I have lived in various towns and cities in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. With the exception of Massachusetts and where I live now, every interaction with the Department of Motor Vehicles (or whatever they called it locally) was a pain in the neck. Long lines, absurd forms, and cranky officials made me dread having anything to do with them.
Massachusetts is excluded only out of my lack of experience there: I never had to get or renew my driver’s license, car registration, or car inspection in that state.
My current home village and town is not on the bad list because it is a pleasure. Here’s today’s story.
I was away last week and my car inspection was set to expire at the end of the week. Also, my driver’s license expires in three weeks. I needed to get both of them taken care of this week, and Monday and Tuesday were tied up with work and a business trip. I was hoping to get one task done today and the other Thursday or Friday.
After I dropped my son off at school and returned a rental car from my business trip (long story), I brought my car to a local oil change/service station for the inspection. There were no other customers, so in 35 minutes I got the inspection done, the oil changed, the car lubed, the fluids topped, and I was out of there. I managed to do parts of two business calls as well. One down.
Since this was my first driver’s license renewal in ten years, I needed to get an eye test. One option was to go to a optometrist or ophthalmologist and have it done there, and then send in the form in with the test results. The other was to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles, which happens to be in my village since it is the county seat.
After doing some more business calls, I left the house at 11:32. I drove to the DMV, there was no one in line, they did the eye test, I got a new photo taken, we completed all the paperwork, and I got my new interim license. The new photo license will be mailed to me within two weeks.
As I walked out of the county building, I glanced at my watch: 11:46. It had taken 14 minutes to both get to the DMV and do everything necessary. I ran an errand and was home 35 minutes after I had left.
This town and village in upstate New York are such a pleasure to live in compared with any place else in my personal experience. The combination of the low cost and high quality of living is amazing, though I must admit the regional political bent could be a lot more to my liking. You can’t have everything, but at least I do have a new license.