Like an idiot, I lost my driver's license.

We flew to Santa Fe. On the return -- no ID.

So, groan, it was time for a trip to the DMV.

But wait. Didn't newly-elected Governor Gavin Newsom promise a DMV overhaul?

So I requested an appointment online -- and got one instantly. January 14th.

OK, not a good start.

However, the website also showed the wait-time. The San Francisco location on Fell said two minutes. Really?

Of course, when I arrived, there was a line. The last time I came, the line went into the parking lot. This time, it was four people. A peppy DMV guy was handing out clipboards to start the paperwork.

Inside were two facilitators, who directed you to the right window. Luckily, I brought my passport, Social Security card, and a utility bill to prove I live in the city.

"Unfortunately," my DMV clerk said, "you need two proofs of address."

Ugggggh. So now I have to go back home?

"Wait," he said. "Did you drive here? Do you have your registration?"

I did. And I didn't have to get back in line, just show the form.

Now, there is some waiting for your number. But at the window, clerks are cheery and helpful.

Which can't be easy. A couple tag-teamed a clerk in a language I didn't know. The wife would hammer him, and then the husband would take a turn. The clerk endured it with a smile.

There was a young woman who was using her phone to photograph the questions on the driving test.

"Honey, what ARE you doing?" a DMV clerk said.

But all in all, this was a better DMV -- quicker, customer-friendly and efficient.

Too bad I wasted my time.

Three days later, an envelope arrived. Inside was a blank sheet of paper. Inside that, my lost driver's license. So you know who else is doing a good job?

American Airlines.

Contact C.W. Nevius at Twitter: @cwnevius.

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