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Lessons from the DMV - Respect the DMV

I want to share insights I gained from a recent experience at the DMV.

This is the first of three lessons from my recent experience going to the DMV I will talk about. Each will have a different lesson to improve your experience at the DMV.

You (or future me) will be better prepared for the next DMV by having a better attitude towards the DMV.

This article will take you two minutes to read.

Nicolas Poussin - The Abduction Of The Sabine Women source and more information


My attitude towards the Department of Motor Vehicles, commonly known as the DMV, was pretty bad. I never have a good time there. This experience is also backed by how society views the DMV. There’s no shortage of jokes of how soul-draining going to the DMV is.

In essence, I was “allergic to DMV”

If I could, I would pay someone to go to DMV for me. I did that when I was leasing my car last time. When I didn’t get my registration emailed to me, I paid to have another copy made within five minutes of the first request.

Alas, somethings the DMV won’t let you do online and you have to go in yourself.


The following are lessons I will be discussing:


I loathed the DMV through the different interactions in my past. I viewed the DMV as a “necessary evil”.

At the same time, they provide a critical function for society as a whole. Such as:

  • who has the necessary capabilities to operate a vehicle
  • where a person lives
  • how old a person is
  • the identity of a person
  • whether a person is an organ donor
  • basic physical characteristics of a person such as height, eye color, etc.

All of this information is on a card that can fit in your wallet that anyone can read and know if the document is true or not.

In a way, when thinking about a software analogy, the license a DMV provides is in a way, “overloaded” - the license is trying to do too numerous and different things at the same time.

There are whole other departments of the DMV that I don’t even know about. I am sure their job is just as important as licensing.

When one doesn’t see the rules the DMV tries to uphold for society or how much society depends on the DMV, there probably is a lack of respect.

Through a lack of respect of the DMV’s role, going there might not be a pleasant experience.

The DMV supports society and society depends on the DMV to do its job so society can run better.

note: this is the first part of a series of articles on the DMV.