“Party” and “DMV” Are Complete Opposites

, , , , | Working | May 11, 2021

I’m almost eighteen. I need a replacement ID, so I go to the DMV. My dad comes with me since I’m still a minor.

Employee: “I see you’ll be eighteen soon. Since we’re getting you a new ID today, we can also register you to vote. Interested?”

Me: “Really? Yes, that would be great!” 

The employee smiles broadly.

Employee: “Awesome! It’s great to see a young person like you excited about voting. I just need to confirm some information first.”

He confirms my personal information and gets to the last question.

Employee: “Political party affiliation?”

My extended family is split when it comes to political views. As a result, I’ve done a lot of research on both parties and have picked the one that fits my personal beliefs the best.

Me: “[Party].”

The employee’s face falls.

Employee: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Yes.”

Employee: “You know, you can also pick Independent.”

Me: “Noted. [Party], please.”

Employee: *To my dad* “Sir, your daughter is registering as a [Party].”

Me: “Seriously?!”

My dad, who has been quietly standing off to the side, gives the employee a confused look.

Dad: “I know. She’s old enough to have her own views.”

Employee: “But—”

Me: “My views are my business. Just register me.”

Employee: “[Party] it is. You can always change it later, dear.”

Me: “Do you hassle everyone like this or just people who select [Party]?”

Employee: “Oh, look at that. You’re all set!”

I collect my new ID and all assorted documents. My dad can’t resist one final parting shot, just loud enough for the employee to hear.

Dad: “Finally, another [Party] in the family! I’m so proud.”

The employee stared at us in horror as we exited. Somehow, I was registered properly and voted in the next election with no issues.

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There’s Always One…

, , , , , | Right | April 13, 2021

Due to social distancing and repeated network issues, the Department of Drivers Services (Georgia’s DMV) is running even slower than usual. I, along with a few others, show up a few minutes before the office has opened to beat the rush.

Security: “Good morning, folks. We can only let ten in at a time. Take a number as you enter and we’ll call you when we’re ready. It’s going to be a few minutes before we can see anyone, but we can get ten of you in seats.”

Ten of us filter in and wait about five minutes. And then…

Employee #1: “Sorry about this, everyone, but we’re having some trouble with our computers. It’s going to take us a few more minutes.”

While we’re waiting, I see a woman looking around at the floor around her and then checking her pockets. Finally, she stands up.

Employee #1: “Just a few more minutes, ma’am.”

Woman: “No, that’s not it… I’m so sorry about this, but I skipped my coffee to get here early, and now I’ve lost my ticket and can’t remember my number.”

Employee #1: “No worries, ma’am. There’s only ten of you here, so I’ll let you know if someone doesn’t stand up when we call a number.”

Employee #2: “Good news, the system’s working! All right, customer number one! Can I get number one?

Woman: “Oh, that was it! One!”

She goes to the counter.

Man: “Geez, I guess she really needs that coffee! How can you forget being lucky enough to be first in line?”

Employee #2: “Number two. Customer number two… Number two? Does anyone have two?”

There’s a long silence. And then…

Employee #2: “Okay, if there’s no number two, let’s go on to number thr—

Man: “Oh! That’s me! Number two!”

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Lights On? Check! Anyone Home? Nope!

, , , , , | Working | December 19, 2020

About six weeks ago, my sister broke her ankle. Due to other mobility issues she has, it is going to be a long recovery with physical therapy, so her doctor provides her with the form to get a six-month disabled parking permit with all the medical information filled out already. All she has to do is fill out the top part and return it.

Unfortunately, she misreads part of the form and misses filling out a box before mailing it in. Our main DMV is extremely slow, so it takes five weeks for them to return the form and her check, and they tell her to try again. As she needs to get out of the house more now for her physical therapy appointments, waiting a second five weeks is not an option.

I happen to be at her house helping out when the mail is returned, so I do some research and see that there is a contract facility — not DMV employees — nearby that can process the form on-site and is open at that very moment.

Me: “Go ahead and fix the form, and I’ll take it and your check and get it taken care of for you.”

Once it is my turn, I give the lady the form and the check and she begins processing the form. The only problem is that I am not the person who wrote the check. This is my fault; I didn’t think about it since I was just grabbing the stuff that had been mailed and didn’t think about them needing to check ID in person, since they couldn’t do that by mail anyway.

As they are trying to figure out what to do:

Me: “Actually, I have cash!”

They don’t take credit cards, and they have an ATM on-site for people to get cash to pay with, so I know they take cash. But no, they have now locked onto this check, so we go through three supervisors that are trying to figure out what to do.

Supervisor: “Here’s what we’ll do. Since you share a last name with [Sister], we’ll take your ID and hold you responsible if the check bounces.”

Every single person declined my offer to just pay the $10 in cash to move things along, even when I had it in my hand.  

It was crazy, but at least I walked out with the permits in hand. Lesson learned: just always take cash to this location.

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This Is What You Get For Moving!

, , , , | Working | October 6, 2020

After a long search, I finally buy a home. As one of the first things a responsible owner should do, I update all my addresses with utilities, bills, and my vehicle registration. The DMV has an online form so I fill it out and send it. I get an auto-confirmation that everything is good and I think nothing more of it. My vehicle renews every October.

The registration never arrives. Thinking something has gone wrong, I go to my insurance which happens to have some DMV functions. The clerk advises that no address change was made and fixes it on her computer, and I pay my fees.

One year later, no registration. I call the DMV and the clerk on the phone repeats my correct address. Now I’m confused that I never got my registration and yet my address is correct. The DMV clerk offers no advice other than that it was likely a glitch. I go back to my insurance to pay fees and the clerk confirms everything is fine address-wise.

About half a year later, it’s time for my driver’s license renewal. Figuring that there’s no way I’m getting that by mail, I make a DMV appointment. One week before the appointment, the renewal arrives! Overjoyed, I cancel the appointment thinking this is all behind me.

A few months later… no vehicle renewal. And thanks to California law, this is the year I need my vehicle SMOG check done; for those unfamiliar, this is a vehicle emissions check. Luckily, they use the vehicle’s VIN but I can’t believe it.

I ask this DMV clerk about this. She says the address was never updated. Huh? So, my online update through your online system didn’t work, the update through my insurance carrier didn’t work, a DMV clerk confirmed my correct address, but no, my address is still incorrect. She tells me to mail it in.

Well, I’m off to get my SMOG check and God only knows what year four will bring!

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Bet You Weren’t Expecting That

, , , , , , | Working | August 21, 2020

It is the mid-1980s and my mum is pregnant with me. She is about to take her driving test for the second time. Dad has bought her to the test centre and they are waiting for the examiner to arrive.

Eventually, he comes over with some paperwork and practically throws it at Mum.

“And do you have any other disabilities besides being pregnant?” he asks.

Mum is upset; Dad is furious. Not surprisingly, Mum fails her driving test, and she and Dad make an official complaint to the Driving Test Centre about the examiner’s attitude. Dad conveniently mentions that he is a serving police officer and that police driving instructors would never talk to anyone like that, so civilian instructors definitely should not. All the examiners have to undertake retraining following the incident and the rude examiner is moved to another location.

Mum passed her test on her next attempt.

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