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No Wonder DMV Employees Are Grumpy; They Work With Her!

, , , , , | Working | February 22, 2022

I grew up in Virginia and moved to Iowa, and at one point, my husband and I moved back briefly to help my parents out. However, other life issues came up, and my husband and I had to move back to Iowa.

Several years after we moved back, we try to change insurance companies, and I find out that my license is invalid. My husband and I go to the DMV on my lunch break from work to find out what’s happening, and we proceed to go through the most ridiculous DMV trip I’ve ever had.

Clerk: “I see here that you have a Virginia license. Where is it?”

Me: “I did have one, but then I moved back and got an Iowa license. At the time, they said that they reinstated my old license since it had been so little time in between. I don’t have the Virginia license.”

Clerk: “Yes, but then you went and got a Virginia license. We need that one.”

Me: “I told you, I moved back from Virginia and got an Iowa license again.”

Clerk: “But you lived in Virginia?”

Me: “Yes. But then I moved back.”

The clerk speaks very slowly, as though I’m stupid.

Clerk: “But then you went to Virginia.”

Me: *Getting frustrated* “Look, I lived in Virginia. I moved here to Iowa and had an Iowa license. I moved back to Virginia briefly and had a Virginia license, but then I had to move back to Iowa. I then got an Iowa license again.”

Clerk: “But then you got a Virginia license.”

I’m seriously confused at this point.

Me: “When?”

Clerk: “About two weeks after you came here for an Iowa license.”

Me: “So, you’re saying that the system shows that two weeks after I got an Iowa license, I just went back to Virginia and got a Virginia license, and then… came right back?”

Clerk: “Yes, that’s what it shows! And now we need your Virginia license.”

I suddenly remember something.

Me: “Hold up. That’s around the time I got pulled over and the officer said something was wrong with my license. I called the DMV here and they told me that they saw nothing wrong. So, if what you’re saying is true, why did they tell me there was nothing wrong with my license?”

Clerk: “Well, I don’t know that, but all I know is that you had a Virginia license.”

Me: “Look, something must have gone wrong in your system. Can you double-check? This makes no sense.”

Clerk: “I can, but it’s not going to show anything.”

We proceed to wait fifteen minutes until a tech comes up, looks at something for a couple of minutes, and then leaves. The clerk calls us back up with a smug look.

Clerk: “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with our system. You went to Virginia and got a Virginia license.”

At this point, I can see there’s no arguing with her, and I figure that however much it makes no sense that I would go to another state, get a license there, and promptly come back, she can’t take my word for it.

Me: “So, what do I need to do to get a new license?”

The clerk looks at me with the smuggest expression I have yet seen on her face.

Clerk: “You need to turn in your Virginia license.”

Me: “I JUST TOLD YOU I DON’T HAVE— You know what? Never mind. Since I don’t have the license you say I should have, what do I need to do?”

Clerk: *Still smug* “You need all these identifying documents, and you need to pay the full fee for a new license since you don’t have your old one.”

Me: “Fine.”

My husband and I drive the half-hour back to our house, gather up all the documents, and then return, both fuming. When we return, we get a different clerk, although the first clerk is hovering nearby.

Clerk #2: “Oh, don’t worry about the fee! It’s clear you had an Iowa license before, so you can just pay the renewal fee.”

While I’m finishing up my paperwork, my husband is writing furiously on a comment card. The first clerk walks up to him.

Clerk: *In a sweet voice* “Was there anything I could help you with, sir?”

Husband: “NO.”

The clerk scurries away and vanishes into the back room. By this point, I’ve finished my paperwork and have had my picture taken, and my temporary license is finally in my hand.

Husband: “You look like you’re going commit murder in your picture.”

Me: “I contemplated it.”

And that’s how a visit to the DMV during a non-busy time turned into three hours away from work and me having a driver’s license picture that has been described as “an angry serial killer”. As for the clerk? I have yet to return to that DMV, so as far as I know, she’s still tormenting customers to this day.

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