Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Long lines? That's the other guys, NOT DMV

For the past several weeks, Utahns have been reading headlines and hearing news reports that DMV lines are getting longer and longer and longer.

Well, as the Hertz ads say, "Not exactly."

The long lines are at Driver License Division NOT the DMV.

Now that may sound like a technical bureaucratic response coming from a chubby state government worker. That's true, but there is more to the story.

The DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles) is a division of the Tax Commission in the business of registering motor vehicles. The Driver License Division is under the umbrella of Public Safety, which is also the home of our Highway Patrol officers.

Please remember
  • License plates = DMV
  • Driver licenses = Public Safety
I spent 11+ years of my life attempting to grab the attention of newspaper readers by writing short, crisp, accurate headlines. Thanks to Seinfield and three generations of jocularity "DMV" not only grabs readers' and listeners' attention, but fits better in headlines and rolls off reporters' tongues smoother than "Utah Driver License Division."

However when the media refers to the Driver License Division as the DMV it adds to the confusion. It contributes to the very problem the media addresses by sending people to the wrong office.

As a shallow attempt of compassion, my heart goes out to the people at Driver License Division - especially those clerks on the front lines who deal with frustrated citizens. It is extremely challenging to go back 10-plus years in time where citizens can no longer renew their driver license online or by mail.

But that's a different blog, for a different time, from by a different state agency.

Peace, love and all that jazz,

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