Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Aloha to the Maryland Vehicle Administation (MVA) - Driving into the Inferno

Aloha!  I recently experienced an epiphany ... I would like to write beyond book reviews and author promotions.  I would like to write humours musing of daily life.   Let's see if I can amuse you ...  

Last Saturday, we had a "free" morning - no youth bowling.  No scouting events.  I could have taken a long walk in the gorgeous sunshine.  Instead, I drove into the Inferno - my sixteen year old needed his learner's permit from the Maryland Vehicle Administration (MVA).

Driving to the MVA, my mind kept flashing to the insurance commerical featuring a driver who grew a beard waiting at the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV).    

We dragged ourselves out of the house at 0-dark-hundred to stand in line.   In fact, we stood in line by the entrance with the sign, "Enter here for Driver's Licenses".  Our early arrival placed us fifth in line.   I thought this might not be so bad until I noticed drivers lining up in front of the other door.  I rechecked the sign, "Enter here for Driver's License".   Still, both lines grew long ... and then a uniformed MVA worker instructed my line to join the other line as the MVA only opens one door on the weekend.  This bumped me from 5th to 50th.   Hmm, this did not bode well.

Driving to Ka'ena Point - the leaping point for spirits on O'ahu

Once inside, another MVA worker pulled out the drivers exchanging tags.  They all seem to come behind us so my line did not grow shorter ... but longer as the tags went first.  So let's summarize to this point:

- Early morning
- Long line
- Wrong door
- And no book to read!

It couldn't get any worse, could it?  It did.   When it was finally our turn, I pulled out the required documents:

- birth certificate
- proof of residency
- Social Security Ccard

Er, no Social Security Card.  Although my son knew his number from memory, the agent needed to copy the card.   Naturally, I was polite .... er, you don't know me well. I transformed into a snarky person.  I asked why the MVA needed the card.  The agent replied it was State Law.  She should have stopped at that point but she added, "You also need a Social Security Card to buy a gun and board a plane. Without it, you might be placed on the DO NOT FLY list".   

Driving on the Big Island with active volcanoes

My son suggested that we leave but I asked to speak to a supervisor.   I soon explained that we followed the sign but waited in the long line to realize that I needed a social security card to drive, shoot, and fly.  I am fortunate that I had a calm supervisor who asked if I lived nearby.  When I responded yes, she suggested I retrieve the Social Security Card and come back to her.  She would direct me to another agent without having to stand in line again.   

Upon leaving the MVA, we spotted the Girl Scouts selling cookies.   We bought a box of Tagalongs - at this point only I was having a chocolate emergency.   We ate half the box on the drive back to my house.

With the Social Security Card in hand, we raced back to the MVA.   True to her word, the supervisor referred us to an available agent.  Once our paperwork was processed, my son took the test - 25 out of 25.  We celebrated by polishing off the box of Tagalongs.  Then I observed to my son, "You came here to take a test to prove you could read signs and yet the staff can't read their own signs."  Still, the supervisor demonstrated the Aloha Spirit and I did not.  

Care to share any stories from your adventures at the DMV?

And the adventure is just beginning as we start driving around the neighborhood!


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Vintage Truck at Kailua Beach


  1. You handled the situation much better than I would have! I don't look forward to my kids driving but I still have a few years.
    and I loved the post!

  2. I enjoyed this. I lost my card years ago when they told you to not carry it around with you. I put it somewhere safe and now don't have a clue where it is. I see no reason why they couldn't just look it up somewhere. And that line fiasco was horrible! But the best is yet to come - parallel parking lol.

  3. I took my grandson a few weeks ago to get his temporary licence. They gave me such a hard time, and said that he had to have a parent with him. I told them that my daughter was a singe mother, and was in full time work, and full time nursing school. They still said "No". I asked to see a Supervisor, and he told me "No" too. After a bit of coaxing on my part, he finally relented but only on the condition that I signed and took responsibility for any accident he might get in. By the way, we also have to show proof of residence by producing a utility bill or bank statement with our home address on.

  4. I've only encountered long lives at the DMV, but luckily no drama. I always made sure I had all the requisite forms and documents.

  5. I have have never had a pleasant visit to the DMV here. I dread going.

  6. Reading your post and the comments made me realize how lucky I have it here in Texas. I went to DMV once when I moved here almost 17 years ago. I renew everything by postal mail or email now.

  7. I remember going and getting my drivers license when I was 24 years old. Yes, I waited a long time to get mine. I only missed one question on the written test and 1/2 point deducted from my actual driving test because I didn't use my blinker to pull into my parking spot. It only took 3 hours to get through it all..O.o

  8. Sounds pretty much like experience with Clare. Very frustrating indeed! Congrats on surviving the whole ordeal!