DMV is hell on earth.

I am SO annoyed. On Wednesday, I spent 2 hours of my life at the DMV that I will never get back. And I ended up leaving not getting what I needed to get in the first place.

They make you think it’s all efficient the way they have an information booth, and clipboards with pens on them, and they hand you numbers reminiscent of when your Grandfather took you to buy an ice cream. Remember when you took a number and you waited oh-so-patiently for them to call you so that you could get a bubble-gum infused ice cream cone (with sprinkles), because your Grandfather loved you (and secretly was getting back at his son by feeding you sugar). What are Grandparents for, right?

The number didn’t seem so bad. I got B-351. I mean, that didn’t seem so bad until they started to call G-524, and H117. Where the hell did the B’s go?

Let me back up a bit here. As you know, I bought Buckwheat on ebay from a guy who lives in New York. Each state has different rules and regulations for their DMV. You can find out lots simply by going on-line and typing in the name of the state and DMV (that will be important later). For those of you that missed it, we named the car "Buckwheat."

Earlier this week I went in to the same DMV and started at the information booth and handed the lady my “Certification of New York State Registration for Transfer of Non-Titled Vehicle”and the old registration document. The lady at the front desk told me I needed the title. I argued with her a bit to explain to her that the car wasn’t titled (see above), and New York said it was okay for Pedro to transfer the car (non-titled). She told me I HAD to have a title to even think about starting the registration process.

I went in later that same day and got a different person at the front desk. This time, I made Tim go with me. Different person, different answer. They handed me the form I needed to fill out, and handed me a number. There was never a question that I had a transfer form from NY DMV. That excursion ended badly because Tim wanted to spend only 30 minutes in there, and he was drumming his fingers and tapping his toes and jiggling his leg the ENTIRE time and making me crazy. Plus, I got a B number again, and every time they called G and H, he was whining. Long story short, we both walked out of there annoyed for different reasons. Maybe I should have started counting to three (see below).

So, I had all Wednesday morning and didn’t have to be anywhere until 12:30. I think that was my problem. I EXPECTED it to take longer. I got there shortly after 10:00am. I started at the window, and explained to the lady that I had my paperwork previously given to me, and a brief overview of what I was doing. I also told her that I wanted to get a personalized license plate. She handed me another form to fill out and explained that the DMV representative would be able to check on-line to see if the plate I wanted was available. Luckily, I had three choices and would be happy with any of them, and I had already looked on-line last week for some ideas. She looked at everything, made sure that I had it all filled out and handed me a number - B-351.

This time when I was handed the number I didn’t think about ice cream and my Grandfather at all. I thought about that scene in Beetlejuice where he is sitting in the case workers office and his number is 9,998,383,750,000. The head shrinker next to him has 4. They are currently serving 3. (watch the video here)

I went and sat in one of those little annoying plastic chairs and my mind again turned to movies. The Banger Sisters with Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon and they are having a conversation about life and color and Susan Sarandon says that Goldie is like a beautiful flower - all colorful and she (Susan Sarandon) is the same color as the DMV. Somebody was also paying attention to that movie, because the plastic chairs (hooked together in groups of 6) are blue, and not oatmeal colored.

But I digress. As I was sitting there, being annoyed at being there, I began to look around. I had to take a picture with my phone to show you because I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it.

The lady closest to me was asleep and snoring, and if you look closely at the guy just to her left? He’s blind. Now I ask you, does this bother you? I think this is cause for alarm. What the hell is a blind guy doing at the Department of Motor Vehicles????? He wasn’t with anybody, so it wasn’t that he was accompanying somebody on their DMV excursion. I’m just saying, I think there is something wrong with that!!!

And can we talk about the lady behind me who came in with all eighteen (or maybe it was three) of her children? They were being kids (as kids will be),and she had the annoying habit of counting when she wanted them to stop whatever it was they were doing. They were behind me and I didn’t want to turn around and stare, at the beginning of this fiasco.
“Cassie. CASSIE. Stop it. Stop hitting your brother. ONE. TWO. TWO and HALF.”
“RAY. Don’t hit her back. Stop it. ONE. TWO. TWO and a HALF.”
“CASSIE. Sit down. Right now. ONE. TW-OOOO . TW-OOOOO and a HALF.”
"Michael James! I'm gonna. ONE. TWO-OOO. TW-OOOOO and a HALF."

When she started making one syllable words into two syllable words I turned around and stared. I was just about ready to shout “THREE-EEEEEEE!”, when my number was finally called. It was 11:30.

I made my way over to the window where the pregnant lady was. She kept wincing and holding her belly. She wasn’t pregnant enough to be having contractions. In all of my pregnancy wisdom, she was maybe 6 months pregnant - just enough to show, but not enough to be rushed to the hospital. (This from the gal who has never been pregnant and doesn’t even really like children).

I handed her the paperwork. She looked at it, said, “You need the title.” I explained to her that there was no title (as the form in front of her from the NY DMV explained and NY state signed off on) and that this was the “Certification for Transfer”. She said, let me go check. She disappeared, grabbing her belly and wincing the entire way. She disappeared behind an oatmeal colored cubicle, and came back to me to tell me that I needed a bill of sale.

“How about the ebay receipt?”
“No, that isn’t a bill of sale.”
“How is that NOT a bill of sale? It states what the car is, where it was when I bought it, who I bought it from, what it was sold for AND who paid for it.”
“Let me go ask my manager.”

She disappeared again, wincing the whole way. When she got back, I was really worried about her. More worried about her than I was about getting the registration completed. I asked her, “Are you okay???”
“Yes, I just ate a piece of pizza.”
I wanted to say, well you aren’t dying, so quit acting like you are, but I didn’t. I smiled and said, “What did your manager say?”

“He said we need a bill of sale.”
“Do you think you could let ME talk to him?”
She sighed heavily and yelled across the room to him. She said to me, “I can’t walk over there again.”

She had a point. It was at least 15 steps there, so that made it 30 steps R/T. Way too much, especially for a pregnant lady who just had a piece of pizza.

She looked at the forms again. I had put in the mileage on the car: 49,578 and checked the box that said “mileage exceeds the odometer mechanical limit”. She peered at me and said, “There is only 50,000 miles on the car?”

I smiled sweetly and said, “I think there is probably 1,350,000 miles on the car. But I checked the box that said that the mileage exceeds the odometer mechanical limit. You'll notice on the form in front of you that it is a 1965 Mercury.”

“Well, we’re going to have to take a look at it. You need to pay somebody who is approved by the DMV to look at it and fill THIS form out.” She handed me another form.

I reached in my pile of f'ing forms that were sitting in front of her and pulled out the form she just handed me that was filled out by somebody THEY referred me to already. "Oh," she said, "Well, we will still need to take a look at it."

Because her manager was obviously taking his time walking the 15 steps over to her station, I handed her the form that said I wanted personalized license plates. I gave her my three choices:
  1. 65Comet
  2. Comet 65
  3. Comett
She put them all in the computer and said, “Nope. All taken.”
Then she yelled across the room at her manager again, wincing and grabbing her belly.

He finally came over, looked at the forms and said, “We need a title.”

I explained to him that OBVIOUSLY it was a non-titled vehicle, as the NY DMV form explained, and that the registration was given to the car, as proved by the original copy of it attached to the form. I told him I had bought it on e-bay, and brought it into California. He then told me that if I paid more than $5000 for a 1965 car, then it was a completely different issue to register it. I explained to him that the sales receipt that they were not counting as a bill of sale was in front of him and he could clearly see that I did NOT pay more than $5000 for it. He repeated what he had told me, louder and slower. As if that was going to make a difference. All it did was piss me off more.

I returned the favor and said loudly and slowly, “The car is outside. Go look at it. There is no way that it is worth more than $5000 and there is also no way that anybody (including me) would try to steal it, or pull something over the DMV’s eyes. The receipt from ebay clearly states what I paid for it and who I bought it from.”

He then looked over his glasses at me (you know what I am talking about) and said incredulously, “You bought it on -line????”

I explained to him that my business is Comet Realty, and I wanted a 1965 Comet Station Wagon for it. I wanted to go on further and tell him that he should embrace the 21st century and get rid of the mullet and the knit polyester wide maroon tie, and step outside the box, but I didn’t.

He told me they needed a bill of sale, and a note from New York DMV that said it was a non-titled vehicle and that they had never issued a title for it. (I’d like to remind you that the form I have from NY is “Certification of New York State Registration for Transfer of Non-Titled Vehicles”. It has the previous owners signature and a place for who he transferred the car too - that would be me.) He also wanted me to prove that there were no liens on it and that it hadn’t been previously financed and wasn’t owned by a bank.

I again told him that he needed to go look at the car out in the parking lot and he would know in his heart that there were no liens on it, and that probably no bank would ever even take the car as collateral, much less loan money on it.

At this point, I knew that I wasn’t getting anywhere with this. It was now 12:15. I had an appontment at 12:30. I had been there for 2 hours. The pregnant lady sat there wincing and holding her belly and spinning in her chair. The mulleted man was sticking to his guns and glancing at the clock (must have been almost break time for him). I was sticking to my guns.

I walked out. Annoyed as hell. I revved up Buckwheat’s engine. I left rubber in the parking lot, and flipped off the building as I left. Childish? You bet! Did I feel better? You bet!

When I got home, I googled NYDMV. It clearly states that vehicles that are pre-1975 do not need titles to be registered in the state of NY. It took me 2 minutes to find the info and print it out.

I also went onto California DMV’s site to look up to see what personalized license plates I could get. Guess what????? Choice #3 was available. It took me two minutes to find the info, so I put in my credit card and ordered it for myself.

DMV is an asshole. The people that work at DMV? Asshats.

That is two hours I will never get back of my life. And Buckwheat is still not registered. And there is some blind guy driving around San Luis Obispo, so watch out.

If any of you are watching REAPER (and you should be - it's on CW) they say that any place that appears to be hell-on-earth, is. Therefore, DMV is hell on earth.

My friend Mike said that if I go to AAA (not to be confused with AA) that they would do it for me, since I am a member. You mean I can do everything I need to do there and they will handle it for me? Can it be that easy? I’ll letcha know.

And now maybe I do need an AA meeting, since I am also a member.


Susan said...

My head is spinning after reading this.

I've had serious concerns about the California DMV ever since they DIDN'T make me take a driving test when I moved to the state from BC, since, the clerk assured me, BC is in the United States. (I did keep my mouth shut, though. Who wants to take a driving test if they don't have to?).

My husband, who had a different and apparently better educated clerk, did have to take the test. Different person, different answer.

When we moved back to BC and I had to change my license again, the DMV-equivalent people were so friendly and efficient that I almost cried. There may even be tears in my eyes in my license picture. I was in and out of that office in under 10 minutes.

That Mike guy sure is smart. (Hi Mike! Love you!)

LisaK said...

AAAARGH! @#$%$##!!! (That's me swearing at the DMV for you!) ;)

I'm so sorry you had to go through all that--what a pain in the ass! I must admit, however, that it was a good, no, GREAT story. BUT probably (at least now) not worth the aggravation.

Ummmm, yes, I DO think it is that easy. I haven't been to the DMV in YEARS since I take care of any and all business I might need through AAA (not to be confused!). BUT I've never bought a car online, much less a car that was not built in the 2000s!

Hope you have better luck--the next go around.

Taylor22 said...

I personally hate the DMV and once waited 2 hours to order a new license ...to make matters worse, 2 stoners from my high school were in there getting their licenses back so for that 2 hours I had to talk to them and help them because they were 2 high to figure it out...

love you!

ps Tim seems like he was no help! lol but at least he can cook!