Friday, September 25, 2009

That was quick

Shortly after our current governor took office, the BMV system became horribly broken. Not only did the online system roll belly up, we stopped receiving renewal notices; the state said it was our responsibility to magically know what we owed and to pay up or else. At the same time, wait times at the BMV offices ballooned, and the state's response was to remove the wall clocks (because, hey, we are too stoopid to carry watches or cell phones). Also, no food or drink allowed PLUS no using the restrooms, no matter how many hours it took. Equipment broke down regularly and computer data was garbled. The only bit of sunshine throughout this ordeal was the employees, who remained mysteriously upbeat despite the glitches and flaring tempers.

For several years, I gave up trying to renew my plates online because the plates would not arrive until after the old ones expired, and the police said it did not matter if you had a receipt proving you had purchased your new plates WEEKS ago, an expired plate was an expired plate. I never heard of anyone actually being cited for expired plates, but it still made me nervous.

A couple of years ago, things started to improve. The state lured people back to using the online system by offering $5 off the fees. Even though wait times had improved at my local office, I risked renewing online. And it worked!

This year I needed to renew my driver's license, which has to be done in person. There are new rules coming down the pike regarding proof of identity, but they don't go into effect until the first of the year. While double checking this info online, I noticed I could schedule an appointment at my local BMV to renew my license. Huh. So I did. But you know what? I did not need it. Either I picked the best time on the best day of the month to renew or else the BMV finally got their shit together. I was in and out of there in less than twenty minutes; the longest part of the wait was the developing of my pink (?!?) license. Even the photo looks halfway decent. And since I don't have to renew my license for six years, maybe they will have the additional identification requirements ironed out by then.

While waiting for my license, I overheard part of a conversation between two local small businessmen. In general, my state is RED but it turned BLUE in the last presidential election, probably from lack of oxygen. And these two gentlemen sounded red to me. But while they were wary of the new health care proposals, one of them stated loud and clear that he thought he would never vote for a Republican again. So while President Obama's approval ratings may be slipping, I'm guessing there is not going to be a corresponding rise in the popularity of the GOP. Yet.

No comments: