DMV Woes

Photo credit:  Rich Vintage/iStock

My driver’s license expires in three weeks.  I haven’t thought too much about it – I figured I’d do the REAL ID thing at the same time.  I’ve seen all the various documents and I’m well covered.  And even if for some reason I had trouble w/ the REAL ID, I have a valid passport so will still be able to travel, even after the (again) extended deadline.  I had even heard from somewhere that the DMV preferred that you make an appointment to get your license renewed.

So I was a little non-plussed when I went online yesterday to do the “pre-screening” for the REAL ID and make an appointment, only to find that you can’t get an appointment ANYWHERE in the Twin Cities area in the next month.  I would think that if everything were taking 2-3 months, we’d be hearing about it; I’m surely not the only one who didn’t think twice about having to renew so far in advance.

I called the AAA that I normally go to for all DMV things and the guy who answered the phone was very nice and when I told him my license would expire before I could get an appointment, this is what he counseled:

  • Go to the office so that you are there before opening.
  • If you are one of the first 15 people in line, they bring you into the building and you get waited on
  • If you are NOT one of the first 15, they take your phone number and will call you sometime later in the day with an appointment time
  • Apparently you have 15 minutes to get there (I’m hoping I mis-heard this, but probably not)

He then suggested that if you want to be in that golden first 15, you should shoot to arrive by 6:30 a.m. at the latest.  Sigh.

Looks like next week one morning I’ll be sitting in my stadium chair outside the DMV at 6 a.m.  I think the sun will be up by then so I won’t need a flashlight to read.

Any particular bureaucracy getting you down these days?

31 thoughts on “DMV Woes”

  1. I’m happy to leave all the dealings with bureaucracy to Sandra, my mother in law. Very unfair, but then, she does enjoy conflict. And there’s plenty of that. “No, this is the wrong office. You have to go to the department of whatever.” Guess what happens when you go there. “No, first you have to go to the department of whichever.” You’ve guessed, that’s where we’ve just been. “And you have to have such and such a form.” Sandra has got the better of this one now. “Yes, here it is.” And you’ve got to have a certificate of so and so.” ” Got it!” She’s worked and studied, and she’s got every bit of paper they ask for. She’s already been to whatever office they say she should have been to. She speaks fluent Spanish, and has looked up any technical words she needs. Those people behind those desks must hate the site of her. So I stay out of those places, so I won’t be the one they get their revenge on.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I began drawing Social Security but was old enough to continue working full time without getting penalized. I also had my union health insurance as primary so I declined the part B prescription portion of Medicare. Now that I am soon to exhaust my union insurance, getting the documentation from the benefits department to Medicare and signing up late for part B is a hassle.
    And then my mind is blown with all the ads for Medicare supplements. They seem like a scam. Especially the one with Joe Namath. Broadway Joe always seemed to me to be a con artist.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The ads are similar to what a High School Senior gets for colleges. Man oh man.

      When I started Social Security at age 66 (last summer) the person that called me to complete the process had a heavy Russian-esque accent that was difficult to understand. She did whatever needed to be done, then went on vacation. When I researched it and read over my confirmation email, I realized that I made a choice I did not want. I called her back and left a message saying that I made the wrong choice that I wanted to change because I had a hard time understanding her. When she returned from vacation, she called me back and yelled at me in her heavy accent that I could understand her just fine and my wrong choice was all my fault.

      Apparently, she was feeling defensive.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sorry to hear about your difficulties, Jacque. I’ve had my own problems with accents recently. During my medical adventures I had two awful contacts with nurses who were 1) male 2) black and 3) foreign-born. In both cases, they spoke through special high-tech masks that muffled their speech. I already am handicapped with seriously degraded hearing, bad enough that communication is difficult without the extra impediments of masks and accents. In both cases, my inability to understand these nurses led to heated shouting bouts. One of them bolted from my hospital room in anger, never returning. The other, who had come into my home to install equipment, acted as if he wanted to assault me for being so dense, and he too stormed off in a terrible mood.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Nurses aren’t bureaucrats, I understand, but both are agents of bureaucracies that have control over critical areas of our lives. The fellow who came to my home, for example, needed me to sign a paper saying I understood how to run two massive oxygen machines. I literally didn’t know how to turn these things on or off, let alone how to use them, so the nurse was outraged when I was reluctant to sign papers proving I was ready to use these intimidating (and LOUD and HOT) machines.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. I saw this problem emerge with husband a lot during COVID. Lou’s hearing aids were constantly tangled in the mask, and he could not hear through the masks of others.

          Liked by 2 people

        3. Barbara I think the health care industry is under enough stress that it isn’t always able to hire the best people. The nurse who came to my apartment to set up the oxygen machines was a big fellow. The machines were huge, so he had to be. And I don’t blame these folks for finding me difficult. I was terribly sick and my poor hearing put me at a disadvantage. I wouldn’t have enjoyed working with me.


        4. When my aunt was still living, her nursing home employed many immigrants and their accents collided with her hearing problems frequently. Health care is a field that doesn’t pay well, or offer the sort of benefits that attract workers who were born here and have better opportunities.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. My cynical side assumes that there must be big money involved for somebody because of all these ads. There’s just no way that there would be so many of them, so relentless, so many different companies and also misleading, unless there was an a lot of money to be made.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I misplaced my passport which also needed to be renewed be fore we start traveling again. I went in twice with appointments, and discovered my Iowa Birth Certificate, which I used my entire 67 years, was “Insufficient.” It was an abbreviated BC issued by Iowa in the past and did not have my parents’ names on it. I did not issue this BC to myself, mind you, but the passport clerk looked at me with withering disapproval, as if I had somehow made this choice. They also took my picture which had to meet certain specifications.

    I applied for a new Iowa Birth Certificate, a process which was smooth. I got it, made a new appointment for last Friday. They accepted the application on the third try. Then they told me that the processing time is 16-18 weeks! I have to get the new passport before I can follow in VS’ footsteps and do the Real ID thing.

    And then I found the old passport which would have allowed me to do this by mail.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That’s Murphy’s Law at work isn’t it. Or some other law? That as soon as you’re done all the work you find the original passport?


    2. Jacque, I took great care, the moment I was born, to issue myself with a correct, comprehensive birth certificate. Which I unfortunately lost in a fire at age 39.
      Only part of this story is true. Can you guess which part?


  4. Well, the DMV does take the cake considering how long it takes to get anything. My youngest son with Autism finally passed his driver’s exam and got his real license, so we gave him our old car. While filling out the paperwork in line, I wrote in the mileage on the title. Much as I love my gel pens, the ink smeared a little so I wrote over it to make it clearer.

    When we finally got to front of line, they couldn’t accept it (it was perfectly readable). I guess you really don’t mess with the car mileage when transferring title. So we had to fill out another form to correct it and come back later. Oy! It’s all done now, thank goodness.

    Corporate bureaucracy is high on the list, although they’re more motivated to make things go more smoothly (bottom line ya know). Have a great day, Baboons! Miss you all.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. My poor mother, still using a walker to get around, had to do car title stuff this week. She also experienced the “you need something else” routine. Apparently the car place where she had gotte the new car (before all her medical adventures) didn’t initial in this one spot. So she had to get driven over to the car place, get the signature and then go back and stand in line again. I asked her if anybody felt sorry for her with her walker and she said “not nearly enough”.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Last year wife was trying to get a passport, and daughter needed license updated. We learned any DMV location in MN can do it; it doesn’t have to be your local one. So we went to the next county, a small town location, no waiting, just walked in.
    They couldn’t do the passport photo, so we had that done at AAA, and then took it back to the small town location. Might be worth looking into VS.

    Knock on wood… I haven’t been tied up in too much beaurocracy lately. Technology is getting me down (why is the printer being so DIFFICULT!) but you all know me; I’m a rule-follower.


    Liked by 5 people

  6. We’ve misplaced our social security cards. SS office here was closed to public as recently as a couple of months ago – I should call again and see if they’re open yet. They described the steps to get a new card by mail, and it was excruciating.

    Dealing with Gunderson Hospital & Clinic (LaCrosse, WI) is sure to be some fun times.


    1. I haven’t had my actual social security card for probably forty years. Nobody has ever asked to see it.


  7. I am impressed when someone whose job obliges them to have a great deal of contact with “the public” is human and friendly. A woman called two days ago to discuss my health needs. She had me on a list as someone who had been dealing with COVID. We spoke for about an hour. Toward the end of the call, she became emotional and almost broke into tears. She kept saying she was SO grateful that I had come through this alive. It isn’t easy to be that empathic if dealing with strangers is part of your job.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I was surprised when, because of Covid, I was able to renew my drivers license online without going anywhere or waiting for my number to be called. No vision test, no new photo. They just used the photo from the previous one. It was so simple it seemed a little reckless.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It does aggravate me when rules that were cast in stone, suddenly become less relevant because of different circumstances. I drove trucks for the Coop chain for seven years, delivering to corner stores and small supermarkets. Procedures had to be followed, from getting the right truck in the morning, getting it out of the yard with the right load on board, to parking it at the end of the shift. As is usual in these places, there were signs everywhere, and constant memos issued, on the consequences of getting things wrong. Anything to create an atmosphere of tension, it always seemed to me.
      For a while, we ran out of three depots, until we shut one down, and settled on two for a few years. Staff became stretched during the changeover, and suddenly we’d show up for work and find no supervisor behind the desk, and it was up to us to just go and look at some list or something (actually I forget how we managed), get our truck and hope somebody had loaded it, and generally muddle our way out of the yard with no apparent comebacks. You talk about reckless, Bill, a couple of times they put ME behind the supervisor’s desk! No idea why anyone would think to do that, it certainly wasn’t something I would have come up with. I think I’d just hand a guy his keys and paperwork, and answer any question with, “I don’t know, I’ve never been a supervisor before.” There was no pandemic at the time, and this situation could have been planned for.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. OT – Don’t you just love people? Back in May I responded to a meme on Facebook that asked “Where did you go on your honeymoon?” It’s one of those silly questions that some people get their underwear in a twist about (mining for answers to security questions) and which I normally ignore. Apparently the day it popped up on my feed, I was in a playful mood and so I posted this in response: “Apparently I need to marry for a third time in order to get one.”

    Here we are, seven weeks later, and people from all over the world, men and women alike, are still responding to my quip. There’s advise on what I should do instead, some of it pretty sound. The responses range from ” are you nuts? Ive been married twice and never again .no matter what the destination is,” to “speaking from experience, third time is a winner!” to “First, Oslo – Second, Maui – Third, Venice – Fourth, Japan – Fifth, Greece – Sixth, next. Anybody wanna go to New Zealand?” That last comment is from a man. Mostly the responses are from people who clearly have given up on the idea of marriage, but they’ve clearly not lost their sense of humor. 847 responses so far, and every single one of them have made me smile.

    Liked by 3 people

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