Tips for visiting the Culver City DMV!

Don’t go on a Monday Morning.

I had to renew my driving license and although you can usually do this online, when you have to have a new photo taken you have to show up in the flesh. There has to be a better way to spend your day than dealing with government bureaucracy and paying for the priviledge.

I planned to get there bright an early. Doors opened at 8am so I naively arrived at 7:30am thinking I’d be the one with my nose pressed up against the glass door to be let in a mere 30 minutes later.

Things didn’t go as planned. When I arrived the line was already around the corner of the building.

I can only assume this is the same group of people who camp outside the department stores for Black Friday deals. Either than or they have a membership to the DMV and know the drill.

An hour later and I was still only half way towards the door. At this point I’d answered emails, got social on Twitter and Instagram.

Outside mural of the Culver City DMV

My attention was momentarily distracted by the space-themed mural on the outside of the building. But it only provided a temporary relief, and it wasn’t long until I launched my phone’s Kindle app and started to read very large letters on a very small screen. (Note to self: I should have bought my reading glasses).

And we’re in

Once inside the doors, the sense of anticipation started to build. I was assigned a number, and had to wait another hour to get my chance of speaking to the person at the counter. I tried to work out how the numbering system worked – but couldn’t figure it out.

My number started with “F” – and they called Fs for a while, getting my hopes up and lulling me into a false sense of security. And then no more Fs were called.

I was like Pavlov’s dog whenever the number updated on the screen – and was constantly met with disappointment. I had to wait another 20 minutes for them to rediscover the F-button.

Just as I was starting to consider coming back another day I noticed an electronic banner on the back wall – advertising:

wait time at the Inglewood DMV 0 minutes!

Thanks for rubbing it in!

If I had a car I probably would have driven over there, but I decided instead to make this a battle of wills. I wasn’t going to be deterred.

The Fs finally got back in the saddle, and it was only another 25 minutes later when my number was called.

Big wait but lovely Customer Service

Give the lady her due, the customer service of the person who helped me was pleasant and friendly. And I was greeted with the unexpected bonus of no line to get my photo taken.

Dairy Milk Chocolate ButtonsI’ve had the same photo on my license for 10 years, and I wasn’t enthusiastic about having it updated. But there’s a silver lining.

Although my photo will be fresh and new – my details distinguishing features, eye color, hair color and weight weren’t updated.

Unfortunately I’ll never be 105 lbs again… but each time I look at my license I can dream about those glory, skinny puppy years.

Well, if it says it on my license, then it must still be true!


Another family size bag of chocolate buttons won’t hurt. Will it?