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Friday, August 7, 2015
The DMV Nazi
The Department of Motor Vehicles Nazi
I want to preface this post by saying the people at the NJ Motor Vehicle station are very nice and competent. I had to renew my car registration today in person as I forgot to mail it in. I was in line for maybe twenty minutes and left with my registration five minutes after I reached the front of the line.
My experience was prejudiced by MV experiences in past years when the process was run by state workers and not privatized as it is today.
Standing in line, I was reminded of the famous Jerry Seinfeld “Soup Nazi” episode. If you do not own a TV or only watch PBS, this episode involves a small Manhattan kitchen that served the best soup in the city. There was always a long line and if you were not ready with your order, did not have the exact change in hand, did not move quickly to the left or were in any way a disturbance; the proprietor (The Soup Nazi) would snap and refuse to serve you yelling “NO SOUP FOR YOU! Come back, 10 days!” It is a very funny episode.
Waiting in the MV line felt like those waiting for soup. I had my registration form filled out, but I checked and rechecked it several times for errors or missing information. I had my check filled out and ready with my phone number and driver’s license numbers on the check. I had my driver’s license ready and just in case I had my old registration and my proof of insurance at the ready.
During one of my line waiting rechecks, I noticed I made the check out to NJ Motor Vechicle Commission instead of Vehicle. Panic set in. I was prepared for “No registration for you; come back, 10 days!” I decided to have cash ready in case she would not accept the imperfectly prepared check. The cost was $64.50; I only had $65. Would she tell me “Exact change only, NO registration for you! Come back, 10 days!”
When my turn came I took two carefully monitored steps toward the MV lady. I remained expressionless and carefully pushed my form and check toward her. She asked for my driver’s license and I was ready. I pushed the driver’s license toward her, careful not to make any sudden movement.
She accepted my check, went about her business, printed out my new registration and handed it over to me. She then took my receipt, crumbled it up and started to throw it away.
“Oh look at me; I almost threw away your receipt. I’m sorry it is all crumbled up, I don’t know where my mind is.”
“That’s all right, I’ll take it crumpled. Look, I can flatten it out. When I get home I’ll iron it; it will be fine. Just don’t say “NO REGISTRATION FOR YOU!”
“What is wrong with you?...NEXT!”
Sometimes I get lost in my imagination.