The sole purpose of the Motor Vehicle Division is to remind God-fearing people here on Earth to behave themselves, or else they’ll end up stuck there eternally in the afterlife. That’s right. The Motor Vehicle Division is very akin to Hell. Hades. The Underworld. Pit of Eternal Damnation. The Catholic church should forget about Hail Marys—a real punishment for sins would be to send people to the Motor Vehicle Division, give them a numeric ticket, and rig the electronic board so that it never calls their number. And if they’ve done something really bad, like killed a man or fornicated, the priest could find an extremely fertile parishioner to drag all her children in to the waiting area and let them run amok. A retribution worse than death.

Since I moved out of the country and failed to have my address changed, I missed the cut-off for renewing my car’s registration, which meant I could not simply send in a cheque, because it would take too long to receive my tags in the mail and thus inhibit my driving freedoms during my stay in Arizona. I was forced to submit myself to the horrible experience in person.

It had been a while since I’d visited the Motor Vehicle Division; I knew from past experience that when I entered, the first step would be to take a number, but I could not locate a ticket dispenser for love nor money (and I tried both). Finally I asked one of the less-crusty individuals who already had his ticket, “Hey, where’d you get that,” motioning to his golden ticket. (Okay, it was white. But it may as well have been made of diamond, it was so valuable.)

He nodded his head in the general direction of a very long line, and I clarified, “I have to wait in line to get a ticket to wait in line?”

He crinkled his eyes, smugly looking me up and down, and I could almost hear him thinking, “Hey, toots…a nice girl like you doesn’t belong in a place like this. Might as well turn around and git–you’ll never make it.”

Not to be deterred, I made my way towards the line for the unfortunate souls like me, twice nearly slipping to my death on wayward bouncy balls and chew toys. [No, not chew toys…chew toys are for dogs. What are those plastic water-filled squishy things that babies munch on when they’re growing teeth? Teething rings? One of those.] I don’t know why people don’t get a sitter for their children when they have an appointment with the Motor Vehicle Division.

After 20 minutes of waiting in the line for the line, I was officially given a ticket permitting me to wait some more. K667 was my number. I found a seat in between Gold Velor Sweatsuit Man and Bubblicious™ Bubble Gum Smacking Woman. Bad choice. Only choice. D@#!mn. Looking up at the electronic board recording what number was being “served” (“sentenced” is more like it), I was thrilled to see that we were on K666. I was up next! What luck! [The triple sixes should have tipped me off, but I was too naive to think that anything but K667—my ticket—could succeed K666.]

My heart raced as the numbers on the board changed and a robotic voice announced, “Now serving number…”

“Here we go,” I thought, gathering my bag and car keys, “let’s get this show on the road.”


“Nooooooooooooo…. They’ve started the sequence over again!” I mentally did some calculations and concluded that there were a lot of letters between A and K, and even more numbers between 001 and 667. D@#!mn.

As it turned out, and as is true with most demonic institutions, there was zero rhyme and zero reason to the numbers being called. After A001 came B405 and 406 and then 410. Then on to the letter O and its accompanying 332 and 354. I started keeping track of the letters and numbers, thinking maybe there was a word of the day and the Motor Vehicle Division People have to guess what is being spelled out.

“Let’s see…I came in on the letter ‘K’ and next it was ‘A,’ ‘B,’ and ‘O.'”

“KABOB!!!” I exclaimed aloud, jumping up and waving my ticket around like a maniac, my wild eyes searching earnestly for confetti or a giant balloon or any kind of prize. All I got were a few children jumping up and down with me, thinking it was some kind of something fun. The adults didn’t even bat any of their eyes–lunatic behaviour is not uncommon at the Motor Vehicle Division.

When they finally did call K667, I walked shakily up to counter 8, where one of The Tempter’s Demons informed me that I could not pay for my registration until my car passed Emissions–another hour’s worth of waiting in line.

As I made my way out the door, dejectedly, the words of that less-crusty man echoed in my wasted head.

“You’ll never make it…never make it…never…make it.”

About Camille

I'm Camille. I have a butt-chin. I live in Canada. I was born in Arizona. I like Diet Dr. Pepper. Hello. You can find me on Twitter @archiveslives, Facebook at facebook.com/archivesofourlives, instagram at ArchivesLives, and elsewhere.
This entry was posted in failures, fiascos, the great state of AZ. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to {MVD}

  1. Melissa says:

    okay, I’m laughing so hard. You managed to perfectly portray the MVD. I had a lot of bad luck last year when trying to register my car and get an AZ license. The 1st time I went I also was rejected after waiting so patiently for over an hour and told I had to get the emissions testing done 1st. During my 2nd visit I was able to register, but their computers went down for getting new drivers licenses and so I had the wonderful opportunity of being able to go to the MVD for a 3rd time. I’m so thankful that my new license doesn’t expire until I’m 65 (2039)so as long as I never get a new car and I keep current on my mail in registration I should never have to step into another MVD until then. right?

  2. Raygon says:

    HA! HA! HA! That is one thing I DO NOT envy about your trip home. Emissions can be just as bad…take a Diet Dr Pepper with you, you just might need it! HA HA HA! You such a great writer!

  3. Anonymous says:

    This was seriously one of the funniest things I have ever written. Thanks for the laugh.

  4. Cristin Lassen says:

    Yeah, even when you make an appointment they make you wait in the “appointment line”. It’s ridiculous.

  5. Anonymous says:

    lunatic behaviour is not uncommon at the Motor Vehicle Division.
    Ha ha ha! This is one of the most profoundly true statements I have ever heard. Once again you’ve managed to turn a hellish situation into a HILARIOUS blog!

  6. Loralee Choate says:

    Look at you, Miss “Cheque”. A total Canadian already!

  7. The Lowry's says:

    Thanks for the good laugh. I started laughing right out loud and Jeff asked from the other room, what are you laughing at? Then I hear the music from your blog playing on his laptop. Thanks again for the great laugh

  8. lindser-lou says:

    have you ever seen the tv show “Reaper”….well, the main guy is basically a bounty hunter for Satan, and when they capture a soul, they have to take it to a portal….a portal to hell. Which believably enough, is at the MVD. The clerk has small horns under her bangs and everything….so accurate, it’s scary!!!

  9. LetterToKayleen says:

    oh, wow. did you go to the mvd on greenfield? there’s never a line. seriously.

  10. Camille says:

    Of course I didn’t go to the MVD on Greenfield. Nobody tells me these things ahead of time. I went to bloody Mesa Drive and wanted to kill myself every second I was there.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Highly entertaining! ~A

  12. Lindsey Burnham says:

    You are the most amazing blogger I have ever met! I’m sorry I ever told Lance otherwise…

  13. melenie says:

    I despise the MVD. I went through a similar situation, and realized that there are different letters based on what you are there for or something… the A’s are there to renew, the K’s are there for a new registration, the B’s are there for something else. It’s all very chaotic and confusing.

    Just remember the emissions thing before you go next time.

  14. Jessica says:

    Hey, come on, why’d you delete the last post?? That one was fantastic. I was waiting for someone to pass me the popcorn.

  15. Raygon says:

    aaaaaahhhh! I had to leave my computer half way thru reading your last post….where did it go? i wanted to finish reading about mayberry.

  16. Raygon says:

    ps – i am patiently waiting for you to post ANY pictures of Arizona. oh, how I miss it.

  17. Mikelle says:

    Yes, I loved your last post that got deleted. I was laughing so hard about the “electic” front yard. Even my husband knows who that is! Keep writing about AZ, I love hearing your spin on things. (We think a lot alike, but you just have a way with words…).

  18. Anonymous says:

    When someone writes about Arizona, there should be at least SOME truth to what is being said.

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