The MVC Story...


You are probably NOT going to believe what I am about to write, but I swear it's true.  On the other hand, maybe you WILL believe what I am about to write and maybe you have your own unbelievable story that you can tell.

My story is about the MVC.  You MIGHT know what that is if you live in NJ; in other states it's known as the DMV.  Any acronym you use, be it MVC (Motor Vehicle Commission) or DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) or anything else, you know that my story is going to be a nightmare, don't you?

The tale goes back to August when my son turned 17.  He had taken and pasted his written test.  I found a driving school for him and he did behind the wheel and got  his permit.  He practiced driving (with me being a total basket case) and on his 17th birthday we had an appointment at our "local" testing center.  (This was apparently automatically set up when he got his permit.  It wasn't until another parent mentioned to me that road tests were automatically on your 17th birthday that I looked closely at the back of the permit and saw this.)  The appointment was set for 8 AM and there was a long line of cars that obviously had the same time.  My son did not get to go until around 8:20 and...he did not pass (he tapped a cone.)

This was a devastating way to start off his 17th year, but what was even worse is that we had to go back into the "main" building and wait so that we could make a re-test appointment.  We probably only waited 10 minutes or so, but it was a LONG and PAINFUL wait.  (Again, a totally awful way to start your 17th year.)  When we were finally called up, the first available appointment for our location was JANUARY 2023!  So I looked for other locations.  There was one in Ocean County that was available in late November, so I took it.  The person behind the plexiglass told me that cancellations did happen and I should check back every once in a while.  

Later in the day, I saw that that location was much further south than I thought and somehow managed to wrangle a November appointment at a different location that was only 45 minutes away (versus one hour and forty five minutes.)  so I changed the appointment to that location.  My thought process being that I wanted this sooner rather than later and there was less chance of snow in November than January. I wasn't happy; my son wasn't happy, but it's what I could manage.

Then in September for some unknown reason (I can't recall what prompted me), I checked again.  The website for appointments was COMPLETLY DIFFERENT than what I had seen before.  The site was actually much easier to navigate and all of a sudden they had appointments available at my preferred location in September!  I immediately tried to change the appointment, but the site wouldn't let me.  I was told I had to use the link from the email that I had received previously.  Only I hadn't received an email previously!

Because the office was closed by this time, the next morning I called and spoke to a woman who was quite nice (hoorah!) and she managed (with some difficulty I could tell) to reschedule for October 4th at 4 PM.  This meant he could do a full day of school (no missing classes which is what would have happened with this 9 AM appointment in November) AND since it was our local MVC, his instructor could take him, allowing him some practice before the test. My husband I would met them at the location, hopefully so that we could pay the fee for his license.

My son met his instructor in the gym after school.  (The instructor is also a gym teacher).  Because I have a tracking app (doesn't everyone), I could see when they left the school and where they went to practice.  The instructor called us at home (which caused an anxiety attack) saying that he needed the MVC confirmation number since it wasn't on my son's permit.  Luckily, I had texted all the information to my son that morning, so I figured we were good. 

Hubby and I headed out to the MVC a half an hour before the scheduled appointment.  As we started to pull in (getting to the locatin is a nightmare and I truly believe that if ANYONE is able to get there without getting into an accident, they should automatically be assured a driver's license), my son calls.  I'm figuring he needs the actual print out of the email with the confirmation number, but...

He's calling to tell me he's passed his test BUT he doesn't have a license because the MVC is closed.  Considering that it is quarter to four, this makes NO SENSE.  (Of course if you've ever dealt with government agencies you know that NOTHING makes sense.)

Seems as if he got there by 3:30ish and they took him right away.  (Not at all like the experience he had back in August.)  He takes the test and passes (HOORAH).  They tell him to go in and get his license in the little building that is right by the test track.  But the building is closed.  (Again, before 4 PM)  Then he is told to go to the main building, which he does, but he is told there that they are not taking any more people that day...even though it is not yet 4 PM.  (Remember, his appointment was for 4 PM.)

So, we had to return the next day to get his actual license, even though he SHOULD have gotten it when he passed the road test which he took BEFORE his actual appointment time AND they closed the office BEFORE his actual appointment time. (Does any of this make sense?)

Which means I had to take more time off of work (on a day where I was actully supposed to be in the office) and drive BACK to the MVC (in between scheduled phone calls).  Which is what I did THIS morning...In the rain!  (Because everything's better in the rain.)  Where a supposedly 5 minute process took about 20 minutes and my son got his first taste of dealing with forms and bureauocracy on his own.  (Only one person allowed in the building/office which meant he was on his own.)  To further complicate things, the bank statement that we had (for proof of residence) was dated June/July which apparently was no good so he had to show is debit card and my husband (who was admitted in) had to sign off on it.  And provide a credit card to pay for the license.  (Because despite what I was told they DON'T take checks.)  All the while I am standing out in the rain (under the overhang) and cold (it wasn't too cold, but still).  Until finally they took my son's picture. (Note: he had  messy wet hair because of the rain and was wearing his black leather jacket which he was customized with studs...Just the kind of look you want on a driver's license.)  He was finally given an interim driver's license (good for a month) while they process his PROBATIONARY license which will be good for a year.  Then you can finally graduate to a "regular" license which I believe can be done through the mail.  (I'm not there yet; I'm still trying to recover from this whole process.)

So there you have it; the MVC story.  My son can now get behind the wheel of a car and drive without me and I can try not to have a total nervous breakdown over it.  (That is if I don't have a heart attack when I find out how much insurance is going to cost.)


  1. Hurray for "getting it don e! It's been a long process, but you're legal! CONGRATULATIONS!

  2. Make a copy of it for your collection.


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