A week after torturing my daughters by dragging them to the first of two required trips to the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, a visit that ate up nearly four hours and that was just to procure my new driver’s license, I was forced to break the bad news to them again last night.
We’d be returning first thing in the morning though, this time, it would be to get my new North Carolina “First in Flight” license plate.
Unlike New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles, North Carolina’s version inexplicably separates two related and necessary services. And by “separate,” I mean purposely scatters their locations in different parts of the county. For example, the licensing and identification division we visited was in Concord, about a 25-minute drive north and west of here, while the nearest title transfer and registration renewal office is, fortunately for us, in our new hood of Harrisburg.
So, in addition to traveling to two different offices, those who move here from out of state must stand in two separate lines just to complete the registration process.
Heeding the advice of friends to avoid the local renewal office on Mondays and Fridays, we headed over this morning and, much to our delighted surprise, there were only two people ahead of us in line. Even Miss Fionna, who turns 6 on Monday, could not quite comprehend what was happening.
“Where are all the people, daddy?” she asked, to which I responded that she is never to ask such questions until the DMV office is in our rear-view mirror.
Last week, we were forced to stand in line in the foyer for 45 minutes before we could enter the main waiting room due to fire code seating capacity limits.
My surprise didn’t end there. The semi-pleasant woman handling my title transfer—and, for the record, I’ll take “semi-pleasant” six days a week and again on Sunday whenever I’m dealing with a government entity—had ZERO issues processing my application. Aside from paying a higher-than-normal fee, due to a one-time processing cost and the fact that drivers pay property taxes on their vehicles down here (that’s another story), we were in and out in under 30 minutes.
It wasn’t until I was sitting in my Honda CRV again that I thought to check out my new license plate, which had been previously stuffed into an envelope before being unceremoniously handed over to me. After realizing I wasn’t seeing double, I could not help but laugh.
I no longer have a legitimate excuse for forgetting my plate number, that’s for certain.
Now I just need to figure out what kind of vanity plate should adorn the front of my ride. There are too many possibilities! Any suggestions, friends?