02 May 2014


Like most of America, I dread going to the MVC (DMV). It is a bureaucratic abyss of Dantean proportions, but NJ more than most...

Every time I have to title a vehicle, particularly if it's an out of state vehicle, I feel a deep dread. The kind of feeling you used to get as a kid when you break something and are anxiously awaiting your parents to make the discovery and punish you.When all goes perfectly and I'm presented a good NJ Title without a fuss, I leave feeling like I've just gotten away with something or broken out of jail. Looking at the process in a logical manner, it shouldn't be this way. You bring in legitimate, legal documents and fill out fairly straight forward forms to obtain new, legal documents expressing your ownership of a vehicle, but it doesn't work this way.

For example... With the R60, I was trying to get a NJ Title after purchasing the frame+case with a clean VT Title, notarized Bill of Sale, appropriate form, and the seller standing right next to me, at the state MVC headquarters in Trenton. After waiting a half hour on line, and then about another 3-5 at the counter waiting for the worker to come back out of the back room, she said to come back with a pencil etching of the VIN. I've never had to do this before, but it was 1600 and the DMV closes at 1730, so we drive back to the seller's shop, get an etching (actually 3), and come back. After waiting another 45 minutes, everything they asked for is presented to them. The worker responds that she can't read the numbers on the etching and to see her supervisor. Supervisor responds that she can't read the numbers and to come back with a photo. Much arguing ensued as the numbers are clear as day, but they were closing in 20 minutes and as a bureaucrat they pretty much hold you up as long as they want, and pretty much do whatever they want. So I leave in a rage saying I'd bring the engine case in so they could trace it themselves, but they refused. I pick up my frame and case, drive an hour north to get back home, and plan to go to my local MVC to repeat the process the next day. Upon arriving at my house, I ask my 3 year old if she could read me the numbers on the etching, which she does to perfection. My 3 year old has better eyesight and reading capabilities than the Trenton MVC employees.

Fast forward to this morning, go to my local DMV, bring all the same paperwork, plus a photo since I didn't want to have to make any additional trips, and try the process over. While handing over the etching, I ask the employee if she could read it which she does on the first attempt, never even mentioning that it was in any way illegible, and seemed confused that anyone could argue it was illegible. Good so far, but then came the VT title, which she wasn't familiar with. After 3 talks with her supervisor about it and 10 minutes elapsing, I see her come back to the window with a plate in her hand and a title. I exhale, relax, and then get anxious to get the hell out before someone comes and fucks up the process. It shouldn't be like this, I had all the appropriate legal documentation and shouldn't have had to stress in any way, but this seems to happen all the time. It's good DMV employees don't work in hospitals, because I swear they could witness a baby being born and invalidate the birth certificate because the doctor said birth was 0845 when the clock really said 0844...

I think the DMV employees are a sadistic bunch, and I can't blame them for it. I'd probably be the same way if I had to deal with some of the nonsense they run into. Just this morning I saw a woman ask a man 4 times if he had his fingerprints done (HAZMAT endorsement), to which he never responded a single time, someone throw all his paperwork on the floor and leave because he didn't have the required insurance and got mad, lots of people who couldn't speak English, and maybe 4 or so people who came up to the window without forms filled out even though they had a woman whose only job was to hand out those forms and remind the people on line that they must be filled out before getting to the window, at least 3 times in the half hour I was there.

I might be that way if I had to deal with all of that, but then again, I'm trying to apply logic to the DMV process...

No comments:

Post a Comment