Been thinkin about....DMV

Published June 6, 2024

By Joe Mavretic

I had to renew my driver’s license this year and the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) kindly sent me a reminder in the mail. That reminder told me when my license would expire, how long the renewal period would be and how much it would cost to renew my license. The reminder had other information about online renewal and other services. One important item was that I must renew in-person since I had renewed online the last time.

Since there were at least three months to go before expiration, I decided to get an early appointment. When I went online to schedule an appointment at the DMV office nearest me there were NO APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE before my expiration date! So, I tried for appointments at DMV offices near me-NONE AVAILABLE! Then DMV offices nearby-NONE! Next I tried nearby counties-two failures but finally an appointment available in Goldsboro in Wayne County in a month. So I signed up. Got a date, a time and a number.

Now, I’ve been reading a lot about all the problems that DMV has been having: moving to Rocky Mount, complications with the federal government over photos and renewals, difficulties with personnel and computers, so I got ready for a bad day at DMV.

A few days before my appointment, I got an email requiring me to confirm my appointment and reminding me to arrive not more than fifteen minutes before my appointment and not more than fifteen minutes after my appointment. I understood why my appointment would be cancelled if I was too late but getting there too early was a mystery but I confirmed the appointment.

Just to make sure I had anything that could possibly be required, I took my driver’s license, my passport, my social security card, the initial reminder, and a proof of insurance. My wife and I drove to Goldsboro (she went along in case I failed any part of renewal and could not drive back home) and we waited in the parking lot until fifteen minutes before my appointment time-10:15 am.

Goldsboro DMV shares a building with the NC Highway Patrol and the waiting room is small-not many seats or standing room-hence,"Do not arrive too early." Nice thoughtful touch!

When I checked in with my assigned number, a friendly lady confirmed that I had an appointment and gave me a form with my control number on it and told me to wait until called. The chairs in the waiting room were comfortable and there were three people ahead of me. In order, we were called over an intercom to report to a specific kiosk (mine was #3). A friendly lady asked for my current driver’s license and proceeded with the renewal process. She knew exactly what she was doing, all her equipment worked, she asked the right questions, and she didn’t make any mistakes. In less than ten minutes all the administration, tests, questions and payment were completed and I was out of the door with a new license to drive on our highways.

Over the years I have heard so many ugly stories about government inefficiency, and about state personnel who were bad-mannered or ill-tempered, that it was a joy to experience the other side of that coin. Every step in my renewal process at Goldsboro DMV was pleasantly professional. I felt like family.

I suspect that there are a whole lot of state government employees in every one of our agencies who do a great job every day for all of us in North Carolina… I know the employees at the Goldsboro DMV do.

Esse Quam Videri