SOS!! I had to go to the DMV again
I know I ripped on the DMV last summer when I had to renew my driver’s license, but because I fail to adequately plan, I needed to stop there today because my plate sticker expires in two days. Those in other states may not realize this, but Illinois has had to cut expenses so drastically, we’ve been forced to consolidate the 2012/2013 winter season to only one month. Homeowners were asked to vote for the month they preferred when they made the second installment of their Illinois Real Estate Tax bill. Everyone I know voted for December, yet I find it interesting that February was the victor. Maybe we get our road salt at a reduced rate so late in the season. I suppose that’s business as usual in the Land of Lincoln, where our unofficial state motto is Vote early and often.
Sorry, I drifted off a minute. Basically because we have this anticipated mega storm predicted, which I’m sure once again, will be a bust, I figured on the off-chance the meteorologists actually get it right, tomorrow I may not want to run errands. I was out today and figured I’d get that dreaded task out-of-the-way.
Being that it has snowed heavily for the past several hours, and while my Subaru loves this weather, many other drivers are apparently both terrified and snow blind. My intention was to do this quickly and efficiently so I could just go home. I had my renewal notice in one hand, my pre-written check in the other, and my driver’s license, prominently displayed in my wallet in the event they needed my driver’s license number (do I even need to point out the irony in that?)
For years when I needed to renew a plate, it was relatively uncomplicated. Heck I really didn’t even mind having to stop there. Parking was the most trying part of it all. Upon entering, you were directed to a small room to the right. You waited your turn, wrote a check for a hundred bucks and you received your registration and sticker. It barely took more than a minute or two from start to finish. That was up until someone decided that such an easy process was ruining the Illinois DMV’s reputation.
Now upon entering, in as few words as possible, you state the reason for your visit. I flashed my renewal notice and mouthed the words, v e h i c l e s t i c k e r. I was then instructed to standinthatlineoverthere, as an index finger pointed in the general direction. At least I think it was her index finger. I found what I assumed was the correct line, walked up to the Sticker Nazi, who looked at my notice and instructed me to walk over to a nearby counter to write the check to SOS. That caught me off guard because in my attempt towards efficiency, I mistakenly made the check out to the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles. So I retreated to the counter of shame, voided the first check and wrote a new one, made out correctly. I returned to the Sticker Nazi, handed her my form and my check. She handed it back to me and said, “now take this and go standinthatlineoverthere and make sure you have your phone number on the check before you go up there.”
By this time I had writer’s cramp, but I illegibly scribbled my phone number on the front of the check as I walked to another line. Fortunately this employee was pleasant as she processed my renewal and handed me the sticker. I noticed that apparently her bosses must not think she is busy enough because in front of her, sat a stack of envelopes she needed to apply labels to as she waited for customers.
I have a better idea. Why not give the Sticker Nazi the envelopes to work on, eliminate that check point for us procrastinators, and let the employees who are in charge of handing out the stickers say, Please make checks payable to Secretary of State?
Rather than suggesting that I just picked up my sticker, and made sure I existed through the correct door because in Illinois, I believe failing to do so is a punishable offense, which requires yet another check made out to the SOS. I’ll save my suggestion for next month when I’m back there renewing the plates on two more cars.