DMV-osaurus Rex

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The DMV is trying to evolve out of its Jurassic reputation, but Joan Reinhardt-Reiss says progress is, well, slow.

I thought dinosaurs were extinct until I attempted to renew my driver’s license at the DMV. The Oxford dictionary defines “dinosaur” as a thing that has become obsolete due to a failure to change. Welcome to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Knowing that San Francisco has long lines, I opted for Daly City with a timed appointment. Arriving early, a long appointment crowd existed. Our group moved at the identical pace as the unscheduled line.

The appointment tsar sent me to Window 1. After completing the forms and an eye test, trouble began. My contact lenses are set so that one eye is for distance and the other for reading. With both eyes open, I see clearly for distance or reading. The DMV is a non-believer in modern optics. I read the eye chart perfectly with both eyes and my distance eye. Of course my reading eye could not duplicate that feat. Required to peer through a backlit mini-microscope, my reading eye saw blurred letters. I was curtly dismissed with a test form for my optometrist. Time ran out and I needed to return for the written exam and another eye test.

The optometrist verified my unique vision. Back to the DMV dinosaur and a direction to window six, except no one was there. At Window 5, my papers were checked and I was directed to the written test which I passed and received a temporary license. Done! Final checkout.


Here I learned that due to my disparate vision situation, a special driving exam was required known as a Vision Test. Alright, book it. However, the next available date is November 15th.

“My temporary license expires November 1st.

“No problem, here’s a generic phone number and you can book in Redwood City.”

With a dinosauric Perspective, this is Joan Reinhardt-Reiss.

Joan Reinhardt-Reiss lives in San Francisco where she is a cyclist and grandmother.