Wednesday, January 30, 2008

How dense could I be?

I thought I would use my lunch hour to renew my driver license, given that it expired on my birthday. Now, granted, I don't have a car these days, but I rent the occasional one or end up driving some one else's for them. One also needs a driver license (or state sanctioned I.D.) to travel by air these days, so I am forced into dealing with the bureaucracy. The last time I renewed in-person (ten years ago) the process was about an hour total with a bit of waiting time. Ultimately it was made entertaining by my cousin who worked at the DMV then, and whom I had not seen in a very long time.

This time around, however, I took one step into one of three Driver License Division offices and turned right back around and went back to work: the place was packed and there was very little evidence of movement. People were hanging out on the counters, it was so back-logged. There were also quite a few people who were obviously huffy about the egregious wait-time. I didn't get huffy, per se, I just realized that this was never going to work for me today.

But you've got to love cheap-skate Utah: people bitch and moan about the few taxes they pay, and then bitch and moan about the problems that their smallgubment! antics cause. There are a total of 3 driver license offices in Salt Lake County, all open from 7 until 5:30 at night. They are utterly understaffed. The Salt Lake valley, according to the last census is just 25,000 short of 1,000,000 people. That's 3 locations for roughly 36,000 people who have a birthday any given month in this state. Half that (18,000) and you get the number of people who have to visit the DMV to renew their license in-person per month. This doesn't account, of course, for the folks who are there for other reasons at any given moment.

It looks like I'll have to take the day off to renew my little-used driver license.


  1. Anonymous1:11 PM

    Have you tried the Sandy Express DMV Office? They handle renewals only, no testing. I had to renew in August, and having not set foot in a DMV in ten years, was expecting the worst. I was in and out of there in 20 minutes. (I had taken the whole afternoon off, and it turns out I could have done it during a lunch break.)

  2. Yes I've thought about Sandy, but I am over here for work by the other one in Taylorsville and that Sandy one is in a very mass-transport commuter unfriendly place. Why can't they have another of those in SLC? Oh wait, I answered my question in the post itself: cheapskates who dump all their money into pointless roads and nothing into human resources.

  3. I have to renew my driver's license too, since it's been expired since November and I almost didn't get on a flight because I'd forgotten about it! I also can't get alcohol unless W. goes to the liquor store for me because I always get carded. So sad my life is. We should go together--maybe it won't seem so awful with company. There's one at 33rd that doesn't seem to be as busy as the one in T-ville.

  4. Note to comment readers: lis and I determined in private email conversation that the DMV at 33rd South does not do driver licenses. We are planning a special excursion to renew or licenses together at the afore-mentioned Sandy driver license express office! I might take pictures, but I fear that Homeland Security will come after me.