Take A Number and Have a Seat

JRP Reflecting

Reflection – written May 26, 2002

A trailer for towing motorcycles to and from always seemed like a good idea to me. Getting the trailer was the easy part. Registering it at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Connecticut was the hard part. First I rode to Danbury — a half hour ride. Then I stood in line for ten minutes to get a form and a ticket with a number on it — just like at the deli. My number was 462. I filled out the form with my name, address, phone number, etc. and then started reading magazines I had brought along — this was not my first trip to the DMV. After two hours it was my turn. The experience at the counter wasn’t easy either. I presented my two documents — a certificate of origin containing information about the Razor trailer and the for I had filled out. The DMV agent didn’t’ like the certificate of origin. He said it didn’t look right. It wasn’t like the ones from Ford or GM or Nissan. I explained that the trailer was handmade by a one-man operation in Dahlonega, Georgia and that the form was signed by him and by the dealer from whom I bought the trailer. The agent studied the form and eventually went to consult with his supervisor. He then said things were fine and he issued me the license plate and registration. I left for a nice motorcycle ride home and stopped for a sandwich. This was a half-day experience. Does it have to be this way? Could the dealer have entered the information about the trailer via the web? Could I have used a web page to request the registration? Could both have been validated by systems so that the registration and license plate would just be sent to me — or an authorization set up so that I could come in and go to the “fast path” window to pick them up? I think we all know the answers. Standing in line to give information to an organization that they already have (or could have) is beginning to stand out. It is part of the 98% of the way we have to go with the Internet. I spoke to Governor Rowland (note Jan. 30, 2013 – now Dannel P. Malloy) about this and thankfully he completely agrees. He told me that within six months they hope to have an Internet based system in place. Won’t be any too soon.