About a month ago I got a notice from the Motor Vehicle Commission that my license would expire the end of August and that it was time to renew. I thought that was OK, all I had to do was fill out the form, enclose a check and mail it back and I would have my new license.
But no, I was wrong. I had to renew in person. I kept putting it off, after all I've had dealings with the Department of Motor Vehicles in NY and those people definitely didn't believe in service for the customer. Today I decided I might as well visit the local office.
Armed with the various forms of identification, passport, old license, ATM card, bank statement and directions from Microsoft Streets and Mapquest I took off on the journey. I followed the directions to the letter for most of the trip. Then I saw signs pointing the way to Motor Vehicles. I followed the signs, which showed a different way from my directions. I turned right when the sign said to. Then the signs stopped. I followed the road for a bit, but realized I must have passed the office, so I went back. I tried one collection of buildings, but that was wrong. Then I went across the road to a mini-mall. I tried that and found the office. Finally.
There was a long line for information, but I saw a woman sitting in the area marked for licenses. That was where I was supposed to be. She took all my information and various forms of ID. Then she gave me a number and said to wait until I was called. I must have waited all of 5 minutes when another worker took all my paperwork.
It was obvious that this woman really liked her job. She was so pleasant. She gave me several chances to sign my name on the electronic recorder. The area where I signed was so marked up that I couldn't see what I was writing. I finally got that right, then she asked if I wanted to use my old photo or if I wanted to take a new one. Since the old one was only 4 years old, I opted to keep it.
All in all, except for the lack of a sign telling me to turn left, it was a very pleasant experience. The office was well organized, the people were very pleasant and helpful and I was very surprised.