Earlier this week, I went to the OMV (still seems strange it is not called a DMV) to get my Louisiana Driver’s License and to transfer the title of my car to Louisiana.
The office opened at 8 a.m. I arrived around 8:20 a.m. Late, or so I’m told. I stood in line for about one hour before getting a ticket, so that I could sit to wait for my number to be called. Around 1:30, my number was still not called, and I noticed that people who arrived after me had already been served. I went up to a teller who told me to talk to the shift manager, at counter #10. I went there. His response: “There are people who were here way earlier than you and are still not served.” Relative to 1:30 in the afternoon, the difference between 8:00 and 8:30 is not huge, so I wonder if people spent the night at the OMV waiting to be served.
Due to the way that they number things, you can tell why different people are at the OMV. People whose tickets began with a D (like mine, D316, numbering starting at 300), we had to title a vehicle. People whose tickets began with an E … they were getting their license reinstated. A girl who arrived at 11:00 with an E-ticket was served by 2:00, before me! I saw over 100 E’s pass through during the course of the day. Around quarter to 3:00, my number was finally called. Since they close at 4:00 and the last D before me was called at 1:45, I was beginning to lose hope at that point. Moreover, the batteries in both my ipad and my phone were about to die.
At the counter, I was told that my car insurance was not faxed to her (it was!) So, I had to re-call my insurance company with a dying phone to ask them to re-fax the documents. Luckily, they could do that fast. Then, she tells me that it is going to be over $500, and asks “are you sure you want to do this?” I asked her what options I had. Drive a vehicle registered in a state where I don’t live? That would work until August, when the registration expires. Then what? Waste another day here at the OMV? That’s just postponing the inevitable. Since I didn’t have that much cash on me, I had to go across the street to the Winn-Dixie to buy myself some lunch and ask for cash back. (I had exceeded my daily limit on the ATM machine already). I don’t remember tasting the food I go there, I was so hungry.
At the end, I paid a cashier, who handed me a new license (beginning XXX … now everyone will think I’m a porn star). I look at her, anticipating instructions. She looks curiously back at me. I say, “do I need to get an inspection or something?” She asks, “do you have brake tags?” I say, “no.” “Then you need brake tags.” “Where do I get them?” “Most gas stations. $10 for one year, $20 for two. They’ll put on the plate for you too.”
At the gas station, the guy tells me that I should have put on the plate myself. But, since he’s such a good guy, he’ll put it on for me if I give him a few dollars. He goes on about how difficult it is to change the license plates, and that some of them use this tool and some of them use that tool (he has both). Oh, and I have a bike rack, that’s going to be difficult to get around. Still, I tipped him to shut him up. We went outside, he scraped off my PA inspection stickers. He complained that this was more difficult than the Texas stickers. He puts on the new sticker and closes the door. I say, “what exactly do you check for in this inspection?” He tells me that it checks for the blinkers, the wipers, and the horn. Then, he looks at me and says “I know that the blinkers work.” (not sure why he knows that) “oh, and let’s check the horn.” He then opens the door and presses the horn. Did I just remind him to do his job? Also, why are these called brake tags if they don’t check the brakes?