I'll admit it. I'm scared of the BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles). You may have a DMV. We've had those too. They aren't any better.
Since moving in early July, we put off getting our new drivers licenses, new plates, and new vehicle registrations as long as we could, but the time had come to do it.
Photo by sylvar
First, I had to locate the nearest agency, find directions, and figure out what documents we would need. This alone caused shallow breathing. I've had more than one rough experience at the BMV--if it isn't getting into the wrong, endless line and having to start over in another endless line, it's not having the proper documents and having to come back.
Thinking I might need a paper bag to avoid hyperventilation, I printed out the locations and stepped away from the computer. Just finding this info took 15 minutes. By the time I clicked throught the various links to figure out what to bring, I needed a break. A three-day break.
So, here's a question for you--do you know where all of your birth certificates, social security cards, marriage certificate, vehicle titles, vehicle loan contracts, registrations, proofs of insurance, and proof of residency documents are located? No? Yes? Well, you're going to have to find them. Because the clerk will NEED THEM ALL.
When I'd tracked all of these down along with a few vials of blood (just in case), we headed to the strip mall across town and got in line. Naturally, we chose the wrong line, but we were blessed. The place hadn't filled up yet. However, things were about to get weird.
We were informed since we were from out of state, we would need to take a written test. Written test?? My palms grew clammy, and I squeaked out, "Are you serious?"
Yes. She was.
I haven't taken a written test since...well, probably since I was fifteen years old. So my husband and I took our matching driver's training booklets, sat in chairs, and proceeded to skim the 85 page manual for the next 20 minutes. Finally, I grew agitated, slapped the booklet shut, and announced I was taking my chances.
We entered the other line. And found out we had to take vision tests too. I fidgeted, wondering if my blurry vision from seasonal allergies would fail me. Luckily, the tester was really nice, and we flew through the test in no time at all.
Then, we each were assigned a station to take the written test. I thought the set-up was pretty cool. Touchscreens gave clear directions and even let you know if your answer was correct. I got a bit worried at a few questions, but managed to pass that bad boy. Score!
Next up? More waiting. We had to get back into the original line to actually get our new licenses. We filled out more paperwork, paid the lady, took our pictures, and sat back down to wait for the new cards.
One step down! So I look sunburned and frightened in my picture--at least I have a valid ID. :)
After this phase, our clerk did a quick inspection of our vehicles, wrote up some paperwork, and sent us three doors down to get new titles. Once completed, we headed back to the BMV and got to the final portion of our trip--the new registrations and plates. When we exited the building, we both sighed in relief, feeling a bit drained.
Let's tally the numbers: Prep work--1.5 hours (researching BMV stuff, finding documents, etc...), heart palpatations and sweat attacks--12 (finding out I might not have the proper proof of residency started them and finding out about the written test didn't help!), actual time at BMV--2 hours, number of checks written--3, feelings of satisfaction that I don't have to go through that for a long, long time--countless!!
Do you fear the department of motor vehicles? Tell me I'm not the only one!
Have a great day!