Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Amazing Efficiency of the Washington State DMV

Life: Many of you might assume, based on the title of this post, that I'm going to proceed sarcastically discussing the many pitfalls of the DMV. The truth is quite the opposite. Like many Americans, I'm at times swayed by the stereotype of an all pervasive beauracratic and bumbling government sluggishness. Today, I must say, is the first day in as long as I can remember, that I have been absolutely stunned by government efficiency.

I went this morning to renew my drivers license. I brought with me a good book, and left early so I could make it to work at a reasonable hour. I assumed I would be one of many trapped in a kafka-esque process, so I figured I'd entertain myself with some great reading. On entering the building, the hundred or so people I saw immediately re-enforced my fears.

I followed a very small line; I pressed a little button that said what I was there for. A piece of paper shot out with my number. I sat down, and proceeded to read. I was annoyed by the continuous announcement of the next number being called. What kind of bumbling beauracracy can rip through customers at the rate of 1 every 30 seconds or so? Within a couple minutes my number was called. Less then 2 minutes later I was told my name would be called for my picture. And a couple minutes later it was, my snapshot was taken, and I was shushed out the door, new license in hand.

So I've been told this is all due to Gary Locke and his obsession with things not so controversial. Apparently, he took it upon himself to make the DMV efficient. Wow! It truly is.

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