October 10, 2007
The Department of Motor Vehicles has become the ubiquitous symbol of impersonal government run amok. On The Simpsons, Patty and Selma work at the Springfiled DMV as the chain-smoking driving examiners from Hell. And on Reaper, the DMV actually is a portal to Hell.
In this light, I must point out that in the twenty-odd years I've lived in Utah, the Utah County DMV has proved the friendliest and most efficient arm of government I regularly come into contact with. The offices are clean, the clerks cheerful, and registering my car takes about 15 minutes.
I usually stop in late morning or noon. Maybe the lines grow longer toward closing time.
Plus, the whole process hardly dents my wallet. Inexpensive government is even better government. Registering my twelve-year-old Ford--inspection, emissions, tags and taxes--comes to less than $100. Renewing my driver's license every five years costs a whopping $25.
If you want to know why we Americans drive so blasted much: because it's so blasted cheap!