I feel like I’ve been picking on the MVD lately. I want to be clear that I have run into lots of helpful people at the MVD. But some of the experiences I’ve had there illustrate why an entity like the MVD can be so frustrating. The MVD is an administrative agency. They pretty much have free reign to make their own rules and operate how they please. In other words, we drivers are all at the mercy of the MVD. We can’t make the MVD do anything.

So the other week I’m at the MVD for a client. I get up to the counter and realize that I’ve forgotten my license. MVD always asks for my license so they can confirm I am who I am (an attorney there for a client) and not some creeper. I tell the person on the other side of the counter that I don’t have my license. I said I have a photo of my license and asked if that would work. The person says I need to have my physical license.

I was not going to spend another 90 minutes to drive home, get my license, and return to the MVD. I told the person that I would like to apply for a replacement license then. The person said fine and begins asking me questions to confirm my identity. Name, social security number, and so on.

After a few minutes, a supervisor walks by to check on this person. Some conversation ensues. The supervisor points out that they have my picture on the computer monitor, and I’ve provided all of the information they would need to give me a replacement license. The supervisor suggested that based on the information I provided to obtain a license, they can probably confirm my identity without issuing me another license I didn’t need.

The conversation reminded me of “Who’s on First?”

What is the lesson here?

MVD is used to doing things one way. When the MVD is presented with problems that are uncommon or unusual, it may take some time to get a resolution. It’s kind of like showing a telephone pole to a Mustang – the Mustang only knows one thing to do. Just kidding…

Sometimes we have to visit the MVD a few times to solve a problem. We don’t usually have different information on subsequent visits, but we might get to talk to a different person, or a different supervisor might be working. The different person might have a different answer to the same problem.

These situations can be frustrating, but I’ve found it invariably works better when I go in with patience and treat everyone I talk to as nicely as I can.