17 April 2008

I Like the DMV

Dave2 asked: Has anybody ever had a good experience at the DMV... ever?

I knew my answer was yes, so I sifted through some old newsletters to find my recounting of getting a new driver's license in San Francisco several years ago.
It has a Parking Lot. With no meters! You walk in, get your number and then there are staffed windows the length of the building. They keep it moving quite well. I was in and out in an hour and a half. Maybe that sounds long, but that included filling out forms, paying the application fee, verifying my identity and birthdate, taking an eye test, and getting my thumbprint and photo taken. Also, taking the written license test and having it graded. (None wrong-- not even the weird question about u-turns in business districts. You can call me "Ace", baby.) Then they punched a hole in my FL license to invalidate it and gave me a temporary paper license. Still seems odd to me they don't do them digitally but rather make you wait 4-6 weeks to get it.

I miss Florida. You have a valid license from another state, you take an eye test, pay the fee, get a photo and you're done. Ah well, one step closer to being Californian I suppose.

The final perk of the San Francisco DMV is that it's right next to Golden Gate park. I took a few minutes to check out the gardens around the flower conservatory. They've been doing renovation on it and it looks great; I'm not sure when it reopens. The dahlia garden was pretty neat. And at least for now (although it's going to change), there are no parking meters there either.

A year ago on TTaT: Asked and answered, A rip in space-time and it could've been him


  1. Actually, a nearby DMV remodeled its insides so that those who need to do simple things like sticker renewals can just walk right up and not have to deal with anything, not even lines. I've gone through this DMV a few times now and have spent no more than three minutes in there at any one time. The test will be this year, though, when I have to renew my license. It expires in December.

  2. They make you redo the test? That bites. Where I am now, I think all I have to do is the eye test again when that comes up. The DMV here is not that busy (if at all) and most stuff you can do by mail which is cool.

  3. I'm like totally jealous and everything. For one reason or another, I've NEVER had a good experience at the DMV!

  4. That definitely sucks.

    Maybe the times I've had good luck with the DMV are karmic payback for the paces I was put through for my driver's license test.