Saturday, March 7, 2009

DMV Satisfaction

So this morning we (finally) hit up the DMV for some new driver's licenses. They have Saturday hours so I figured that would be the easiest for us (not to mention the last day we could do it before we have to register Camille for kindergarten, for which we need a current photo ID). They are open from 8 am - 12:30 pm, so I thought we'd be really smart and get there for eight so we could be in and out. Sounds simple, right? Wrong.

Apparently half of Connecticut had that same idea, but they were smart enough not to bring their kids! Since there were two of us, I waited in line while Rob took the kids outside for a walk. He came back in when we were close to the front of the line. Then, as we sat and waited for our names to be called to take our eye exams (CT doesn't require a written or driving test, only an eye exam which took all of thirty-four seconds...they just want a lot of money!) where we read books to the kids and bribed them with leftover SweeTart hearts (nothing like candy at nine in the morning).

Fortunately the line moved pretty quickly and we were soon called back for our photos and signatures. That station was manned by the nicest DMV employee I've ever encountered. Not only did she let me re-do my signature because it was too sloppy (not that it could be anything but on those electronic touch much for the beautiful signature I've practiced for years) but she also re-did my picture a couple of times until she thought it looked decent.

Three minutes later, new licenses in hand, we were out the door. I looked at Rob's license picture first. Poor man. He'll be spending the next six years with a license picture that could almost be confused for a mug shot. Then I looked at mine. In comparison, it looks like a glamor shot. It's far from the best picture I've seen of myself, but it is certainly the best DMV photo I've ever taken.

Rob was telling me about some study he heard that was done in CT to see what could be done to increase customer satisfaction with the DMV. They tried shorter lines, and some other things I can't remember. What did the trick was allowing a retake of the license photo. People who had a decent photo apparently reported 50% greater satisfaction than those who were not allowed a retake. Or something like that. Interesting.

It may have cost us an arm and a leg, but for the next five years, I'll be sporting a fairly decent photo ID. Happy day!


Jenny said...

I was very happy with my first NC license photo… I was smiling and my hair was perfect. But a couple of months ago I decided to do the right thing and change the address on my license even though we moved just a mile away… and I wasn’t even ready for the shot… and they didn’t re-do it. So I’m stuck with a mug shot like Rob is for the next 5 years. I feel his pain.

Kayla said...

My CT license pic was taken at 8 months pregnant, and it is not pretty.

Charlotte said...

My 1st attempt at the CT license included a 30 minute drive, 6 kids, and 1.5 hours in a line. For the lady to tell me (inaccurately) I had to have my marriage license to get my driver's license. I waited 6 more months, went with only two kids and one husband. Surprise, no marriage license needed, the lady was just an idiot.

The Bikmans said...

You have to love the DMV. I failed my first test in NC so I got to go back and spend another half day there. That's so funny about the picture. When we got our licenses in UT, they gave us the option to retake the picture and I have to say it did make the trip much more pleasant.

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