Monday, February 26, 2024

on the cusp of bureaucracy

Hurrah, my new driving license arrived, just two weeks after my last visit to the DMV.

The process wasn't so much difficult - though it was that - as consequential, insofar as if anything went wrong I'd be without a license.

You can start as early as 3 months before the renewal date, and I did that. Went online and got an appointment at what I hoped was the most obscurely located (hence perhaps uncrowded) local DMV office - the one that opened at 7 AM that I used before has since closed. I arrive at noon, in time for the appointment, to find no open parking spaces and a long line for non-appointment customers. Go through the normal rigarmarole, to find a new wrinkle. Although in previous renewals my unusual optical situation (one of my eyes can't be corrected for distance vision) was merely checked off, this time they insist I get an eye doctor to verify it. They give me a form for the doctor to fill out, and a temporary license which, as it's only good for two months, expires before the real one does.

Then I have to get an appointment at the eye clinic. My local one has no appointments available for as long as they take appointments for. But it's easy to get one at another branch some distance away. I go there. Usual eye test, new prescription, doctor fills out form, notices that the DMV, when writing down the results of the eye test I took there, mixed the two eyes up.

I can't get an appointment online to turn the form in, because there's no option for this on the web site, which is very baroque and forces you to fill out the application form every time you log in, even if you specified you've already done that. So I decide to return to the same DMV office sans appointment, only this time when they open at 8.

This is much more successful. There's plenty of parking spaces and nobody in line. I get my business done without an appointment faster than I had with an appointment at a busier time. Clerk corrects error on the form, agrees that everything looks OK, confirms I did everything else on my previous visit, isn't put off by all the phantom applications I filled out on the web site, sends me off in the hope that the license will actually arrive soon.

It's two weeks later when I find that this was correct, and that brings us to today and, I hope, the end of this story.

No comments:

Post a Comment