A true story: When my 2003 vehicle required smog testing for the first time prior to renewing its registration, after paying my yearly fee online I presented it to a local smog testing station for what I had believed would be a routine examination resulting in the issuance of the certificate.
Unbeknownst to me, I was unaware that if the "Check Engine" light is illuminated, the vehicle will not pass the test. It failed.
I subsequently learned that my vehicle's Check Engine light had nothing to do with smog emissions. Yet after a few attempts on my own to solve the problem, as a man of extremely modest means I had to rely upon the state to provide assistance to repair my vehicle. After the taxpayers forked over $452.87 to the only facility in town authorized to perform said repairs, my vehicle should have been cleared to receive the coveted 2010 yellow sticker. Not so fast.
After waiting over two weeks for the updated registration to arrive, I contacted the DMV via telephone to inquire as to the delay. After first waiting nearly 45 minutes on hold I was told that there was an "X" annotated on my registration for which no reason was forthcoming.
I was then directed to call a number in Sacramento in my quest for the wayward sticker. After nearly 30 minutes on hold I was informed that the DMV needed to verify the VIN. When I asked why, I was rudely informed that there was no explanation and the technician ended the call.
After waiting nearly three hours at our local DMV office, I finally got my answer to the dilemma: There was no answer. The sweet, but equally perplexed agent asked if I wanted her to look at the VIN to verify it. With a stupid look on my face I said, "Why not?" And thus it was verified and the sticker was awarded.
Is this the type of government management we really want in charge of our health care system? Collectively speaking, just how crazy or stupid must we all be if we think government-managed anything would work any better than the DMV?
Jerome R. Kinderman