Bringing The DMV Experience Home

When Stef moved we transferred the car to her. She registered it, got a smog certificate and California tags.

Case closed? Of course not!

Yesterday we got a form from the DMV telling us the registration is suspended. That’s fine because the car is properly registered elsewhere. These tags are long gone. Stef doesn’t know where they went. If you’re at a Fridays and see Connecticut marker FORCST on the wall let me know.

We already sent the DMV a form a week or so ago trying to prevent this from happening. Stuff crosses in the mail I suppose.

In the end though everything is proper I’m scared this suspended registration will come back to haunt me. “Mr Fox, we’d love to give you the Nobel Peace Prize, but do you remember that Toyota your daughter drove?” I should have been suspicious when Toyota didn’t recall it this past winter!

I just spoke with Jackie at the DMV’s Insurance Division. Nine minutes on hold with the obligatory ‘we’re shocked at the high call volume’ announcment. Then two minutes with Jackie.

“Wait,” she suggested. And so I will.

Jackie was very nice, but there’s something inherently dysfunctional with anything any state’s DMV touches. They don’t mean to be that way. It’s inherent in the system. It’s unavoidable.

The forms we received and returned are as stark and unfriendly as possible. In black and red type they scream, “We know you’re thinking of an excuse, but we don’t give a s**t so don’t even try.”

Even the on-hold messages which were surely designed to be friendly and helpful were unfriendly, unhelpful and often seemed condescending. And, again, I know DMV put the messages on with a pure heart. No human is strong enough to overcome the DMV curse!

Hopefully when we return from California the mess will have straightened itself out. However, if it hasn’t I’ll bet they’ll again be surprised by the high call volume.

3 Responses to “Bringing The DMV Experience Home”

  1. Lou Lange says:

    The DMV has always been dysfunctional – at least they are out of the stone age and letting certain people do registration stuff online. Now if they would only roll that out fully. THE driver’s license renewal thing at certain AAA offices is good too, but they need to just blow it up and start over again.

  2. meredith says:

    It’ll come back to haunt you the next time you try to buy & register a new vehicle. The CT DMV revels in that sort of thing.

    At least nowadays, you can get to a human being at some point. I remember back when I was buying & registering my first car, the DMV didn’t have an 800 number and the phone just rang, and rang, and rang, and rang … did you know that if you let a call ring for more than 2.5 minutes, you’ll get a “the party you are attempting to reach is unavailable, please hang up and try your call again later” automated message? I didn’t before that day!

  3. KE4GNK says:

    Heh, we moved all our vehicles to Alabama registration when we moved there. TWO years later, I got a collection notice from California on just one of them–they wanted two years back registration and penalties that were for more than the car was worth, and threated to confiscate my California Tax refund to pay for it.

    When I called the toll-free number, it turned out that CA had hired a contractor to pursue this stuff. When I told them that I no longer lived in CA, no longer had cars registered in CA, and basically thought they were wasting their time, they took a more careful look at the records and found they had a software error.

    The real giggle was that the guy I was talking to worked for a different division of the company I was working for in Alabama…Small world.

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