Hello? Anyone there? I have an inkling that there are a total of 6 one-armed people working at the DMV Renewal office in Sacramento. Though government furloughs and layoffs certainly suck for public servants, we as members of the general public are starting to feel the effects of such downsizing. To be specific, when I say “we”, I mean those of us who have renewed our driver’s license with the DMV via the internet or by mail and are now wondering if we’re going to get anything for the $31 we spent, other than some random transit project in a community we’ve never heard of.
I received a letter from the DMV a few months ago that said, “Congratulations! You are eligible to renew by mail; internet/phone. Renew early to receive your new license before your current license expires.” FYI, my license expires on March 31. Yes, I was once a mighty ram, and now I’m a slimy fish…go me. Anyway, I knew that transactions with the government would be taking longer than usual in these budget-tightening days, so I promptly went online to renew via the interweb. I was already sensing that something would go wrong with this whole license renewal procedure since the online process kept crashing. I tried renewing again and again with three different browsers on two different computers at two different points in the day, all to no avail. I finally decided to renew by phone, which thankfully worked. OK, problem solved, or so I hoped as I wrote down my six-digit confirmation number and filed my AMEX back in my wallet.
Now call me slightly paranoid, but I’m starting to wonder if my license would ever arrive in the mail. And I’m not alone in feeling this way. As I relate my concerns to my friends and colleagues as B-Day approaches, I’m hearing more and more stories of people who had to wait for months, fighting tooth and nail all the while, to get their renewed licenses. A few people actually drove around with an expired license for several months, while others trekked to the local DMV to get a temporary license. Apparently, if you renew by phone, internet, or mail, you can just lie to the DMV and say that your vision hasn’t changed; however, if you renew in person, they make you take a vision test. Since when are people more honest when they’re not dealing with you face-to-face? Maybe that’s why I see so many damned squinty-eyed tunnel-visioned bats aimlessly meandering our streets.
Regardless, the DMV website does say that your renewed license will come in the mail within 60 days. Given that I received my notice in late January and renewed at that time, the jolly folks up in Sacramento were already pushing my renewal notice pretty close to my birthday at the end of March. I’m a patient man, but a part of me is thinking, “Do they mean 60 business days? And what about the furloughs ever other Friday, or the third Thursday of every month, or whatever it is? That essentially puts me three months out, which means that the one-armed hardworking gang of six in the renewal office didn’t send my “early renewal” notice in time, which also means that I won’t get my license until a good four to six weeks after my current license expires.
….wow…..that would be totally awesome…..so not winning.
I’m going to give this another week, and then it’ll be time to make an appointment with my local DMV office to get my temporary hall pass. And yes ma’am, my vision is still good.
Filed under: reviews