The Gainesville FL DMV is really bad.


I’m at the DMV waiting. And I can think of no better time than to list their ineptitudes.

1. Tiny waiting room in direct sunlight, putting the room temperature well over 80 degrees. Could they keep those floor-to-ceiling blinds closed and drop the temperature by about ten degrees? Yep. But that would be logical and efficient, and those values are not allowed.In addition, their AC is desperately trying (and failing) to fight direct sunlight by running non-stop, and I shudder to think how much extra taxpayer money per year could be saved by shutting those blinds. But again, it’s clear that sensible decisions to increase the efficiency of the operation are very unwelcome.

2. They are only open during office hours M-F. So the only options for people who work 9-5 are to take a vacation day, or lose money in order to sit in the DMV for hours.¬†An effective system wouldn’t require several hours to renew my license, etc. A smaller amount of efficiency would be to take note that your process takes hours and make that process available at at least some time outside of standard office hours. That would be even marginally considerate and as such is against DMV policy.

3. They do not take appointments, nor could I renew my license online. No further explanation needed here. Absolutely illogical and inefficient.

4. They do not take Visa. So after procuring half a dozen pieces confirming my identification, driving across town and waiting outside for the line to move inside, you can finally find out that your trip was pointless. Why would someone NOT take Visa? I can think of one reason only: Because to take visa would provide a small modicum of convenience and efficiency to the end user, and that is unacceptable.

5. The staff seems blissfully ignorant of the whole system’s ineptitude. This is probably the worst part. They seem like nice people. And they have their little ways of doing things down pat. But on the whole they seem completely content to be a part of a system that is blatant in its almost intentional obfuscation and inconvenience.¬†Perhaps there is a cash bonus system for increasing average wait times and # of return visits for the same issue. I can’t imagine that would be true, but hearing the front desk lady proudly snipe down person after person in the line to send them storming out of the office definitely begs the question.

Some of you are no doubt wondering, “why bother blogging about it?” There are a couple of reasons.

1. This has all been written while sitting at the DMV, sweating and waiting. It’s been a great way to pass the time.

2. Everyone always complains about things but then just accepts them as facts of life. I really hate that idea. I don’t know what I could possibly do to fix it, but actually publishing something about the problems seemed like at least one step closer to action than simply complaining about it. If anyone has good ideas of who to contact or how to formally say something about it, let me know.