Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Meditation on a trip to the DMV

I arrived at the DMV yesterday at 9 AM. My number came up at 5:45 -- you have to wait anxiously all day as you have 10 seconds to respond to your number. At 6:05, 10 hours after arrival. I was informed it was too late to take my written test so I would have to come back. As usual the place was packed, no food, no drink, two filthy restrooms.

(California has an appointment system but it takes two months to get an appointment, so if you need something now or can't book a free day two months ahead of time, you wait. 10 hours. Then you still get an appointment to return two weeks later as they won't get to you.)

Despite 13.2% top income tax rate, 7.5-9.5% sales tax, gas taxed to $3.80 a gallon, California cannot operate a functional DMV. Even Illinois, good old corrupt, bankrupt, Illinois, can operate a vaguely functional DMV. (Direct election of the secretary of state may have something to do with that.)

Estonia, this is not. Piles of paper flow around. Technology is about 1992 -- there is a number system, so you don't stand in line for 10 hours. But no indication where you are in the queue or when they might get to you.

Rebellion was in the air. Most people do not have my time flexibility. The very nice lady next to me had taken the day off work and had to arrange child care, which was going to end at a finite time. This was her second day of waiting. She was ready to start the revolution.

This is not unusual. It's just a completely normal day down at the DMV.

The joke has been around a long time: Do you really want the people who run the DMV to operate your health care and insurance system? But it is a good joke. The DMV is the main interface most people have  with the functioning or lack thereof of a bureaucracy.

The irony is that the democratic candidates in California are falling all over themselves to be stronger on "single-payer" health -- which does not just mean one fallback, but that all others are banned.

The amazing thing is that citizens of this noble state are all for it, though they must, like me, each take their turn in the 10 hour line at the DMV. (I suspect many high income progressives do not realize that "single payer" means them too. No concierge medicine.)

Republicans: I suggest you set up tables outside the DMV. After all, there is motor voter registration and this might get people in a good frame of mind for your message.

Second thought: Things could be worse. The DMV is  good proxy for the quality of government institutions. In many countries in the world you must pay a bribe to get a driver's license. In many other countries you can pay a bribe to cut through swaths of paperwork. At least in the US you can't do that.

But there are countries where government actually works. When our friends on the left dream of Scandinavian health care, perhaps they should visit a Scandinavian DMV first, and agree that let's see if our government can run a DMV before it tackles health care. And don't go after me with taxes -- the cost of a functional DMV is not that high. This one just needs to expand to match the growth in its population and the complexity of the various laws it has passed.


65 comments:

  1. I had similar experience. I try to avoid DMV at all cost unless absolutely necessary, AAA can handle a lot of my car business.

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  2. Having operated administrative organizations before (non-goverment), I would add that the cost of a functional DMV is likely lower, not higher than the current system. This is even before accounting for deadweight loss.

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  3. You moved to California voluntarily

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    1. Not really. I moved from Oregon to be near my grandchildren. I left CA for Oregon, a far more functional state, 30 yrs ago, with no plans to return. But grandchildren trump ALL disfunction

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  4. I've always wanted to see a study that analyzed the effectiveness of various government agencies/functions, attempting to isolate causal factors. You see an awful lot of work that either attacks or defends the efficacy of government programs generally -- often to support a position that either more or less government should exist -- but very little that explains why some government programs work better than others.

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    1. I have wanted to see such studies as well. There are quite a few -- it's not a totally original question. But I have not seen really good answers. I don't write about it a lot because I don't have good answers. But how to get more efficient, honest, effective government institutions -- let's just start with uncorrupt -- is about the best question there is.

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    2. While we wait for the great Better Government insight, however, expecting that the same architects who built California's DMV will do a lot better on its single-payer health system seems like another triumph of hope over experience.

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    3. John,

      A little research.

      http://kexlabs.com/california-dmv-wait-times-analysis/

      1. The best time to arrive at the DMV is 7:00 to 8:00 AM. The worst time is 10:00 AM or later.

      2. The best day to go to the DMV is Wednesday . The worst day is Monday or Friday.

      As an FYI:

      https://www.dmv.com/blog/best-worst-customer-satisfaction-520701

      California ranks 4th best in satisfaction, Illinois ranks 2nd best.
      If you want DMV heartburn, try Oregon or Texas.

      "While we wait for the great Better Government insight, however, expecting that the same architects who built California's DMV will do a lot better on its single-payer health system seems like another triumph of hope over experience."

      I don't know. You could have done a little research. I presume that you went to the DMV in Redwood City or Santa Clara. Average wait time is 73 minutes in Redwood City, 88 minutes in Santa Clara.

      Compare that to 38 minutes in San Mateo.

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    4. [ Apologies in advance - I can't help myself. ]

      One potential model which perhaps fits with the data is the quality of government institutions is completely random - it fits nicely with your "no good answers" observation.

      If you believe that model, and if the DMV is as desperately bad as you suggest, then regression to the mean would suggest single-payer in California will most likely work substantially better than the DMV.

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    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. In Collier County, FL (ie: The SWF), a low tax county in a zero income tax state we have "service centers." They are one stop shopping for DMV (license, registration, written/driving tests), passports, voting, tax matters, notaries, and probably other things I have not needed.

    They are clean, air-conditioned, and silent because there is a uniformed officer to shhhhh people - it's quieter than the library. Usually there is a place where you can take a screaming child and still be in the HVAC. The staff has been uniformly helpful and friendly, and all fees are posted and clear.

    I've never had to wait more than 30 minutes to do anything.

    Just saying that it need not be that way.

    -XC

    PS - NC, where I lived for 30+ years, is similar but not as bad as Cali.

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    1. I moved from CA to NC just last fall. When I went to get my driver's license here and then to register 3 vehicles, there was very little waiting and everything was quite efficient. In contrast, I still remember my last visit to the CA DMV. I finally got to a clerk after a long wait, and she was extremely put out that the people in line control had not given me the correct form. She threw the form down on the table and walked out. 30 minutes later I was still waiting for her to return. Finally I learned that it was her "break" time. She just got up and left when her break time rolled around, even though she was in the middle of "helping" me!

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  6. The great disconnect. Observing government in action and wishing government in action. We vote our wishes and get our reality.

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  7. Government "works" in Scandinavia because they're Scandinavians. California is Tijuana at this point.

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  8. In NYC (or at least Manhattan) the DMV was surprisingly productive. I was in and out in 25 min.

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  9. It can run either way.

    Bad: I had to go in person to the Social Security office and wait for hours to untangle online access for my SSA account.

    Good: Treasury Direct online runs like a charm.

    Bad: Global Entry is often clogged due to lack of kiosks.

    Awesome: When I needed an emergency passport renewal the Houston CBP office turned it around in 5 hours! I went in at 10 and did the paperwork and came back at 3 to pick it up. Someone, somewhere, in the federal government can actually make things happen. They will find that person and waterboard them as an example to the others.

    Good: Medicare pays on time and the treatment policies are clear and published. Follow the rules and get paid.

    Bad: Private insurers are not the Devil's spawn, but rather the maggots that live on the Devil's spawn's feces. Follow the rules and then fight for 6 months to get paid, then they suddenly change the rules and deny care they previously covered. And despite being PRIVATE and collecting obscene premiums they often pay less than Medicare.

    Good: I easily renewed my Texas concealed carry license online. Renewed my pet license online but WTF do you need a pet license for? It's not like you have to pass a test or a background check.

    Special award goes to London Heathrow where my girlfriend had too many bottles in her plastic bag but I had one, so they shifted bottles from her plastic bag to mine to make the bottles per bag work out. British Airways staff were so rigid about rules I thought they were based on Seinfeld's Soup Nazi. London has gone OCD.

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    1. My last visit to a Social Security office was distressing. A zombie guard going through the motions of security. Absolute chaos among the customers. And workers sitting behind solid roll down shutters. Made me apprehensive that they were expecting trouble. And the way they treated the public, they were asking for it.

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  10. Totally insane, sounds worse than US Consulate in Jerusalem in 2005 trying to renew my H1B after waiting all day standing in line, I get about 3pm to actually be issued a visa. Then told there is a special fee for Australians of 400 something sheqel (had waited in line 1 hour in post office first thing in the morning to pay the standard fee) - a bit more than I had in cash with me and the guy who does credit card payments had gone home for the day. Had to come back the next day, when at least I got expedited. Here in Australia government offices seem to work. Never wait more than 1/2 hour or so.

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  11. "In many other countries you can pay a bribe to cut through swaths of paperwork. At least in the US you can't do that."

    In Chicago (and other places) there are such people called "building permit expediters". I guess they're legal.

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    1. Permit expeditors in Chicago were very controversial. I suspect, though, that they make a lot of sense. Having someone presenting your plans who knows what the inspectors need and can provide it efficiently rather than amateurs who futz around unable to satisfy the needs of the inspectors.

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  12. One of the causes of your problem is the fact that under the US form of federalism, driver's licenses are subject to the laws of 50 different states, each of which is a separate issuing authority. Federalism has its advantages, but also suffers from a number of inefficiencies. This strikes me as an example of the latter. Had you moved from, say, Stockholm to Malmo, I'm pretty sure you'd be able to use the same Swedish driver's license which is issued by the federal government. I can't think of anywhere else in the world (much less "Scandinavia") where moving from one part of the country to another requires passing an exam to get another driver's license.

    Would you be in favor of eliminating state driver's licenses issued by individual states to a national license issued by the federal government? This would have obviated the need of a visit to the DMV in the first place. In this particular case, perhaps the main problem is not "government" per se, but the particular form of government we have, even though it appears California could be doing a much better job administering their DMV's.

    Vivian Darkbloom

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    1. Except that Sweden is about the size of a US state, so Europe as a whole has about the same system as the US.

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    2. Vivian - I do not think that federalism has much to do with it. You can have 50 different DMVs in the US functioning like a Swiss clock if they really wanted to.

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    3. John,

      I don't really think that the size of of the US has any bearing on what I wrote. Does the size of the United States necessitate the issuance of 50 different driver's licenses or prohibit one licensing authority?

      "So, Europe as a whole has about the same system as the US".

      Not in my experience, even in the relatively recent and non-integrated EU. I've exchanged my German license for a Dutch one (no exam required) and then a Dutch one for a French one. A cursory look at Sweden suggests that it's also possible to move to Sweden and exchange another EU license for a Swedish one without an exam. This within the EU which is a relatively recent phenomenon and which is still a relatively loose affiliation of *national* governments, not sub-national ones.

      Again, while I'm not a fan of "big government", I think you've missed a major point here (and in your response to me failed to adequately address my challenge). I don't like the term "big government" much, especially in this context. A better term might be "unnecessary government". If you agree (maybe you don't) that some government agency has to issue driver's licenses, then the issue becomes how do we do that most efficiently. I've made, I think, a constructive suggestion which might involve making the federal government just a bit bigger and state governments a bit smaller, to the benefit of us all, I believe. I don't think you've come up with any better alternative which I respectfully submit is the more constructive thing to do.

      Viv

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    4. 36 years ago I had moved to Ca from SD and told my staff I was going to get my drivers license over lunch. Boy did I get ridiculed. It took me a full day. SD would have been less than an hour. Recently I renewed my Co license on line in 10 minutes and it came in the mail two days later. I also took my daughter in to get her license and we were out of there in 20 minutes. So what's my point? California hasn't figured out how to issue licenses in 36 years.
      In the private sector companies benchmark their competition and adopt best practices or they go out of business. This process should have been automated (as much as possible) years ago.

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    5. Not exactly John — Europe has an 'EU Driving License' that is transferable across countries.

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    6. Your article hit me just as I got home from a day at the DMV getting a very simple extension of a temporary license. Looked like the Night of the Living Dead. And while we're about it, how about CalTrans, rolling in money (gas tax anyone?) but failing to stripe the freeways or even turn on the electricity on freeway signs at night? Comes the revolution...

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  13. Well, another way to look at this is that 10+ hours is not such a high price to pay for getting all the paperwork you need to get quasi-US citizenship...

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  14. As a Dane I can tell you, our DMV is fully digital. We just log on with the same ID (Nem-ID) as we do to all other public services. Building permit, Child Care and even Father Tax.
    Yes Father Tax collects and Mother Wellfare spends :-)
    Father Tax is very efficient for most part it takes only a couple of minutes to make your yearly tax return.

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    1. Interesting about the Danish system. The tension between good governance and efficient government reveals itself very vividly in approaches to tax collection. Collection systems involving withholding, estimated tax payments and other forms of prepayment may be "efficient", but--to my mind--by obscuring the link between the provision of governmental services and their cost to the taxpayer, they undermine good governance. My solution is an "inefficient" one: outlaw all forms of withholding and prepayment and move election day to April 16.

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  15. Cochrane just gives another example of what Victor Davis Hanson describes in his book:
    "The Decline and Fall of California: From Decadence to Destruction" (2015).
    California is all shiny from the outside, but you scratch the surface and much is rotten.

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  16. I think the gordian knot of the issue is honesty and willingness to do work efficiently, with the resources you have. There must be a willingness to really improve things on the part of government, and not just care about salaries and fat retirements of bureaucrats.

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  17. A single payer health system is a non starter - how can it ever be paid for? $400b cost? Not happening.

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  18. Ohio, specifically Delaware county north of Columbus must be an exception. There is a wait but usually less than 15-20 minutes. I know there are "a lot" of locations which may help. Or perhaps it's just Ohio does things better... no evidence of that. Columbus is still in the running for Amazon 2 headquarters.

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  19. There's a difference between government "running" healthcare and government being the payer -- a big difference. Please don't conflate the two.

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    1. Interesting. here in Canada (at least Alberta), you can get a license through a privately-run agency. takes about 5 minutes since there are lots to choose from. Rates are set by the gov't so most efficient make the most $.

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  20. One quibble with the following statement: "I suspect many high income progressives do not realize that "single payer" means them too. No concierge medicine." Actually, I would assume that any high-income progressives who are paying attention figure that they can go to another, more liberty-oriented jurisdiction to obtain whatever services they might need, particularly on an elective basis.

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  21. Minnesota has privately run service centers where you can get basic DMV services such as renewing your driver's license done for a small additional fee, which I personally found worth paying to avoid long lines at full-service DMVs. No reason why that model can't be applied elsewhere.

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  22. Same deal in CT. Idle hands make for the devil's playground. So, I called the governor's office and asked to speak to his personal assistant. Explained the status of the office, opportunity cost per hour, further explained that about 20 people were in line around me were cheering me on & collectively evesdropping this call, and lastly that I wanted to advise that my next call was to a local tv reporter who was a friend requesting some live coverage & promising a bunch of interviews with pissed off citizens. Don't you know that some 15 minutes later a call came in to the manager (my inference but I could see the manager taking an obviously high priority call), and immediately the number of staffed service windows doubled. True story.

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  23. They have single payer in many countries around the world. But, don't kid yourself, those "high income" folks, whether progressive or conservative, whether communist or Bernie-socialist or Washington/Sacramento "elite" won't be waiting in the same line with you. Concierge? No. That doesn't go near far enough. Their motto: Good enough for thee, not for me.

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  24. Do not forget the fees you pay to actually get anything done directly by the DMV, in addition to the general taxes we pay

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  25. Do not forget to include the fees you pay directly to the DMV to fund their "services" in addition to the taxes we pay in this great state

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  26. Hi John,

    In Minnesota, the DMV on most things works pretty well due to competition. The state allows local governments to do state things like issue licenses for a cut of the fee. So for me, the county government competes against other counties and also the local cities for my business. For other things, like actually taking your drivers test, this competition doesn't exist and the outcome is what you would expect --- long waits. So this might not be government vs. private, but competition vs. monopoly. And one more thing -- more than half the people here are Scandinavian.

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  27. Here's my anecdote: last time I went here in Oregon, I was in and out in about 15 minutes.

    I think it's the DMV in California that is particularly bad. I recall moving to SF from Oregon a while back. My Oregon license was mostly electronic, even back in the 90ies, including the test. California was all on paper.

    Also, anecdotally, I lived in Italy for a while, which is not known for having wonderful bureaucrats, but the health care was pretty good: *so* much less time wasted filling out forms and hassling with ... checks notes ... bureaucrats at health insurance companies.

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  28. What's the waiting time in a Mexican DMV?

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  29. I remember a meeting with Del Pierce (the Director of the California DMV) many years ago (during the Deukmejian administration). Del (a Republican) had just returned from a meeting of the Assembly Transportation Committee. He told me he had received a letter from Tom Peters (In Search of Excellence) saying he had visited the Mountain View field office and wanted to say how impressed he was with the speed and efficiency of the operation - 13 minutes in and out with his license. Del read the letter to the committee to which the Chairman (a Democrat) responded "It's obvious to me that the Mt View field office is overstaffed."

    I always thought that encapsulated a whole lot of problems about how hard it is for government to get anything done - and the parties could easily have been reversed - the other guys can never do anything right.

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  30. I lived most of my life in South Carolina. I went to assorted DMV offices many times over 45 years, not just for myself but accompanying each of my 5 (now adult) kids. I don't think I ever waited more than an hour, and never made an appointment. In all those years I can can recall being annoyed twice.

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  31. The DMV is terrible but the leap to health care isn't convincing. Covered CA webwite where I get my insurance works well. I suspect legacy staffing and IT are the main culprits. But you are cirreco the level of taxes we pay should deliver a much higher quality DMV.

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  32. John's experience might be extreme, but the point is well worth making: given how little we know about what makes for `good' government (as in, effective/efficient, as well as clean), other than it being Swiss or Swedish (well, Scandinavian, let's say), making government do less rather than more sounds like a good idea. Yet it's not at all obvious (at least based on casual empiricism) that support for big government is particularly highly correlated with how well government actually works. Maybe the causality goes the other way? Does government works better in Switzerland (or, perhaps, Texas) than it does in California or Greece because it has to? Where the populace has consistently voted to minimize its scope and power, will it do so even more aggressively if its government underperforms?

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  33. One thing I always notice in any DMV I've ever been in (about five different ones in MD) is that nobody in the entire building is ever happy...customers and staff.

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  34. The question is WHY is it so bad? Since we know better systems exist that are cheaper why is California DMV so bad.

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    1. It depends on your comparison group. California's DMV may be bad compared to Norway's DMV.

      But California's DMV may be doing very well compared to Mexico's DMV :)

      Given that the vast majority of California is de-facto Mexico, one MAY conclude that California is actually doing quite well compared to it's "natural" level :)

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  35. Government is not efficient, nor is it intended to be. As someone who has worked in the building entitlement game for over thirty years, I have seen various forms of organization and function. I used to believe that government could be made to operate more efficiently...and have learned that not only can it not be efficient, from a private sector viewpoint, but that it is not efficient for a very good reason. Government is about more government.

    Whether it is the DMV, the Planning Department, schools, etc. the function and operation of those "systems" is based upon the need for governments' existence, its' own needs, and the need for continued existence of the governmental process and operation. Look at how regulations, forms, process procedure and the general operation of any agency you interact with occurs. Then look at what they really do...it is about perpetuating the system of government...ever adding requirements and rules that require...well...more government operations/staff/process.

    DMV is the most obvious "problem" for most people as it is one of the monopolistic systems that the average person must interact with to function in society. Everyone complains...nothing changes...because the system they operate is not designed for the customer...but for the continued government operations...and the self fulfilling needs of government.

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  36. hey grumpy old man! these guys can get an appointment within the week for you: https://yogov.org/dmv-vip/ (for a fee of course).

    they even publish expected wait times for appts and walk-ins
    https://yogov.org/dmv/appointments-online-wait-times/
    https://yogov.org/dmv/california/real-time-dmv-wait-times/

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  37. Currently at the Los Gatos DMV. Got here at 9am on a Friday (yes I did not heed Frank's advice). It is currently 2pm and I'm still waiting.

    Everything and everyone is has a dreary look. The staff are good people but this place is the very embodiment of lassitude and stagnancy. I feel like I've aged 20 years being here.

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  38. " In many other countries you can pay a bribe to cut through swaths of paperwork. At least in the US you can't do that."

    Ahh, but you can. For the relatively low price of AAA membership, you have access to a fully functional DMV office at your AAA branch.

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    1. Alas AAA cannot issue a driver's licence, nor can they register an imported trailer, my two tasks. I'm going back next week for my second long day!

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  39. Dear John, I see that a number of your readers seem to think that you are reporting an extreme experience, but I can say that, other than the wait time, my experience at that same DMV last year for a new license was identical except for one difference: I got there 10 minutes earlier and so waited only... drum roll... five and a half hours.

    I too happily would have made an appointment via the website, however, the options were not days but months into the future.

    Lessons learned: Bring good reading material and wear comfortable jeans. Avoid drinking anything because otherwise you'll have to set foot in that bathroom. Arrive even earlier, but take the entire day off. Plan something refreshingly fun for the evening. Because, dang, this is grim.

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  40. I always notice in any DMV I've ever been is that nobody in the entire building is ever happy

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  41. Without reading all other comments...

    There is a big difference between the health care system and DMW: politicians will never visit DMW, but they and their families will be treated through single-payer health care.

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  42. I don't know about Scandinavia, but I live in Austria which is many ways similar, high government spending and taxes. Let's do this test: what exactly does the DMV do?

    1) If it is about the paperwork with buying or selling a car, this is outsourced to the insurance companies in Austria. The very same insurance company where I do the mandatory liability insurance does the paperwork with the government and hands me the physical licence plates. The insurance company also collects the tax with their usual bills. It is too damn high. It is not unusual to pay $500 mandatory insurance + $600 tax per year. But the administration is efficient as you would expect from a private company. No waiting time and the paperwork takes about 20 minutes.

    2) If it is about the driving licence, well, you are old enough to already know how to drive? Per-state licences are weird. Getting the first driving licence is hard here, but not the paperwork part but the testing, trying to keep dangerous people off the roads. After that it is just a medical checkup every ten years or so. The licence is valid in other EU countries, not mandatory to exchange it if you live abroad, I did anyway, it took a 15 minute visit to the police station.

    My healthcare is definitely not ran by bureaucrats, but by doctors. Who have a wide range of choices, some accept the public insurance, some only private or cash, some mix it. Generally speaking paying cash gets one an appointment tomorrow, public insurance in two months. The public insurance is thankfully ran by the city, not the state, so it is not such a huge organization. Some costs, like psychotherapy, are paid cash and partially reimbursed afterwards. This takes posting the invoices to them, the bureaucracy sits on it for a month then they transfer the money.

    Hospital stay is pleasant enough in Austria. The public insurance covers the basics, like a room shared with another 7 patients and crappy food. Private rooms are available for cash. TV or Wifi costs cash. In our local hospital there is a private restaurant and bar, patients eat pizza and drink alcohol without anyone seeing it strange. It costs about as much as any average restaurant or bar.

    I don't know how much my public insurance, which covers the 8-patient rooms and the crappy food I wouldn't eat costs. Around a few hundreds a month I think.

    Overally it seems better than Californian DMV.

    I think Europhile American Liberals are not being honest. They would not actually adopt the expensive, but relatively efficient systems of Europe.

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  43. I don't know about Scandinavia, but I live in Austria which is many ways similar, high government spending and taxes. Let's do this test: what exactly does the DMV do?

    1) If it is about the paperwork with buying or selling a car, this is outsourced to the insurance companies in Austria. The very same insurance company where I do the mandatory liability insurance does the paperwork with the government and hands me the physical licence plates. The insurance company also collects the tax with their usual bills. It is too damn high. It is not unusual to pay $500 mandatory insurance + $600 tax per year. But the administration is efficient as you would expect from a private company. No waiting time and the paperwork takes about 20 minutes.

    2) If it is about the driving licence, well, you are old enough to already know how to drive? Per-state licences are weird. Getting the first driving licence is hard here, but not the paperwork part but the testing, trying to keep dangerous people off the roads. After that it is just a medical checkup every ten years or so. The licence is valid in other EU countries, not mandatory to exchange it if you live abroad, I did anyway, it took a 15 minute visit to the police station.

    My healthcare is definitely not ran by bureaucrats, but by doctors. Who have a wide range of choices, some accept the public insurance, some only private or cash, some mix it. Generally speaking paying cash gets one an appointment tomorrow, public insurance in two months. The public insurance is thankfully ran by the city, not the state, so it is not such a huge organization. Some costs, like psychotherapy, are paid cash and partially reimbursed afterwards. This takes posting the invoices to them, the bureaucracy sits on it for a month then they transfer the money.

    Hospital stay is pleasant enough in Austria. The public insurance covers the basics, like a room shared with another 7 patients and crappy food. Private rooms are available for cash. TV or Wifi costs cash. In our local hospital there is a private restaurant and bar, patients eat pizza and drink alcohol without anyone seeing it strange. It costs about as much as any average restaurant or bar.

    I don't know how much my public insurance, which covers the 8-patient rooms and the crappy food I wouldn't eat costs. Around a few hundreds a month I think.

    Overally it seems better than Californian DMV.

    I think Europhile American Liberals are not being honest. They would not actually adopt the expensive, but relatively efficient systems of Europe.

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  44. The DMV works in L.A. You make an appointment, show up at the appointed time, do your business, and leave. It typically takes a half hour. I remember the bad old days, when one person served a long lunchtime line and that one person said, Why don't you people protest? What should we do? we asked. Say, We want a supervisor. So we chanted that and it worked. But sometime between 2000 and 2007, when I was living in Texas, they discovered the internet and straightened things out.

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  45. I moved to GA back in 1999. The DMV here was the same kind of nightmare, albeit only a 2.5 hour one. In the last few years we have had a governor that came from the business community. Two or three years ago a change happened. You can get your license in less than 1/2 hour now. I have lived in MD, VA, WA, OR, CA, and now GA. I have never seen a state clean its act up like GA has in the last few years.

    I just recently turned down a dream job opportunity in Monterrey. There is no way in hell I am moving to a state that has such a high cost of living, high taxes, and unresponsive and intrusive government... Now if we could just build giant de-humidifiers for outdoor use in the months of July and August, this place would be paradise.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are welcome. Keep it short, polite, and on topic.

Thanks to a few abusers I am now moderating comments. I welcome thoughtful disagreement. I will block comments with insulting or abusive language. I'm also blocking totally inane comments. Try to make some sense. I am much more likely to allow critical comments if you have the honesty and courage to use your real name.