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The Clerk Smirked

The Department of Motor Vehicles has been forced to close every second Friday of the month in order to help ease the state budget. This month, the DMV is closed for three Fridays and a fourth day on Christmas day.

On Wednesday, December 4, the DMV website listed the wait time at the El Cajon office at 33 minutes — 3 minutes if you had an appointment. Unfortunately, those estimations weren't true.

At 3:00 p.m., the line to get into the El Cajon DMV stretched 100 yards outside the building and around the corner, and that was just the wait to get a number. Forty-five minutes later, I got my number and then waited another 35 minutes before my turn came up.

Shortly after 4:15 p.m., the private security officer patrolling the site started waving people off, despite an advertised 5 p.m. closing time. Inside, tempers were frayed. People complained about the wait. The staff of the DMV ignored them, and in some cases, made them sit down again to complete forms.

San Diego resident Maria Vega said, "I've been here three times this week and [was] unable to get in. How am I going to renew my license?"

Eighty minutes after arriving, my number was called. I handed over paperwork to change the title of a car.

"With the DMV closed every Friday, what's the volume during the week like?" I asked. The clerk said, "It's worse than it's ever been."

At the bottom of my title deed is a warning that failure to change ownership details results in a fine. "What happens if I can't get in to change the title because your office is closed?" I asked. The clerk smirked back at me. "Governor Arnold reduces the deficit when you pay the fine." Did I hear that right? Is it possible that the unknown advantage to the closure of state government departments is the resulting fines from being unable to complete requirements?

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The Department of Motor Vehicles has been forced to close every second Friday of the month in order to help ease the state budget. This month, the DMV is closed for three Fridays and a fourth day on Christmas day.

On Wednesday, December 4, the DMV website listed the wait time at the El Cajon office at 33 minutes — 3 minutes if you had an appointment. Unfortunately, those estimations weren't true.

At 3:00 p.m., the line to get into the El Cajon DMV stretched 100 yards outside the building and around the corner, and that was just the wait to get a number. Forty-five minutes later, I got my number and then waited another 35 minutes before my turn came up.

Shortly after 4:15 p.m., the private security officer patrolling the site started waving people off, despite an advertised 5 p.m. closing time. Inside, tempers were frayed. People complained about the wait. The staff of the DMV ignored them, and in some cases, made them sit down again to complete forms.

San Diego resident Maria Vega said, "I've been here three times this week and [was] unable to get in. How am I going to renew my license?"

Eighty minutes after arriving, my number was called. I handed over paperwork to change the title of a car.

"With the DMV closed every Friday, what's the volume during the week like?" I asked. The clerk said, "It's worse than it's ever been."

At the bottom of my title deed is a warning that failure to change ownership details results in a fine. "What happens if I can't get in to change the title because your office is closed?" I asked. The clerk smirked back at me. "Governor Arnold reduces the deficit when you pay the fine." Did I hear that right? Is it possible that the unknown advantage to the closure of state government departments is the resulting fines from being unable to complete requirements?

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Comments
5

Hey Grant? Welcome to your new Amerika pal. Would you prefer Astroglide or old fashioned Vaseline? :-D

Dec. 4, 2009

Why go to the DMV? If you belong to AAA, you can make an appointment or just show up and wait a couple of minutes in comfort. They do most of the things the DMV does.

Dec. 5, 2009

Or, if you belong to AA, no lines. You just show up and they give you coffee and donuts and talk about Jesus. They won't give you a driver's license or register your vehicle, but what the hell? Free coffee and donuts and Jesus. You can't beat that.

Dec. 5, 2009

re: #3: Ooh! Ooh! I wanna hear some guy brag for two hours straight about how wasted he used to get, and how people just didn't get his pain, or recognize the monkey on his back! No, you CAN'T beat that! ;)

Dec. 5, 2009

Or, if you belong to AA, no lines.

refriedgringo

You'd need to go to NA to find lines:)

Dec. 8, 2009

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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