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In Our World

What's Up With the Department of Motor Vehicles?

The laughingstock of nearly every state, the DMV is the place where just about everything goes to die. Your morning is wasted. Don't even think about a lunch hour. Try and go in the afternoon and you'll be lucky to get home before the evening news. Reports in…

The laughingstock of nearly every state, the DMV is the place where just about everything goes to die. Your morning is wasted. Don’t even think about a lunch hour. Try and go in the afternoon and you’ll be lucky to get home before the evening news.

Reports in North Carolina have recently said that our DMV lines could be expected to double in the Charlotte area – from 45 minutes to as long as 90 – because of increased federal requirements. This makes no sense. While most things are faster in the computer age, this relic of antiquity languishes.

It is true that you can at least renew your vehicle tags online, and that’s a good thing. But if you need to get a new tag or tag a test, beware of the great black hole.

The increased delays are actually for driver’s licenses, not for vehicles, but it’s not like the lines are any better. What I don’t get is just why these things are so bad.

I don’t think I’ve taken a test – driving or written – since I originally received my license – some twenty years and two states ago. Assuming that most people are in the same boat (judging by the age of people in the line), it shouldn’t take too long to go up, get a picture and a new license and move out. Yet it takes forever.

Try and register your vehicle, or make a change to your registration, and it’s just as bad. Why? I have no idea. Mostly it’s people shuffling along, either from seat to seat or a few inches at a time.

When we live in a world where anyone can get a picture on their page via webcam (or digital camera), you’d think that there would be a way – any way – to speed up the process and make it more efficient.

At least in Charlotte, the vehicle registrations are handled by a franchisee. Maybe the answer is to get more of them in the business. It shouldn’t be like McDonald’s where you have a protected franchise area – put one on every corner like the drug stores you see all over the place, and make it convenient so that we don’t have to stand in such insane lines.