Tuesday, January 12, 2021

DMV during Covid

I'll apologize in advance if this turns ranty.  Have you had the pleasure of going to the DMV during covid?

I had the thrill of going to the DMV yesterday.  My license and three car registrations expired back in the summer.  As soon as I heard the DMV's had opened up for appointments, you know, back in the early fall, I made one.  The earliest appointment I could get was yesterday.  Over four months from the day I set the appointment.  And no, my appointment was not at the local DMV.  My earliest available, four+ month away appointment was at a DMV 58 miles from my home.

So instead of spending yesterday knitting, I drove the hour and twenty minute trip (there were lots of small, one lane, twisty-turny back roads and 25 mph speed limits involved.  It wasn't a bad drive though.  I got to go across seven big bridges over big water.  Two of the bridges were draw bridges and thankfully they were closed to boats and open for cars in both directions.  I had good music and really, it wasn't a bad drive, just a bit long for a trip to the DMV.

I arrived at the DMV 30 minutes before my appointment because I'd left home a little early in case I got lost.  Sometimes my GPS sends me on wild goose chases.  

I stood in line while it lightly rained and three different old men argued with the DMV lady who was guarding the door.  None of them had appointments and they were each pretty angry that she couldn't just take care of their issues for them.  I felt pretty sorry for that poor woman.  Lord knows how many times a day she has to deal with argumentative people without appointments.  She handled it well though.

I filled out my paper work and only waited a few minutes for my turn at the counter.  Once I got to the counter, I was told that because my license had expired, even though it was covid times and DMV had been closed at the time, and I'd made the first available appointment, I had to have my birth certificate and my marriage license to renew my drivers license.  Of course I did not have either of those two things with me.

Thankfully, I was able to pay the DMV $28 to have them print a birth certificate and marriage license for me.  Why they couldn't just see it on the screen for free rather than printing them for $28 is beyond me but hey - I now have extra originals if I ever need them.

Once I had the printed paperwork in hand, I passed the eye exam, got my photo taken twice because the cashier didn't like the first one, (You know it had to have been a BAD photo if the DMV people didn't like it! ๐Ÿ˜) forked over a few hundred dollars, received my temporary drivers license and my three car registrations and hit the road for the journey home.

When I got home, I looked at the receipts and noticed that I'd had to pay late fees for each of the three car registrations.  Late fees on something I was unable to pay for on time because the DMV hadn't been open.  Good Lord!  Only our government could get away with something like that.

Oh well.  The experience is behind me.  I didn't get lost.  I got out of the house.  I saw big water.  I have the trill of looking forward to seeing what my new license photo will look like in five to ten days (assuming the USPS can manage to deliver the mail,) and I won't have to deal with the DMV for another year.

Now, I think I'll go knit so that my next blog post can hopefully be a little more interesting.  And knitting related.


  1. Good grief! Bureaucracy is something else. I sent in my form and check for my new license last week, and yesterday I got a letter in the mail telling me that because of COVID, they'll just use the photo and signature from my last license to print a new one and send it to me. And they also included a voter registration form in the envelope, too, just in case I wasn't registered to vote yet.

  2. You're scaring me. I have the same issue. My license isn't expired but I never got the new fancy one they are handing out when I was supposed to because of Covid. I think I have until March to do it. I hope. They keep moving all the dates around and I'm so confused.

  3. Oh yes, I had to go to the DMV last summer. I stood outside in 100F heat in the sun for 3 hours. Only 2 people allowed inside at a time. I had an appointment that came and went. I finally went inside and was done in five minutes. All of that for 5 minutes. I'm not supposed to stand in lines for more than a couple of minutes and NEVER in the heat due to my heart issues, but do you think that made a difference? Nope. I should have taken a lawn chair but didn't think about it. I had to keep sitting down on the pavement, otherwise I would have passed out.
    I cannot believe they got away with charging YOU late fees. You should have been able to charge THEM.

  4. DMVs are always a pleasure, no? Luckily we can renew car registrations on line. And our licenses are not up for some time. Sorry it was such a pita, but as you said, you did get to see BIG water and it was a pretty drive. Hope the balance of your week goes well!

  5. Oh i hate going to the dmv. Although here in the rural country , it is so much easier than in the Windy CITY!