I needed to renew my drivers’ license this week. Our DMV is normally only open until 5pm. Fortunately, it is open late on Wednesdays. Unfortunately, Wednesday’s closing time is….. 5:30. Given its inconvenient location, I thus found myself coming home on the 3:58 commuter train.
I got to the DMV in time, only to discover that this is the only place I have ever been that takes credit cards but doesn’t take Visa. And no, since you ask: Unlike my CVS, the local bar and grill, and many other facilities that want your cash money, this large facility serving hundreds or thousands of people every day did not have an ATM machine. While I was there, a stream of baffled drivers asked the cashier, “You don’t you take Visa? Why not?” She had no idea.
It’s no fun living in a badly-governed state, as Illinois certainly is. Of course, the crummy DMV is not as bad as the long waitlist for developmental disability services, the troubled Medicaid program, or Illinois’s worsening projected deficits and unfunded liabilities. It’s still bad, as Keith Humphreys has noted–not least because the DMV exemplifies these other governing failures.
I eventually took the eye test and re-upped my license. I paid my $30.65. I was not a happy camper. I believe in activist government to help the needy, to protect each other against life’s risks, and to tackle large common problems. This humane and necessary vision would be an easier sell if the mechanics of government actually worked the way they were supposed to do.
So guys running the DMV: Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot?* Make this an acceptable consumer experience.
(* h/t Brian Cook on the declaratives here.)