Welcome to hell…my day at the DMV

Tuesday, my daughter’s favorite day.  I don’t know why, but it just is.  However, this Tuesday was not like most.  This Tuesday was the day I finally had time to blow four hours of what could have been productive time, to go to the DMV to beg my masters for a permission slip to drive my own vehicle.

The amount of waste  involved in this process is truly startling.  

Across the country, there must be nearly 1,000 such facilities.  Here is a list of DMV locations in Washington State alone:

If each person sitting there, waiting to be anointed by on high, was even only as productive at the proposed minimum wage of $15 per hour.  With the amount of time it took me at four hours – even if I cut it in half and call it 2 hours.  That is $30 of minimum lost productivity in just the act of going to the office and waiting.  Tack on all of the fees and taxes and that number increases substantially.  But, let’s keep that $30 in mind.

There are over 214 million licensed drivers in the United States.  Generally, you are looking at expiration after 4-5 years.  Washington State just moved to 6 (more on this later).  So, let’s use 4 for now and some some rough rounding.

Let’s call it 53 million driver licenses issued per year.  And multiply that by the $30 in waiting the fuck around (which is a low estimate), and you start talking about real money:  $1.59 BILLION with a “B” of absolute waste.

Service with a smile

Upon arriving, I was greeted by a woman behind a desk playing on her personal cell phone who took nearly a minute to issue an actual, human recognized greeting.  She bluntly asked me what I was there for….and I said a renewal.

Her reply, “License” with her hand out.

She scanned it and out popped a ticket with my number to be called up on the screen when they got around to it.


This was literally her job.  Something that a roll of tickets in a plastic dispenser could accomplish.  Chalk up another $40-50,000 per year in waste per person like this…across 1,000 offices – and I’ll be!  Another $50 MILLION down the chute.

Yes, I am pulling these numbers out of my ass, but I’d be surprised if I was that far off.

While waiting, I saw an old lady who could barely walk get her license renewed.    She had to ask her husband for more money because apparently the price has gone up overall with the move from 5 years now to 6 years on the license.

After that, two men who had foreign accents were being told by the attendant that they couldn’t tell them “which” test they should take, but that the men needed to “ask” them for the test they were supposed to take.

When it was finally my turn, I was told that due to the change to 6 years, the systems they have can’t handle the increase in the number of people or some such thing…so I was randomly selected to only get a 3 year license.  How this makes any sense, I do not know.  Is it really that hard to print out “2023” instead of “2020”?

So, I get to look forward to another fulfilling waste of my time in half the promised time…welcome to hell.

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