They should have called it DMP – DON’T MAKE PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE DAY!
Coming from a “THIRD WORLD COUNTRY”, I am no stranger to waiting in long, super slow moving queues at any government service provider, be it vehicle registration, license renewal, post office, municipality or home affairs. I always thought government employees work on their own time and then there were the “systems down” or “no electricity” or the “strikes” or the “our computers were stolen” causes for no service. I would much rather go to an inexperienced dentist for a root canal procedure than any of the above mentioned or other government service providers.
Unfortunately, moving to the US meant that I had to redo my drivers license. The whole process, the written test, the eye test and the driving test. I did these tests many moons ago so you can imagine my nerves (AND WHAT ABOUT PARALLEL PARKING) but moving to a “FIRST WORLD COUNTRY” my long, super slow moving queues at government service providers would be over, right? WRONG!
I visited the DMV here in Charlotte, North Carolina numerous times to apply for my drivers license. You know what they say: third time lucky! Its not that I failed any of the other times, it was time that was against me (luckily no other man made causes LIKE NO ELECTRICITY…) on my first two visits, we were shown away after hours of waiting due to full capacity (in english – the representatives did not want to work 1 minute after closing time). This irritated me immensely. I mean who can really sit in a queue for 4 to 5 hours with a 18 month old explorer only to be shown away? AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!
But yesterday, I stuck it out and 3 hours later I had the little piece of paper in my hand! Hooray! I am now a somebody here in the USA. I have my name on an American Identification document and the cherry on top is that the photo they took, does not make me look hideous. I should probably also be happy for the fact that I can now legally drive the streets of Charlotte.
I must say, once I reached a representative at their station/counter, they were extremely knowledgeable, very clear and even helpful. The 3 people I got exposed to were actually NICE. That changed the bad taste in my mouth I had about the DMV. I still don’t want to visit that place ever again but I don’t hate it anymore – plus life is to short to hate so lets move on.
If you are planning a visit to the DMV here is some tips:
- If you need to go during the week, be there before 6:30am OR AFTER 10:00AM.
- If you are going on a Saturday morning, be there before 7:00am.
- NO FOOD OR DRINKS are allowed.
- Do not go in summer – all the teenagers in Charlotte are there for that little piece of paper.
- Do not go with your toddler
- Be friendly and polite
Click on the link below if you need more information:
Another tip I can give you is the link to a website with free DMV practice tests. They have more that 500 questions in their data base. These tests are extremely helpful with no hassle, no fees and no hidden gimmicks. They also provide you with the explanations if you answered incorrectly to any of the questions in the practice tests. It is very easy to use and a really nice to know tip that you can pass on to other people.
Ps. Happy driving.