mind! Glad you made it out in one piece :)

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  3. Never go to the DOL in Renton, WA. Nuff said.

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  4. I have never posted here before but I had to on this one!!! I DESPISE the DMV out here in SoCal. you wait for days in line with all the old farts who should not be in possession of a license. I send out multiple SOS texts when I go for nourishments etc. haha

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    1. You should post more often! While waiting outside, I saw an old man make an 8 point turn to pull into a parking space he could have just pulled straight into. He almost hit 3 cars & was STILL way over the line. I almost wrote down his license plate number to report him.

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    2. hahahaha!!! that is classic. Yes I will post more often although be prepared for the snark!! I am on my own level of weirdnessy (my own word) sense of humor

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  5. Best DMV experience? Getting my license in South Dakota. My MA license expired while I was taking a furlough in my home state before moving to CA. The people were actually friendly and, since no one lives in SD, I was in and out faster than a virgin dude on prom night.

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    1. My best experience was when I was pregnant. Ends up they consider it "handicapped" and I got put in the short line.

      Then I realized you can make an appointment and be in and out the door while those lined up outside are just starting to get jumpy. Appointments are highly recommended.

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  6. I moved to Atlanta from Nebraska...I took the morning off work to transfer my license. I too had the holiday problem...DMVs in Georgia are not only closed for government and religious holidays, but also made up holidays like Confederate Memorial Day. Gotta love the South.

    The only DMV near my office was the double wide DMV down across from the prison. I was the only person that actually drove myself to the DMV so I thought this would be fast since these people obviously didn't need to take a driving test. I was wrong....it also took me 2 hours just to clear the front door then when I finally made it to the first queue (of 4) the lovely and very competent DMV worker made me stand behind a yellow line for 40 minutes before even talking to me to assess if I needed to take the full test or if I qualified for a renewal since I didn't have any traffic violations. Then I got to wait for an additional hour in the 2nd line while the DMV employees went to lunch. The third station was the background check station where I got to spend extra time because I checked the box stating that I had a twin. I don't remember this box on the Nebraska form, but it is alive and well on the Georgia form and I guess back in the year 2000 I was the first twin ever to get a drivers license in the state of Georgia.

    Then the fourth and final station - the photo station. This was the first line that didn't look to be an hour wait....I was wrong, but I was willing to suffer because this was the first station that had chairs and since my hot pocket was fully covered I was willing to sit on one of the chairs and burn my suit when I got home. It was on this chair that I felt a gentle but steady bumping on my right side. I looked over and the guy next to me was JERKING OFF!!!!!! Hand in unzipped pants right in the middle of a government double wide that may or may not (I was beginning to have my doubts) be dispensing valid drivers licenses. I would have left, but right then my name was called to have my photo made. The idiot working the camera said smile. I didn't and my picture was priceless. I was rocking the most bad ass bitch glare ever!!!!!

    When I returned to work at 5:30 PM my boss then shared with me the helpful information about going to one of the DMVs in the 'burbs - jerk.

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    1. Oh. My. Gawd. That is the most horrible story ever. I don't even know what to say about that. Jeebus.

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    2. That is an AWFUL story!! I would have screamed bloody murder just to embarrass him.

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    3. I did think about screaming, but then I realized that if he was rubbing one out so publicly he probably was lacking heavily in the shame department and I would only be drawing undue attention to myself and the last thing I wanted was attention from the unwashed masses at the double wide DMV down by the prison.

      On a side note, that DMV office shut down a few years ago. It is now a bar.

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  7. Every however-many-years-it-is-between-license-renewals, I swear that I am FINALLY going to get a picture on my license that will not make me look like a deranged serial killer, and every fucking time I end up leaving with a laminated piece of crap with me looking like Charles Manson but without the swastika carved into my forehead. Nuts.

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  8. I just renewed mine in December. We also don't have to renew annually so it's a good few years before I have to do it again. This time was bordering on pleasant. But I know of what you speak TK. And I sympathise. Some things are just the same the world over, it seems.

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  9. I can't remember ever having to spend an inordinate amount of time at the DMV in the Philadelphia area. Maybe I was just lucky. I will refrain from discussing my recent jury duty experience. Nobody was jerking off in the court room (at least not that way) but it was still horrifying. And I brought a Kindle which was apparently a tremendously exciting new invention to the very chatty woman next to me. Ugh!

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    1. Jury duty is another topic I could go on & on about. Ugh.

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  10. I work at at a government agency which can be just as bad as the DPS, which is the Tax Office. In Texas the tax office is where you register your vehicle, transfer car titles and pay property taxes. Right now I'd say the line is about an hour long wait. From my side of the fence, people are just freakin' dumb. People will just get in line without speaking to the front desk and now they've wasted an hour of their time just to be turned away because they're missing something or whatever. A lot of times I just want to say "you just got screwed on this deal" but I don't have time for that. I have a quota to meet everyday, so I don't have time for chit chat or any other bullshit. The people that come in prepared with all their forms filled out, I absolutely love because I can get straight to the point, process it and then its done and they can get out of there.

    My licence is going to expire next month and I am so thankful that I can renew online. My local DPS office is insane, its been in the same small location for 30 years and the city has grown another 100,000 people since then!

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  11. In the great commonwealth state of PA we have to renew ours every four years, at the DMV. I renewed mine about a month ago. I went at 11 am on a Monday. Thinking hey, it won't be busy at all! Yeaaa, I was surrounded by the city's finest. Such as the girl with pink hair, skin tight jeans and a belly shirt. While this look on teenager wouldn't be so bad, on a 40 something with a FUPA it was less than appealing! Our wonderful photo takers allow the picture to be re-taken as many times as you like!! Fantastic right? Not so much. Each person in front of me decided eleventy billion was the number needed before their beautiful essence was captured properly. Ah, the DMV.

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  12. I have been to DMV in ME once. I was in and out really fast and the picture taker asked if I liked the photo or wanted a new one!!! When I lived in NY going to DMV was an ALL DAY affair -no matter when you went. The line snaked from inside the office, out in the building hallway and almost out the door and this was the info line so they could tell you what line to stand in. I never understood why anyone would bring kids to the DMV. It is a bad enough experience on your own, why torture them and everyone else. On a happier note, one of my friends met her husband while waiting to renew her license!

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  14. TK - I feel bad for laughing at your expense, but thank you for reminding me that I'm not the only one dealing with the idiots of the world who are too idiotic to realize that they're idiots. You deserve an award for not going postal!

    (I had to delete my previous comment cause there was a typo and I'm SO anal...)

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  15. Last summer when I had to endure the license renewal torture,there was of course the long, never-moving, out-the-door line of people waiting and TWO clerks working. After roughly two hours, I got somewhat close to the front of the line, and one of those two clerks WENT ON BREAK!!! Kid you not. She left without even an apologetic smile to us minions standing there, and then had the gall to come back 20 minutes later, eating a brownie and drinking a cup of coffee. She even told the other clerk to hurry and take her break before all the brownies were gone. When it was finally my turn, all sorts of fuckery occured, and now my license picture looks like I'm about to murder someone with an icepick.

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  16. I'm glad I don't drive anymore but I still have to go down every four years to renew my license, in case the zombie apocalypse happens and I need to get the fuck out of dodge.

    However, I am somewhat proud that I have been told to never, EVER step foot back into a DMV office in central Jersey. They apparently can dish the douchery but can't take it.

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  17. I got nothing. Maybe you need to move to Washington State....I have never had a bad DMV experience. Of course now I have probably jinxed myself.

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  18. Horrible DMV stories up in here! I don't have any horror stories, but it's never fun. No matter when you go or where you are. I have to say, though, my driver's license pics have been rockin' for the past 10 years. For some stroke of luck (or the guy sitting to mel's right...EEW. SO EEW.) I take a good id pic. Maybe it's my charm, though. I have always been able to get the person to take "just one more try? I bet you guys have awesome pictures if you work here."

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  19. I read this all the time, but I've never posted. Twilight lost its luster for me by the THOUSANDTH time I saw Kstew in an open mouth pic. But I love this site.

    As for the DMV, you don't even know, the rest of you have it EASY. I live in Alabama, (Birmingham) and we have to renew our drivers license EVERY FOUR YEARS.
    Yes. I said it. Every 4 years a trip to the DMV with all the other cranky fucks for a new photo op. the lack of humanity astounds me.

    So yeah, it could be worse.

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