Volume XI, Issue 36 ~ September 4-10, 2003

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MVA: A Sad Reflection of Maryland Government

How did we spend our birthday, you ask?

Why, at the Department of Motor Vehicles office in Annapolis, of course.

Admittedly, we are among those who wait until the last moment for things like driver’s license and registration renewal, and this was the last moment. Boy, did we pay the price.
Math is not the strong suit here, but we could compute that the number handed to us on the scrap of paper was much tinier than the digital numbers displayed above. So we decided to be slick.

With that scrap of paper tucked snugly in our shirt pocket, we drove to the bank to get some birthday walking-around money. Then to the outfitter store to spend some of it. Then to the photo store, the coffee house and the cleaners. Now, we thought, we’ll get back to the motor vehicle office, grab that new license and have plenty of time for lunch and another errand or two before a dentist appointment.


Ninety minutes later, standing in yet another line, we’re phoning to ask the dentist if we can be a little late.

It seems that everybody forced to visit the MVA these days has a horror story. Bill Burton recounted several last week in his column.

“I have fear of dying of old age at MVA,” Burton wrote.

His line was funny, but what our state government is doing to us is not. The waste of our time, the inconvenience and downright aggravation we suffer is not what we in high-tax Maryland are paying for.

Visiting the driver’s license office is the closest most people come to state government. Part of us wants to say that people who have bought into the Evils of Big Government campaign slogan are getting what they voted for: less government. But that’s too easy.

What we’re talking about here is efficiency, not size, and we must conclude that most of the blame lands on Gov. Robert Ehrlich, who’s in charge of the Motor Vehicle Administration. This wasteful, vexing problem has developed during his watch, and we would have expected by now that he would have kicked over a few chairs and demanded it be fixed.

The rest of the blame goes to Marylanders for sitting by passively while we get punished for playing by the rules.

Remember when people had the guts to say “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it any more.”



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Last updated September 4, 2003 @ 2:17am