Aimee Patton

A pleasantly eccentric take on politics

I did it. I had to do it. I was required by law. Believe me there was a time when I considered breaking the law. I had to go to the KS DMV. I heard all of the reports. People didn’t just have to pack a lunch to visit the DMV in this town, they had to pack breakfast and possibly dinner as well. Five to eight hour waits at our DMV. The reason – a new computer system.

So I took a deep cleansing breath and I took my six year old daughter to the DMV. Yes, I am slightly nuts for dragging a child to hell.

We arrived at 8:30. The line had already formed. I put the last four digits in the computer and that entered me into the “system”.

A few observations:

The TVs were on sports and cartoons. Cartoons are great when you are trying to keep a kid quiet. The cartoon television was on closed captioning. Um…don’t mean to be one of those irritating people who constantly complain, but the kids who were waiting with their parents are too young to read. Cartoons with no sound suck.

Once I entered it became all about my number. Where was I in line? My sole focus was on my number. I engaged the text messaging system to figure out how long this torture would be.

Text: You are 44th in line and average wait time is 44 minutes.

Seriously, 1 minute per person. There is no one in this place that came to do anything under a minute. I kept waiting for that text, “get comfortable, it’s going to be a while.”

My child kept herself entertained with her gaming system and an enormous amount of M&Ms. I’m not above bribery. And bribe I did. Next thing I knew I was online buying tickets to the aquarium to keep her quiet. She decided the most comfortable place in the DMV was the floor. I got some glances from the other dwellers in hell and I shot back with the “oh really what are you going to do about it?” look. We were all in this hell together and if my kid wanted to lounge on the floor in hell so be it.

What is hell exactly? Hell is seeing 25 stations with only 50% of them staffed. Hell is watching one employee stare at her computer screen for what seemed like 15 minutes without helping anyone. Hell is watching a group of employees doing some sort of walk through when they are all congregating around an empty station. I so wanted to yell, “Break it up people and man these stations. My life and my kid’s life depends on it.”

Hell is seeing the custom plates examples I can choose from posted on the wall and one says “GodsGrl”. Thanks for the constant reminder that I am living in the conservative Christian state of KS.

The only comic relief for the morning was found on the DMV website I was reading as I continued to wait.

From the DMV website:.


At the office, you’ll be given your license plates and tags. However, you also have the option of ordering some nifty specialized plates instead. These have pictures and symbols of your interests or affiliations. For instance, you can get yourself a veteran’s plate if you like.

The word “nifty” is thanking you DMV for resurrecting this word from the 1970’s. Somebody actually wrote that and other people proofed it. Nifty passed inspection? Sweet Jesus , DMV could you date yourself any quicker?

After an hour, my number was called. We had some close calls with my child declaring she was “thirsty”. I consider these teachable moments for my daughter. Suck it up kid and stay with me here. We are in survival mode. Can’t risk missing my number. Missing my number would have been catastrophic. Yes, I promised a McDonald’s Sprite if she made it. I would have promised a pony at that point. Luckily she was happy with a Sprite.

Once I went to one of the occupied stations, I was done in under 5 minutes. Just a note – the KS DMV doesn’t take Visa. Who doesn’t take Visa in 2012? We were out of there and on our way and my child was collecting her bribes.

Overall I would say my experience at the DMV was…..”nifty”.


One thought on “My “nifty” experience at the KS DMV

  1. bobarmi says:

    “Nifty” was the second choice, they originaly wanted to go with “swell”

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