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Opinion: A trip to the DMV

Appeared in the Sept. 11, 2013 edition of The Madera Tribune.

I had been worried the past few days because I had been informed by no less authority than the State of California that my driver’s license was about to expire, and that I had to get my keister into the Department of Motor Vehicles office and get a new one (license, not keister). And, said the directive from the state, this time I would have to take a test.

Learning that I had to go into the DMV office was akin to being told I had to have a tooth pulled — right now. Learning I had to take a test was akin to being told I had to have two teeth pulled.

My last experience at the DMV office wasn’t necessarily unpleasant, but it consumed a lot more time than I had allotted for it. About half the population of Madera had been told to show up at the DMV office at the same time I put in my appearance, and we all were milling around outdoors like sheep trying to figure out what was going on and where we should go. That day was hot, and it was muggy. People waiting to do business were lined up outside, and all the way down the building. I went to the end of the line and began to sweat. An hour later, I had made it inside, but by then I had noticed some people were going through another door, one with no line, and getting waited on with hardly any delay.

“How are they getting such good service?” I asked the weary-looking but still courteous DMV employee once I had staggered to the counter.

“They made appointments,” she said with an understanding smile. She further explained that one can go online, make an appointment and get quicker service. This year, that is what I did, and oh what a difference an appointment makes. In and out is what it’s about.

Of course, I still had to take the test. I got all the answers right except one (trick question), and I was able to do that well because I had studied — you guessed it — online.

If you have dealings with the DMV coming up, by all means go online and make an appointment. If I can do it, so can you.


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