Adults in our country endure going to the DMV and waiting in line for hours, to do mundane tasks like renewing car registrations. If you’re pressed for time to renew your car’s registration before the current one ends, you had better do it online or mail in your renewal with enough time for the tags to be mailed back to you. Otherwise, you’ll risk having to drive around with expired tags, till you can get the new ones. The worst case scenario is that you’ll have to go to satellite city hall or the DMV, and be stuck with the rest of humanity.
Every so often a newer and more convenient way of doing something comes around. But as wonderful as the innovation may be, it takes time for most people to discover or adopt a new way of doing things. Sometimes it takes desperation, or a world-changing event like a global pandemic to force us to seek and discover new ways of doing old things.
Enter the DMV Now digital kiosks, which offer remote services such as car registration renewal.
Recently I was faced with having to renew my vehicle’s registration right before expiration. I had called the various satellite city halls around the island, but each was fully booked. The appointment-only system helps to minimize social distancing concerns. However, the only location on the island with an available appointment time was way out on the West Side, late in the afternoon.
Then I recalled hearing that last year, DMV kiosks were installed at certain supermarkets. I never gave it much thought before. I decided it’s worth a quick Google search to at least see if this was a viable option.
I learn that there were quite a few kiosks up and running all over the island. In addition, I also found out that I would be able to renew my registration. I could make my payment and get issued my new tags right at the kisok within a FEW MINUTES!
What?! Why haven’t I thought of this before?
I had to check it out for myself.
I drove over to Sack N Save, which at the time was the closest location with a DMV Now kisok. Upon entering I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was no line at the kiosk. I stepped up to the machine and found that the instructions were super easy with a touch screen prompt. With a quick scan of the barcode on my registration renewal slip, the deed was done. Finally, I just had to make my payment with a credit card. In no time, my registration was renewed and new tags for my license plate were issued.
I felt like I had discovered a new life-hack! Except, it’s already been sitting around in plain sight for over a year.
But oh well.
Who cares. I was beyond excited.
Since then, I always make a point to look over at the kiosks wherever I find them. So far I have not seen anyone using them. I’m sure that if these machines somehow allowed you to also renew your drivers license, there would be way more people regularly using it.
We live in a world where the old ways of doing things are getting disrupted by virtual, contactless, and socially distant alternatives. The DMV Now kiosk is just one step closer to making satellite city halls and DMVs a thing of the past.
I, for one, cannot wait for more services to be added someday.