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Old Apr 4, 2017, 10:09 PM   #1
tenger55
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DMV adventure

About one month ago, my sister in law was hit broadside and her car was totaled. She was uninjured but needed a new car. She settled for a newer Ford Fiesta purchased from a Ford dealer that came with temporary tags. She asked me if I would accompany her to the state license bureau to help her get the new car registered. Today was our lucky day. The State of KS has a great idea on getting the registration done in a timely manner. On the morning of your lucky day, from the comfort of your own home, you simply visit their website, choose the location of an office, type in your cell phone number and you are automatically add to the wait list. You get an immediate response text message telling you what time to be at the motor vehicle office to complete your transaction. Presto! No waiting!
If only it worked that way in reality.
At 9:21 AM, I went to the website, entered my cell number and got my text message saying my wait time would be 103 minutes or roughly 1100 AM. Perfect! That gave me just enough time to leave my house, drive thru traffic, pick up my sister in law and make our way to the motor vehicle office. With twenty minutes to spare, we parked out front and walked inside. My sister in law stopped at the front desk and they reviewed all her paperwork, verifying she had everything needed to get her new car registered. We had ten minutes to wait. This is great!
And about that time I got my first reminder text. There were 53 people ahead of us and our new estimated wait time would now be in 62 minutes. Wait? What? Really? Well, that left us with no choice but to walk two doors down for a sweet treat. We walked in the front door of the donut shop as the employee was turning off the open sign. They closed at eleven. We sat at a table and enjoyed our frosted cake donuts. Not wanting to keep the donut employee working late, we decided we should leave. It was about 11:15. We sauntered our way back over to the motor vehicle office, walked in and sat on a well worn wooden pew, only the get a status text telling us there were 47 people ahead of us and our estimated wait time was now 61 minutes.
And that's when some of the motor vehicle employees decided it was lunchtime.
We were down to three employees manning the work stations. My tasty donut was beginning to fade as our next status report came in. It said there were 39 people ahead of us and our estimated wait time was 44 minutes. The start of a new TV show with no sound begins as our next status text informs us that 34 people are ahead of us and we have to wait 43 minutes until it was our turn. We wait anxiously for our next status report. 31 people and 32 minutes. Then 33 people and 34 minutes. Argh! It's going the wrong way! A few returning employees with full bellies laugh their way back to their work stations as we are informed 26 people and 27 minutes. The wooden pew isn't getting any softer. Another status report tells us 19 people and 20 minutes, then 15 people and 19 minutes, 12 people and 14 minutes, 9 people and 11 minutes, 7 people 8 minutes, 5 people and 6 minutes, 4 people and 5 minutes, 2 people and 3 minutes.
Finally, the text we've been waiting for "You have reached the front of the line. Please proceed to window 6. Thanks for waiting." Hallelujah!
It was 12:43 PM. 103 minutes later than our original appointment time. A twenty minute transaction and two hundred eighty six dollars later we walked outside with a May 2018 sticker for her license plate only to meet a cold steady rain storm that was an hour earlier than the weatherman was predicting. I will say the nice lady who helped us was very helpful and courteous. I guess it could have been worse. When we left, the monitor that was scrolling the last four digits of the fellow "waitees" showed 183 people, with the last person on the list expecting to wait four hours and 17 minutes for their appointment. Maybe I should stop on the way home and buy a lottery ticket.
Just curious, does anyone else have any horror DMV stories?
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Old Apr 4, 2017, 10:26 PM   #2
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Re: DMV adventure

Here in British Columbia we have our government licensing and insurance all rolled into one stop shopping.
There are numerous ICBC (private operated) outlets throughout the province so line ups are rairly an issue.
But your $200 registration with be closer to $2000 which includes your Beautiful British Columbia plate.
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Old Apr 4, 2017, 10:53 PM   #3
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Re: DMV adventure

Interesting story Tom, however, if you think it was a long wait at the DMV in Missouri, you haven't been to California.

California is notorious for long waits at the DMV. Many people have opted to avoid the DMV and use AAA instead for various registration services. Problem is that the wait at AAA offices have now become nearly as long as the DMV.

I visited one recently here in Palm Springs and when I checked in, I asked how long the wait was. "Oh about 20 minutes," I was advised. So I figured that wasn't bad at all and picked up a few travel brochures to look through while I waited.

An hour later, and after reading and re-reading the brochures two or three times, I realized that people who had come in after I did, were being called before me. Not just one, but several. It seems that the length of your wait depends on what you're there to do. If you're buying a new auto insurance policy or booking an expensive cruise vacation, you're ushered right into one of those cozy little office cubicles. If on the other hand you're there to conduct vehicle registration business, that generates no revenue for AAA, you wait, and wait and wait. Rather like the DMV, though I didn't have to sit on a wooden 'pew.'

When I was finally called, the clerk handed me a multi-page form that needed to be filled out, and she cautioned me to be "very careful" and not to leave any blanks or make any mistakes, or I would have to start anew ... no corrections, cross-outs or other 'changes' were permitted.

So I took my time and completed the form, which the clerk had to re-write using another similar form. About halfway through it, she declared that SHE had made a mistake and would have to begin again from scratch.

Halfway through completing HER form, the clerk was 'called away' to the front desk to assist someone who wanted maps for her cross-country trip. She hadn't waited at all. Just walked up to the front desk and the receptionist came and interrupted the clerk helping me, who proceeded to open a number of different file drawers pulling out various state maps.

The final step in obtaining my temporary registration was a vehicle inspection and mileage verification. As the clerk approached my car, I unlocked it so she could read the odometer and verify the VIN. I said well you can open the door and confirm the mileage. "Oh, we're not permitted to touch the car," she said. "Not permitted to touch the car?" I asked. "It's not a $ 350,000 new Ferrari. I don't think you'll do any damage reading the odometer." "Company policy," she replied.

About two hours after I checked in I had a small paper tag for my rear window. I still need a smog certificate before I get a new license plate and permanent registration.

Next time I'll try my luck at the DMV office.
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Old Apr 5, 2017, 06:21 AM   #4
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Re: DMV adventure

When you purchase a car in Jersey, the dealer takes care of getting it registered. They have a special line for them at DMV.
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Old Apr 5, 2017, 06:22 AM   #5
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Re: DMV adventure

I sold my 66 Thunderbird to someone in California I got a frantic call from him telling me the Tennesee title I sent him was a copy, him having been told by an AAA employee. Apparently it was supposed to have embossing as well as watermarks. I assured him it was authentic and that was that ... until a month later when he actually went to the DMV where he was told it was a fake.

Again, I assured him it was real, but that I would apply to the Tennesee DMV for a replacement. About a week later and $18.00 I received a new title. The only difference was my address. In other words, it was exactly the same as the original I sent him, no embossing, just watermarks.

I haven't heard back since then, about 3 weeks. Gotta love the California DMV.

As a side note, he also had to have the serial number of the car verified my the police. I am not sure about the method used, but he told me it took them several weeks. They had to not only use the id plate but use some hidden numbers as well. The car was totally original with only 31,000 miles, not a restored car. SHEESH!
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Old Apr 5, 2017, 06:55 AM   #6
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Re: DMV adventure

I bought a 1964 Cadillac. When I went to transfer the title I made the mistake of being honest with the DMV and giving them the name of the person I bought it from (on my bill of sale) rather then the name on the signed title. This "mistake" started a year long process that included getting a Surety bond and numerous other hurdles. After a year I gave up and sold the car for parts.

Next time you're at the DMV think about the Mister Rogers song "These are the people in your neighborhood". Since just about everyone has to go to the DMV at some point in time it's a complete cross-section of your community. As you look around at the people, it may help answer many questions you often have as to why "the public" acts a certain way.
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Old Apr 5, 2017, 10:01 AM   #7
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Re: DMV adventure

Given you haven't previously experienced the process in KS, go back 10 years and you would have had to take a trip to the DMV and get your place in line. Then you had the option of staying there the whole time (hours) or leaving and guessing when you needed to return. You might return and find you still had an hour left (no way to know) or you might find that things moved a little faster than you guessed and your number was passed and then get a new spot in line. The current system is much better than before.

If I remember correctly, the system allows you to reply to their txt at any time and get a new estimate of time remaining. I found this very useful the last time I had mine renewed. Did you try this?

If you could know which people came in (those who are in/out in a couple minutes vs. those who have complex requests or want to complain for 15 minutes), they would certainly appreciate your service to make everyone's wait time more accurate. I don't know what the MO process is like today, but I use to live there and have many friends that live on that side of the KC line ... they complain a lot more about their car/driver licensing process than those in KS.
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Old Apr 5, 2017, 10:13 AM   #8
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Re: DMV adventure

Love this thread...it seems every state has their issues with their own DMV (in Arizona, it's the MVD). When I first secured my driver's license in 1966, it was an average of 3 hours or more in line - today it's automated and MUCH faster. Two years ago when I had to renew my driver's license (which always require a trip to MVD), it only took us 20 minutes - and that included us walking out with the new license in our hands!
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Old Apr 5, 2017, 10:28 AM   #9
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Re: DMV adventure

Quote:
Originally Posted by tenger55 View Post
103 minutes later than our original appointment time. ...... only to meet a cold steady rain storm that was an hour earlier than the weatherman was predicting.
The appointment was late. The rain was early. I think there's just no pleasing this guy...
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Old Apr 6, 2017, 05:46 AM   #10
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Re: DMV adventure

I bought my NM from someone in CA, had it shipped to CT. The person who originally purchased the car from the catalog passed away. He had a buddy that collected Lincolns. The original owner had thought his buddy would want the bird based on its rarity and as we all know the bird and LS share the same platform. Turns out that the Lincoln collector didn't want the bird, never registered it, put it on e-bay & I grabbed it.

So I go to the DMV in Danbury, wait in the "check your papers" line, everything is ok, they hand me a number & I spend my 3 - 4 hours hanging out people watching. They call my number, I go up to the counter and oh look at this, the "paper checker" didn't notice that there was no CT blah blah blah form to show the title passing from the dead dude to the Lincoln collector and the Lincoln collector needs to do a title search and the CA DMV needs to stamp the CT blah blah blah form. I've learned over the years that you don't bother talking to these people, not to mention that this dude we freaken miserable, you just smile, take your stuff and walk away. I go to myself, ya know what, this guy was a jerk. I get in my car and drive to the Waterbury DMV, same routine, paper checker checks the papers, hands me my number, I wait 3 hours, get to the counter, woman asks me where / how did I get the car. I tell her my story, that'll be $3,463.29 (CT tax & plates), make your check payable to CT DMV here's your plates.
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Old Apr 6, 2017, 08:45 AM   #11
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Re: DMV adventure

We used to have similar miserable experiences in the VA DMV over the years, but they got better with time. They actually had a smaller office in the shopping mall which handled only simple transactions. Here in FL it is very organized and well-staffed, never more than a few minutes to wait. And registration renewals are done through the mail. I just renewed the T-Bird for two years and it took me all of about 5 minutes to write and mail the check, no need to go to the DMV.
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Old Apr 6, 2017, 11:39 AM   #12
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Re: DMV adventure

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Originally Posted by LA PHIL View Post
Interesting story Tom, however, if you think it was a long wait at the DMV in Missouri, you haven't been to California.

California is notorious for long waits at the DMV. Many people have opted to avoid the DMV and use AAA instead for various registration services. Problem is that the wait at AAA offices have now become nearly as long as the DMV.
Phil, my experience with CA DMV is much different.
In 1974, I moved to CA and registered my car and got a new driver's license at the DMV on Veterans Blvd. in Redwood City. It took me 25 minutes, no wait.
In 2015, I registered a newly purchased vehicle and renewed my DL at the Redwood City (now on Brewster Ave.) in 2 hours that included a trip to a smog inspection station with the vehicle. There was about a 20 minute wait initially, but when I returned, I was moved to the head of the line.
This DMV has always been efficient, fast, courteous, and dog gone it, they LIKE me.
Now, CA DMV has many features online unless you need to take a test to renew your license or register a new car. Smog test every two years and all registration renewal is done online. They also now take appointments that make the whole in-house experience much faster and better all around. And, it works!
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Old Apr 19, 2017, 06:46 PM   #13
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Re: DMV adventure

So I went to the local DMV to sort out the paperwork on a '91 conversion van I bought new in Belgium, drove around Europe for 7 years and imported on my arrival in the uS, (which is a DMV story unto itself) I had passed it on to my daughter 7 years ago. Recently I discovered it in store and retrieved it to my house. Not finding the pink slip, I then discovered that she had not completed the transfer and had not registered it PNO when it went into store in 2010. Over $1000 in registration fees and penalties in my name - before I could even get a replacement pink slip. Without the pink slip I can't even give it away. Booked an appointment at the DMV, waited 15 minutes after my forms were checked and had a most unsatisfactory conversation with the clerk to the effect "rules is rules, nothing I can do, you have to pay the fees and penalties before you get a pink slip". After asking to see a supervisor, I had a much more fruitful, (albeit long}, conversation with a charming lady who, after hearing my tale of woe, cancelled the penalties and all but the last 3 years of outstanding fees and sent me away with a checklist of actions to complete. Really made my day.

Whilst I was there, I asked her about a derelict VW Bug without plates that I needed to get off my property that had no papers and had been derelict for over 15 years and which I could not dispose of without a pink slip. Nobody would take it, even when I offered to pay them. Well, she explained that I had to get the VIN verified and then the necessary paperwork could be completed. How do I do that? "You bring it to us".. But it's derelict and immobile! "Then there are people who are licensed to come to you and certify the VIN, but I have no information about them". Oh well, resigned to googling to find such a person, I drive home, where, parked outside the post office in my one-horse town in the mountains, is a truck with "MOBILE VIN VERIFICATION SERVICE" emblazoned on the side! Quick chat and he comes to my house and does the necessary two days later. Seeing him on the way home was not enough serendipity, however - it transpired that he is one of only six in the entire state of California.

That's the tale of my happy interaction with the DMV last week.

I should have bought a lottery ticket on that day.
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Old Apr 19, 2017, 07:03 PM   #14
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Re: DMV adventure

Northern Idaho, Coeur D Alene, when the wait @ DMV is twenty minutes it actually is!!!!

AMAZING
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Old Apr 19, 2017, 08:08 PM   #15
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Re: DMV adventure

Quote:
Northern Idaho, Coeur D Alene, when the wait @ DMV is twenty minutes it actually is!!!!
Yes but the Population in 2014 was only 47,912.
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Old Apr 20, 2017, 04:49 AM   #16
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Re: DMV adventure

I found the easy way. Just let spouse handle it. :)
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Old Apr 20, 2017, 08:10 AM   #17
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Re: DMV adventure

Here in MD, you line up at the info desk and get checked in and given a number. On one of my last visits there was a woman who wanted a MD license in front of me. She was from a foreign country and, when asked for her name, rattled off a string of multi-syllable consonants - which didn't match her ID. Then she launched into the story of her immigration under one name, her multiple marriages in her old country and here, her multiple places of residence (she also had licenses from several states in different names), and how she took parts she liked from all the names to create her current name. She also had immigration and various other documents in several names. And, she didn't understand what the problem was with getting a MD license in her current name. And I was stuck in line for 20 minutes while they sorted it out. I won't even go into the wait once I got my number.
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Old Apr 20, 2017, 08:31 AM   #18
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Re: DMV adventure

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I found the easy way. Just let spouse handle it. :)
I agree 100%. If it can't be done by mail, send the wife.
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Old Apr 20, 2017, 09:00 AM   #19
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Re: DMV adventure

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Here in MD, you line up at the info desk and get checked in and given a number. On one of my last visits there was a woman who wanted a MD license in front of me. She was from a foreign country and, when asked for her name, rattled off a string of multi-syllable consonants - which didn't match her ID. Then she launched into the story of her immigration under one name, her multiple marriages in her old country and here, her multiple places of residence (she also had licenses from several states in different names), and how she took parts she liked from all the names to create her current name. She also had immigration and various other documents in several names. And, she didn't understand what the problem was with getting a MD license in her current name. And I was stuck in line for 20 minutes while they sorted it out. I won't even go into the wait once I got my number.
She would be out of luck here in Jersey. You need to prove identity with six separate documents.
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Old Apr 20, 2017, 02:07 PM   #20
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Re: DMV adventure

All the DMV talk made me realize that inspection was due on my Chrysler. No line at DMV, passed with no problem.
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