A day at the DMV, or, I will go and do

One of my least favorite activities is renewing my drivers license, or registering my vehicle.

Today, I got to do both.

If you ever want a feeling of hopelessness, walk into almost any department of motor vehicle office, in any state, and the long lines will make you long for a BarcaLounger and a television remote. Add two hyper children into the mix, and you have a vision of what outer darkness could be like.

In our family prayers the other night, I specifically prayed that my wife and I would have success at the Connecticut DMV (success being defined as both vehicles registered and valid drivers licenses for both my wife and me). With statutory deadlines and a change in insurance policies after moving to Connecticut, the need for obtaining registration for both vehicles was unavoidable.

As we set out for the DMV in the morning, we had a long list of required items with us, and a few things we thought we might need as well. After standing in a line that resembled a column from the Israelite exodus from Egypt, we learned that my laminated Social Security card would not be accepted.

A return trip home to obtain suitable back-up documents proved fruitful for me, but not so for my wife. Fortunately our vehicles were registered in both of our names, so I was able to get them registered, even though my wife was unable to obtain a new license.

As my family and I left the DMV, I said a silent prayer of thanksgiving in my heart for being able to get my license and register both vehicles. My family’s prayers had been answered and I felt as if the Lord had blessed me that morning.

I love Nephi’s response to his father Lehi when he was asked to return to Jerusalem and obtain the Brass plates:

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

1 Nephi 3:7

Even though my task was not obtaining scriptures in a city I had previously abandoned, my task was nevertheless daunting and one where I needed the Lord’s help to complete.

I love the scripture in Alma 37:6:

Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.

Today I learned that the Lord stands ready to bless my life and prepare a way for me to accomplish the things I have been asked to do, even through small and simple things as obtaining a drivers license and vehicle registration.

8 thoughts on “A day at the DMV, or, I will go and do

  1. The DMv is a great example of a government service that should be privatized.

  2. True story: in Miami the DMV is so awful that you have two choices: wait 5-6 hours in line after getting to the DMV at 6 a.m. (there are lines outside the DMV at 5 a.m.). OR you can make an appointment two months ahead of time and still wait an hour or two.

    In Colorado, the DMV wait was five minutes in a pleasant, clean office.

  3. When we lived in New Mexico, we had the choice of going to the local DMV with the usual wait, or take a half-hour drive to a nearby mountain community and get service on the spot. I figured that the time everything would take would be more than an hour anyway, so why not spend most of that time in a beautiful setting?

  4. I know people love to tell jokes about the DMV, but it’s always been a pretty painless experience for me. I’ve only had to go three times in my life (to get my license, change an address, and replace a lost license) and I can’t remember ever spending more than 20 minutes there. Almost everything is done through the internet now, and unlike Geoff I’m completely satisfied with how the government is handling it. I can’t see how privatizing would fix your problem unless they charged more for their services to add additional employees, and I’d prefer a 20 minute wait over higher fees.

  5. So you didn’t get to lop off the heads of anyone at the DMV? And you call that an answer to prayer? :-)

  6. Whenever I deal with the government, I always try to remember that you can catch more flies with honey than you can with fly paper. DMV and other government employees are constrained and limited by rules and regulations which they had nothing to do with authoring.

    Smiling and saying “thank you” always works wonders in situations like these.

    My experience with the Arizona DMV was pain free, especially with an excellent online system at ServiceArizona.com.

    Connecticut definitely has room for improvement, but the people who helped me yesterday went above and beyond my expectations.

  7. AAA offers DMV services, except for driver’s license renewals, to its members. I haven’t had to deal with the DMV in years.

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