Us do opposite of all Earthly things!

DC DMV, Southwest Office

I still think I went to a Bizarro World DMV office. I don’t want to jinx anyone or my own future visits, but that really was the nicest and fastest experience I’ve ever had with DC’s DMV.

I got up kinda early and gave myself a haircut and a shave, just in case. I was only changing my address and since my Drivers License is nearly up for renewal, I didn’t think they’d bother with a new card or photo, but it didn’t hurt. Plus I was hoping that looking relatively clean-cut would help bring out the better service since I have had some nasty people in the past who seemed to have hair triggers. I killed some time at the apartment, then killed a little more at Starbucks. The SW DMV office is pretty close to my workplace, so I got there maybe 20 or so minutes before opening. There was a small line, but full of pretty friendly people.

They let us in, got us through the metal detector and up to the information desk. This is usually what gives people the most trauma. It seems that you never have the correct information or not enough of it, etc. even though you get it straight from their web site. Turns out only 2 people ahead of me got “turned away” and that was only so they could make a phone call to the right people to fax in some information. They were even told to skip the line when they came back! My address change was as easy as showing my old DL and a Pepco bill though I still had to fill out the form for a “correction.”

Now serving C.. three.. zero.. five..

I still didn’t have to wait very long and the first guy was helpful and friendly. The second woman who took my money was the same. I did wince a little when she shredded my old license since I looked so thin in that photo. She even reminded me that my DL is up for renewal in under a month, but that I can do that online. $7 paid, photo taken, new card handed over and I was outta there. I’m now regretting the shave a little bit since I didn’t have anything to hide my chubby face, but I guess the license gives me some motivation to lose weight.

Compared to previous visits, this was a walk in the park. I’d planned to take a 1/2 day to get this done and I was out of there in under 30 minutes. Now to make it through the workday. It is a gorgeous morning out there and I’m hoping that it stays somewhat nice for the afternoon. There was someone behind me at Starbucks this morning loudly wishing for 90+ degree weather again. I shot him an evil glance with a grin. I am perfectly fine with the breezy moderate stuff, thank you!

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7 Responses

  1. Well that’s promising. As I mentioned on your flickr page, I’m going to that location this weekend, actually. I’m more than a bit nervous. I hate the DMV, and I hate having to prove identity and all of that crap. All so I can look like a convict in a photograph. Boo.

  2. Lolypup says:

    My last two visits to the DMV in DC about 2 years in between visits and two different locations, I was shocked at how pleasant and fast my experience was getting the service I needed. I was in and out both times less than 30 minutes and for me being deaf that is unheard of. I mean no one wants to deal with a deaf customer, they just dont have the patience. But I give props to DC, now recently I returned to Dallas did the DMV and let me tell you the horror story of my 3 hour WAIT yest just the wait, on second thoughts I will spare you since your still smarting from your pleasant experience.

    Hope your day keeps going well, Hugs!!!

  3. brian says:

    @Liz: Well it looks like while the woman in the office said I could renew online, the system won’t let you do so if you’ve changed your address since they last issued you a DL. Well guess what I did today?! So let’s say that one person was 90% helpful, and I’ll be back over there again within about 20 days or so.

    @Lolypup: It really seemed like they were getting people on the move through this one office, I was pretty impressed. I’m wondering why they can’t seem to spread the same type of service to other locations in the nation.

  4. pyack says:

    you didn’t share the new photo!!!

  5. brian says:

    @pyack: No… no I didn’t. 😐

  6. shindo says:

    There must be a crack into a parallel universe at the entrance!

  7. Brian says:

    I <3 the DC DMV.

    When I first moved back into the District years ago, it was just after Tony Williams had cleaned up the place, and had moved the agency from last in the national ranking of customer service for DMVs to first. At the time, I’d just bought my mid-20s crisis car, a then 3-year old Jaguar XJR that had originally stickered for $72,000 (no, that’s not a misprint) and which I’d purchased for $38,000.

    DC bases its title tax on vehicle weight; because the Jag dropped in at just over two tons, it had a 7% tax on the purchase price–or $2,660. When the woman at the DC DMV saw that number, her eyes bulged out of her head and she said, “That’s crazy! Let’s see if we can get this down some.” So, she booked it by salvage value ($22,000), bringing the total to $1,540–thereby saving me over $1,100.

    So, yeah, DC’s DMV rocks.

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