My first mistake was procrastinating mailing in my DMV registration renewal form. I’ll get to it later. No rush. They give you a couple months to complete the task anyway. So two days before it was due, I noticed it was due. No problem, I’ll just register via the internet. Easy peasy. When I went online, I clicked on the first option that appeared, erroneously assuming it was the DMV site. That was my second mistake. Unbeknownst to me, it was a look-alike website. So I entered the numerous informational junk they ask for. When I reached the end and was about to hit REGISTER NOW, I noticed a couple fees I’d never seen before; one for $29 and another for $8. I thought, what’s that about? I figured DMV implemented the new charges. But upon closer inspection I realized what I’d done. This website acts as a go-between by sending the DMV my info, something I’m perfectly capable of doing myself (or so I thought) without paying extra charges. So I then decided to skip online registration and call the DMV directly. That was my third mistake.
Upon dialing, I hear this message: We are currently experiencing a high volume of calls. Your wait time will be 2 hours. Forget that. So I think instead I’ll just register via automated voice commands. You guessed it…my fourth mistake.
Talking to someone over the phone in an attempt to register a vehicle is not normally a speedy process in the first place. So I’d say doing it by speaking into a machine that must correctly decipher enunciations is about as frustrating as it gets.
The “conversation” went like this:
DMV: Please say why you are calling. You can say Registration, Drivers License, Appointments, Find an Office or Order Forms.
DMV: I’m sorry. Did you say Registration, Drivers License, Appointments, Find an Office or Order Forms?
Three more tries and I finally enunciated well enough for the machine to understand me.
DMV: Okay, for Registration, enter your 6 digit renewal ID number followed by the last 5 numbers of your vehicle identification number. Using your phone keypad, press the first number followed by one of the letters under that number to indicate in which order the number appears.
After figuring it out, I was then asked to say my license plate numbers or letters. Unfortunately, the computer was again not able to understand my (what I considered) perfectly understandable English. Now don’t get me wrong; my stubbornness allowed me to persevere.
DMV: Please say the first number or letter.
DMV: Did you say 8?
DMV: Okay, please say the first number or letter.
DMV: Did you say 8?
On and on it went until a few minutes later the computer finally recognized my “A” was not an 8.
DMV: Did you say S?
DMV: Okay, please say the second number or letter.
DMV: Okay, did you say S?
And so it went. I made it through 3 of the 5 letters before I finally lost my patience and hung up.
Finally, around 40 minutes after I first began this ordeal, I registered my vehicle on the actual DMV website. No talking to a human. No talking to a machine. Just some simple mouse clicks here and there. It took 2 minutes.
And that was my fifth mistake: not realizing I should have done that in the first place. Originally posted in March, 2015.