The 30-Day Writing & Publishing Project, Day 22: Ode to the Nice Ladies at the Local DMV Office

Yesterday I went to my local DMV office to get the study guide for renewing my drivers’ license, which expired on my birthday in early July. It’s been eight years since I last renewed my license, and back then, there was an entire book of NC rules and regs to study.

I’m happy to report that things are much easier now. There’s a road sign test, and one little handout, a card, really, with regulatory signs on the front and back, that can be “studied” in about 5 minutes flat prior to taking the test.

This is really all it takes, because that’s about how long I spent reviewing it, and I passed the test. Yay for me! Legal to drive for another eight years! 

When I got to the DMV office, I wasn’t actually planning to get my license right then, I just wanted to grab the study guide, review it over the weekend, and renew my license next week.

Which is why I didn’t bother showing up until 5:45 pm, 15 minutes before they closed up shop. There wasn’t another soul in the place except for the 2 ladies who worked there, and they could not have been friendlier or more accommodating.

When I arrived, I mentioned that I just needed to pick up the study guide. The nice lady who met me at the door convinced me to “just come on in and get it over with, we’re open for 15 more minutes.” When I protested that I hadn’t had a chance to study for the test yet, she handed me the little card with the regulatory signs on it and said, “Here you go.”

“But, but . . . if I only have a few minutes to look at this, I might not pass the test,” I said.

“You’ll be fine,” she said, and led me over to the desk where I would actually take the test.

A different nice lady at that desk started asking me the usual questions about my address, weight, height and so on. Once again I said, “But I need time to study this handout, what if I don’t pass?” To which she replied, like her cohort before her, “You’ll be fine, just look that little road signs card over while I’m asking you these other questions.”

I was doubtful, but it turned out she was right. I “studied” the road signs card briefly, easily identified 12 of the 20 or so signs she showed me, which was all I needed to do to “pass,” and that was it.

Then I paid my $32 fee, exchanged pleasantries with the kind DMV ladies, and left.

The whole thing took about 15 minutes.

I know DMV horror stories abound – the rudeness, the long waits, the inane rules (if you’ve never lived in North Carolina, you have no idea how arbitrary and just plain nuts some of the rules for owning and operating a motor vehicle can be) – but this was the most pleasant DMV visit I’ve ever experienced.

It restores my faith in humanity, I tell you.

So I just want to say to the nice ladies at my local DMV office: you made my day.