Doing hard time at the DMV


Complaining about the DMV is an admittedly banal exercise. Just like death and taxes, a trip to obtain, renew, or restore a driver’s license is inevitable, and no matter where you are, the ambiance is best described as “hell’s antechamber.” If you value your driving privileges, the universe declares, then suck it up, buttercup.

I’ve experienced epic wait times of up to 2-3 hours in New Jersey, which is practically world renowned for “worst DMV experience of all time,” and easily an hour in the Philadelphia suburbs. In Florida, the county tax collector’s office instructs you to book an appointment online for the privilege of waiting in line for half an hour or more.

In Tupelo, the waiting isn’t the hardest part. But just as Tolstoy famously wrote that “every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” every state’s DMV system is a unique incarnation of Hades on Earth, and Mississippi is no exception. Continue reading