Jun 26, 2007

Ohio BMV: License Plate Purgatory

(Toledo, OH) I was disenchanted this morning when I saw that the Miracle Mile office of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles was closed for remodeling. This meant that I had to drive to Sylvania, OH to the next closest branch.

And when I arrived, I was greeted by a line of about twenty people waiting to perform their license and registration obligations, while only three clerks were working. Figuring five minutes per transaction, that meant at least a 30-minute wait.

Making matters worse were a slew of "problem" patrons, ranging from those with incomplete, missing, or improper documents to those whose mental inadequacies would disqualify them should the BMV ever institute IQ testing as a licensure criteria.

Add to this your collection of screaming toddlers, diots talking in a loud fashion on cell phones, and those in need of deodorant, and you have the makings of over an hour's worth of purgatory. Ah, what I would have given to have been instantly transported to, say, a Massachusetts bed and breakfast at that moment.

Luckily, I had my Social Security card with me, or I would have been banished from the line. The Ohio BMV deputy registrars now require your state-issued ID plus your SS card to conduct business. Thus, 75 minutes later, I obtained the license plates I needed to operate my gas-saving 1995 Hyundai, and I left with an even lower opinion of the value of trips to the BMV.


Anonymous said...

Funny pic!

Mr. Schwartz said...

When I lived in South Carolina, the local DMV office was abot the size of a double wife trailer and never a waiting line. I kid you not.

But ugggh, when I got up to Maryland, it all changed. Emission testing, title changes, long times, inept people.

Mr. Schwartz said...

Make that a double wide trailer, not a double wife trailer although SC had plenty of those also.

Stephanie said...

Right about the time we moved into our house, Wisconsin "up-dated" their DMV (Dept. Motor Vehicles) computer system with something really expensive and "time-saving." They obviously did something wrong, because within months the back-log made it on the news.

Over three years later, I still don't have my up-dated drivers liscense and I've pretty much consigned myself that I won't have my address on my drivers liscense until I renew my card.

historymike said...


I found it on Google Image when searching for "Ohio BMV." I'll put up the link when I get a minute.

historymike said...

Mr. Scwartz:

Michigan has a decent system, and you can take care of everything at each window.

Ohio - which farms out the work to "Deputy Registrars" (i.e. semi-corrupt political hacks who bid to get a piece of the state's fees) - makes you go to different offices for licenses, titles, and road tests.

historymike said...


Why is it that governments can never seem to implement a decent IT overhaul?

It's more than just the old "private enterprise versus government inefficiency" argument.

I sometimes think that there is a complete disconnect between government IT types and end users.

Stephanie said...

I think that it may be the government gets the bottom-barrell IT types, but that's mere speculation. I just know this was a really expensive project that was supposed to SAVE THE SYSTEM and it completely failed.