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Down With The DMV!!

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Down With The DMV!!

Postby Ian on Mon Oct 02, 2006 7:31 pm

I turned 31 yesterday and my gift from the find state of Wisconsin was to expire my driver's license. Now its been 8 years since I got my last license so I had forgotten how painful an experience the DMV was.

My story begins at the DMV Express, located in a strip mall in town. Now with a name like "DMV Express", you'd expect it to be fast. Hell no. I got their 15 minutes after they opened and I was at least 30th in line. Then, they had one mofo working in there. Now, if you promise fast service, you'd expect there to be one person to take the pic, one dude to do the processing and one to supervise. Nope, only one dude to do it all.

30 minutes and 3 spots in line later (express my ass), I finally read a sign that says that they don't take credit or debit cards. wtf!? Is the DMV the only place that hasn't joined the 21st century? I haven't written a check in years. Needless to say, I left.

On my way back to work, I figured I'd stop at the normal DVM. It couldn't be any worse than the express one, right? It's hard to believe it, but it was worse. It was wall to wall with illegal aliens getting state ID cards. I couldn't even walk up to the desk to get a number. I didn't even wait around and went back to work.

Anyway, I will be back at the express office tomorrow, camping in front of the door in the hope that I might be number 10 in line when they open. Wish me luck!
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Postby Dartman on Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:24 am

Good luck, mine is up in November and I don't want to think about how old I'll be :o Luckily all I have to do this time is lie about medical problems :wink: and get a new picture, and pay...
Had to transfer title of a car I bought from lil sister on a Saturday afternoon, they had like 10 windows open and it only took about 45 minutes. Luckily seems I had everything filled out and everything thay wanted to see so pretty painless as far as a DMV trip goes.
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Postby hoxlund on Tue Oct 03, 2006 2:37 am

Here in Cedar Rapids if you wait in line for more then 30 minutes your driver's license is free

Needless to say they really don't like handing out free licenses so they are damn fast
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Postby TheWizard on Tue Oct 03, 2006 4:20 am

It seems to vary a lot by city and state. Back in Northern Jersey, the DMV was much like Ian's experience. It has improved over the years, but it can't compare to my experience in Upstate New York. I went in the early evening, after work hours, so I expected there to be a long line. Nope! I did everything from register my car in NY, acquire a NY title for my car, get a NY driver's license (complete with photo), as well as NY plates in about 40 minutes. That's great in my book!
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Postby smartin4 on Tue Oct 03, 2006 6:23 am

THe DMV in NJ has gotten much better the last few years. The lines & wait are nowhere near as long as they used to be way back when I started driving. In those days, it seemed like I was registering a different car every few weeks :D

The bigest pain in the ass now is their "Six Points of ID", they have a set of criteria you need to meet with your id, trying to stem the flow of illegals getting licenses and the such, there was a big bust here a few years back where DMV employees were caught giving fake licenses to illegals for cash on the side, so this is the "solution".

In the few times I have been there since the revamp, I have never waited more than 10-15 minutes, including getting one of the new licenses we use here now, supposed to be more secure, harder to fake, etc.

BTW Ian, NJ DMV doesn't take CC or debit either, only check or cash, I think it may have something to do with it being easier to use a fake CC than it is to use a fake chaeck?
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Postby LoneWolf on Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:49 am

We don't have a DMV per-se; the Secretary of State's office in MI handles that.

At one time, it was every bit as bad as yours, Ian. About a decade ago or so though, a new SecState was elected, who turned everything upside down. She modernized things, made everything electronic, and cut wait times in half.

The current SecState went one further. Under some conditions, you can get your registration tags and drivers' license renewed online. My wife actually filled my information out this time around, and a new drivers' license and tag for my car came in less than two weeks. It had my previous picture on it (you only have to go in person for every other renewal now, I believe) which tells me they're using digital storage now.

Best advice: If you have a really backward DMV setup, assume you'll have to use checks (I think ours still may in person for certain items, out of some sort of fraud protection policy), but also, go to one in a little backwater town outside your city, even if you have to drive a few miles. Small towns = small lines, especially if you get there when they open.
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Postby Ian on Tue Oct 03, 2006 11:59 am

I stopped at the regular DVM again this morning. The estimated 10 minute waiting time ended up being more than an hour, mostly due to the dude running the camera. I guess I shouldn't be too hard on the guy. He only had a hook and half a hand (not joking here). It's kinda hard to type on a keyboard like that.
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Postby MonsterMan on Tue Oct 03, 2006 6:53 pm

Sigh...I get to go through this this weekend.
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Postby CowboySlim on Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:20 pm

Sorry I was rapped up last night and could give this tip, IAN.

But it may not work in WISC as they are all different.

Sometimes it's better to show up 30 minutes before the close.
Everybody thinks about going early, and that late the lines are way down.

Out here they have an appointment system.
One of my friends went for their 1 PM appointment and still figured it was a 1 hour wait.
Went back at 4:30 without appointment and got out by 5.
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Postby TheWizard on Fri Oct 06, 2006 1:06 am

smartin4 wrote:The bigest pain in the ass now is their "Six Points of ID", they have a set of criteria you need to meet with your id, trying to stem the flow of illegals getting licenses and the such, there was a big bust here a few years back where DMV employees were caught giving fake licenses to illegals for cash on the side, so this is the "solution".


True, I hated the "Six Points of ID" when I was still in NJ. Although, after I moved to NY, I learned that they have a similar system. I think more states will start adopting this method to cut down on fraud.

NY State allows debit card/credit card payments. In fact, both my debit card and credit card counted towards the "Six Points of ID" program here, therefore you would think the DMV would allow you to use that same debit/credit card to pay, since they already determined you are who you are. :)
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