Thursday, May 14, 2015

My Trip to Get My Car Inspected

When one thinks of interacting with the DMV you usually think of horror stories. Long endless lines and the hours standing in them. Only to find when you get to the front of the line you were in the wrong one. Then being pointed to the line you were supposed to be and that line being even longer then the line you’d just been in.

Also there’s the nightmare of getting your car inspected. Again long lines and wait times. Then to find one of your tail lights is out and you have to come back and get the car inspected again.

That’s part of what went through my mind when I got the notice in the mail that I needed to get my car inspected. I knew at least I wouldn’t have to stand in any line to get my car inspected.

I received the notice in mid April. I decided the best time to get the car inspected was after I got back from my trip to my dad’s. I decided the best day to do it would be Wednesday. I just thought doing it mid-week would be a better idea. The hope being that there would be fewer people going to get their cars inspected mid-week. It did mean, if there was anything wrong with the car, I would only have a couple of days to get the problem fixed. But it seemed to me that likelihood of something being wrong was pretty slim.

In the notice I got, it said the best way to get the car inspected was to go on line and make an appointment. Instead of just showing up and hoping you wouldn’t have a long wait time. With the appointment I could arrive and proceed to the front of the line and get my car inspected. One small little draw back was there was no web site listed on the notice. I was able to go on line to the DMV site. It took a couple of clicks to get to the right page but then it was easy to set up the appointment. My appointment was for May 13 between 8:15-8:30 am.

The weekend before I went on my trip I had the oil changed in the car. There’s a funny story about that as well but that’s for another time. When I got back from my trip I made sure the head lights were all fine and the turn signals worked too. The one thing you can’t test for when it is just you is the brake lights. I called up my friend Mark and said if I drive out your way can you see if my brake lights work. Then we can do dinner. He said yes. The lights were fine which I figured they would be but better to check then be unpleasantly surprised at the inspection station.

Along comes Wednesday morning. I decide I’d leave around 7:30. I wasn’t sure how bad traffice would be. I also knew where the inspection station was but wasn’t entirely sure how to get there. I wanted to allow myself plenty of time just in case. Turns out I didn’t have any problems.

I arrived early just before 8. I pull up to the inspection station. A guy ask if I have an appointment. He tells me to back my car up and go to the next gate and make a right. I head to the next gate. There’s a sign that says people with appointments should get in line here. It’s a little confusing because there is a sign that say do not enter except for authorized vehicles. I look down the lane and see another sign about people with appointments and pull in to the lane. I drive all the way down. There is only one other car in front of me. That person gets motined into the line into the inspection station. A couple of minutes later so am I. And I did get to go to the front of the line. There was something that had entered from the other side (someone who didn’t have an appointment) and I got to go in front of him. It took all of ten minutes for the inspection. No problems. The car’s good for another two years.

It could not have been easier to do. I can’t figure out why anyone would not go on line and make an appointment (unless of course they don’t have access to the internet but I think there was a way to call and schedule an appointment). I didn’t have to wait at all. It’s a rare thing to say that you had an appointment with the DMV and everything went perfect.

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