Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Guest of DMV

Please welcome daughter Katy Gaffney, guest blogging today about getting her driver's license at the DMV in Maryland. Katy lives with husband Steve and son Graham in Perry Hall after serving three in suburban Detroit. Still a Red Sox fan, she wears the Oriole team colors at Camden Yard in a show of support for the home bunch. She is a J School graduate. She writes beautifully about the realities of preemies, motherhood and the East in her blog Behind Blue Eyes...And a Margarita Glass.

Everyone knows the DMV sucks.  The lines are long, the staff is disgruntled at best, and the rest of the people look like a who's-who of a jail holding cell.  When we moved to Maryland I knew I would have to grace the DMV to get a local license.  Boy, I had no idea what was in store for me.
Normally you grab a number and then wait forever for the number to be called; at this DMV, there was a line 90 minutes long just to get a read that right; 90 MINUTES just to get a number.  A girl who was sitting near the end of the line said she had been waiting (with her number) for almost 3 hours.  It didn't look promising.

The DMV is definitely not a place for introverts and I'm not sure what it is about me which makes people think I want to chitchat.  What part of me being incredibly interested in my cell phone screen and never looking up makes you think I want to talk?  I don't care you just got back from vacation, your daughter is moving away, or you're going to miss your haircut because the line has been really long.  I....Don't....Care.

Then there's Creepy McCreeperson who sat down next to me and asked me if I "won my game".  Um....what game? I ask with trepidation.  "Weren't you playing a game on your cell phone awhile ago?"  Uh, psycho, row 3.

At hour 4 I started realizing how famished I was.  I had no idea I was going to spend my whole day at the gates of hell so I didn't bring any sustinence.  This is where being a mom comes in handy; after rummaging around in my purse for a little while I found myself a nice little snack of a 1/2 bag of goldfish crackers, a granola bar and an apple juice sippy.

I may have been the only 30-year-old at the DMV to suck down apple juice out of a Mickey Mouse sippy cup, but I gotta tell you, it was damn refreshing.

Eventually my number was called, I got the pleasure of being helped by an incredibly irritated DMV employee, and my picture isn't half bad considering I spent close to 6 hours in that glorious building.

Thank god for online renewals.


  1. They don't have a way to set up an appointment online? If they do, that's how you do it from now on. The last time I went to the CA DMV without an appointment, I waited 4 hours. That was fun! o.O I will never do that again. Ever.

    I'm glad you survived.


  2. Unfortunately the only appointments they allow are for driving tests, everyone else just has to show up and pray! I made the mistake of going on the last Monday of the month; won't do that again!