Now don’t get me wrong, so far I love California. And in most ways they’re very modern. But when it comes to egovernment, well, they’re having none of that silliness.
The DMV was right out of the mid-eighties. Crammed with people, no place to sit, lines getting mixed up, all so people could go from window to window to fill out paper forms! Seriously, California DMV? Have you even heard of the internet?
Probably the thing that made me the most vexed was that I know for a fact they could put 80% of that stuff online. We did it in Virginia (and yes, I do mean we).
Probably the most advanced feature was the system to get your VIN verified. It involved a doorbell that caused some nice lady to eventually come out and look at your car. Holy hossenfeffer. They asked me questions like, “How much did the car cost?”
“How much was it before fees and taxes?”
“We’ll just say $40,000, then.”
And here’s where they really get you. You need to get a Smog check which is a fee you pay some service station, and the registration transfer fee is…wait for it…$335.
The conversation went exactly like this:
DMV: “And the registration fee is $335.”
DMV: “Yeah. Welcome to California.” I mean, in Virginia it’s something like $40. And Virginia couldn’t care less about the smog. $335. Smite my bottom…
So when we were done, I ran up, rang the verification bell, and drove off. Eff you DMV.