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  • Stew

Joyous: The DMV

Updated: Jun 14, 2020

Suprisingly an overall good experience with a few funny and scary moments. As strange as an enjoyable DMV visit sounds, my two recent trips there resulted in a positive view of the Department at least the Brooklyn location. Here's the highlights of the two visits.

A couple of weeks ago after purchasing my van I went to the DMV office to finally switch my Florida drivers license to a New York State one, a switch which should have been made three years ago but I forgot. After some quick research I collected the necessary documents, SS card, cable bill, passport, student ID, anything with a picture on it and headed to the DMV. Google says it opens at 8am which turns out to be half true. I arrived at 7:45 to find a line of probably 50 people outside the building. At 8am a security guard let us into the Atlantic Center (it's just an old shopping mall) the line now over 100 people easily. As a collective line we then just moved inside the building, still not there yet. A DMV staff member then split the line up based on what people are there for, registering a vehicle, permit test, suspensions, etc. This whittled the line done a solid amount but I was still in the longest line. Then the DMV staff asked everyone in line what they are there for and handed out the necessary forms if someone didn't have what they needed, what a great idea!

At 8:30 the lines were lead into the office where you get a ticket like at the deli. B0706, that's me! I waited about 20 minutes for my number to be called. During my wait I watched countless people go up and talk to the clerks, the only exciting thing that happened was an elderly gentleman had a hard time with the vision test (exactly like at the eye doctor with the white paper with all the letters on it). After not getting a single letter correct, the lady behind the counter told the man he would need to get his eyes tested and bring back the paperwork. I felt really bad for him but instantly realized I was grateful that he couldn't renew his license woithout correcting his vision. But what if he drove his car there? and they just sent him home with the same vision difficulties he drove with? How does that make any sense. A little scary but it might explain why there are so many crap drivers around.

The robot voice called B0706 and I excitedly strolled over to the desk 26. The lady behind the counter was a very pleasant and scanned over my paper work, typed a view things into the computer and asked me to step back to take a new driver license picture, this was the moment I had been waiting for, new license time. This is where the fun starts. I step back and put on my best smile. Flash. "One more time" the woman says. Flash. "Take one step forward and crouch down a little bit." I take one step forward, crouch down a little bit, and resume my smile. Flash. "Okay try one step closer and crouch down further." At this point I'm bow legged to an uncomfortable level trying to get low enough for the camera and keep my smile up. Flash. "Maybe try putting your jacket on and step back again" So my rain jacket goes on and I'm back in the original position, smile has faded, how is a jacket going to make the picture work? Flash. "Come forward and crouch again" okay seriously this is getting dumb. Flash. "You'll have to go to another camera, there are six criteria that have to meet and you are meeting none of them" the woman says, kind of chuckling. I go to the next both, don't even have time to smile. Flash. "Okay it worked" the neighboring staff member says. I go back to my original both. The woman continues tom type and says "I think it must of been your beard reflecting the fluorescent light above my booth" and points up at the light above her. "Ah okay" I reply. That makes no sense, oh well. My paper work is processed and I'm given a temporary NYS drivers license. Off to work. I was in and out in about 55 minutes not including the time I waited showing up early. Not bad DMV, I have hope for future visits.

Check out my old and new license photo, two fabulous pictures.

The next visit came a week later when my temporary van registration was about to expire and I had to finally register it in New York as it was a New Jersey van before. What a nice little upgrade.

This trip I show up at 7:15 and I am 14th in line. The same process of waiting, splitting the lines, getting the paper work, getting a ticket. My ticket is called within minutes of me sitting down. The lady at the booth was again very pleasant (different woman) and went over my paperwork. I registered the van as a personal vehicle without any problems as I have done enough of the conversion to cover the requirements of turning a van into a passenger vehicle (as opposed to a commercial vehicle). I get the new plates in my hand along with the registration sticker and a 10 day temporary safety and emissions sticker. I'm out of there in less than 15 minutes. Hooray!

Having a solid experience at the DMV 10/10 would recommend.

No more temporary NJ plate!

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