So Much Fun at the DMV

May 3, 2005

Well, once I got done running over other people's vehicles and smashing my head on the moving truck, I got settled in. A couple weeks ago I went to the DMV to get my driver's license transferred to Virginia, retitle my car, and get new license plates.

When I transferred my license from Ohio to Pennsylvania, back around 1999 or so, all I needed was my old Ohio ID. Nowadays things are different. To get a driver's license in the state of Virginia you need your old ID, a birth certificate or passport, proof of your social security number, and proof of residency. Good thing I already ordered a copy of my birth certificate in case I decide to get a passport.

I arrived at the DMV at about 10:00 on a Saturday morning armed with my birth certificate, a pay stub, my PA title, and my PA emissions inspection results. Cars in Fairfax County require an emissions inspection, but a valid inspection from some other states, including PA, will work. The pay stub I brought for both proof of residency (my address is written on the check) and proof of my SSN.

Lines at the DMV are based on what you need to do, not necessarily when you get there. I learned that the hard way as people who arrived after me were helped first because only one teller (later two) was handling licensing. I was 10th in that line.

Shortly after noon I got to the teller. I fished out all my paperwork and--- Notice I said the address is written on the check. The check usually goes into that slot on the side of the bank rather quickly; all I had was the stub. Which didn't have my address on it. Meaning I spent an hour and a half waiting to not get my license, because I'm an idiot.

No worries though, there's still the title and registration. The title goes through just fine; there are no leins to worry about. But it turns out that even though my PA emissions are valid until the end of July, the fact that they weren't done within this calendar year means Virginia wouldn't take them. Not because they were 11 months old. Because they hadn't been done in 2005. Apparently if you move here in early January you're boned on emissions.

So for my two hours at the DMV I came away with a set of license plates that expire on May 31. One hour per plate.

I've since gotten my driver's license while on my lunch break (the lines are a great deal shorter at 11 AM). It doesn't expire until October 31, 2011. Which means that I won't be waiting in those lines for quite a while.

May 2, 2005May 5, 2005