Oh, the dreaded Department of Motor Vehicles, where hopes are raised and dashed, where snaking long lines and confusing paperwork contribute to an atmosphere hellish enough to discourage even the most stalwart driver. If there’s a way for a DMV to be even more awful, Minnesota’s in the running for that dubious honor. Hopeful drivers-to-be in the state are apparently stuck either waiting two months to take a driving test or have to show up as early as 4 a.m. to take their shot behind the wheel.
Someone needs to have a chat with the IT person for the California Dept. of Motor Vehicles. Since February, the DMV has had to issue at least 16 public apologies regarding technical difficulties. And for the last week, many drivers have been unable to renew their registrations on the DMV website, forcing people to either go without using their cars or to hit the road illegally in unregistered vehicles.
Usually when someone regrets getting a vanity plate it’s because they picked a stupid pun or dated pop culture reference. But one driver’s attempt at license plate levity has him regretting his decision to the tune of $20,000 in parking tickets that aren’t even his.
Every day, people in America get married. Some of them change their last names. Evidently, though, no one in the history of Chase Bank has ever done this while they were in the middle of paying off their car loan. See, until the loan is paid, the bank has a lien on your car’s title. If you want to change the name on your car title and the loan hasn’t been paid off yet, Chase won’t let that happen. This isn’t a problem unless you have to move and register your car in a different state after your name change but before the car is paid off. That’s what happened to Michael’s wife, and how she ended up in a loop of bureaucracy sending them back and forth from Chase to the Maryland Vehicle Administration.
New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles doesn’t believe that Danjalier already paid the fees to have his driver’s license un-suspended. Never mind that he used a credit card, the charge from the DMV posted to his credit card, and the credit card company (American Express) tried to convince the DMV that yes, Danjalier had in fact already paid them.
A woman in Florida got her driver’s license in the mail only to find that she apparently lived on “Eat Ass” street. Her entire street address is printed as “Eat Ass Englewood, FL 34223,” thus raising the question of how exactly they mailed the license to her.
Is “bioch” a bad word? New Jersey thinks so. They’re trying to take away one resident’s fabulous bioch vanity plates because they are “objectionable.” She’s upset because people like the plates and think they are funny.
It’s bad enough that so many of the people at the Department of Motor Vehicles treat you like so much gum stuck to the bottom of their shoe, now comes a report that a handful of DMV employees in New York have been getting rich selling fake ID — not to minors trying to score beer or get into R-rated movies — to convicted felons, sex offenders and just about anyone who could come up with the cash.
Reader Justin may have discovered the real reason for California’s fiscal crisis. He owes the DMV $14, but says that the DMV doesn’t seem to want his money. Which is strange, since this is the opposite of how most people think of the DMV. Maybe they don’t have any lines, either.
As part of an attempt to make up a budget shortfall, New York State is holding a huge fundraiser. No, not a bake sale: starting in April 2010, the state is forcing all car and tractor-trailer owners in the state to buy new license plates when they renew their registrations. And not just any license plates. Ugly license plates.
Here’s sad news– Comcast has worse customer service than the New Jersey DMV.
The DMV is making reader Paul surrender his license plates because they could stand for something untoward, but he takes solace in the fact that he made them type a nasty word in a legal document.
It’s no secret that every DMV office is like a relocated bit of Soviet Mother Russia on U.S. soil, or that the people who work there really do talk and act like Patty and Selma. SmartMoney lists 10 other things that may not be as well known, though. For the most part, the list is light on advice and heavy on anecdote and scandal—but there are still a few good lessons to be learned from it. They include: visit the nondenominational dmv.org before you go; don’t ever buy vanity plates (especially ones that announce you’re a female); and flood-damaged cars, which are dangerous to drive, are being fraudulently sold as “used” via unscrupulous dealers who take advantage of lax DMV title rules, so always “screen the car’s VIN through the free database at carfax.com/flood.”
• Insert your blogged complaint here. Why should these folks get all the traffic?
G. would like to sell his car but can’t, as the Illinois DMV has lost his title among piles of paperwork and has no interest in finding it.