Maryland's Time Machine
It’s a road everyone travels. You’re seeking resolution to one of life’s necessary evils at one of the world’s essential time sinks. You’re entering a door to a new dimension. Upon entry, the hands of the clock seem to become heavier…and slower. Your wallet, upon exit, will be lighter.
You’re corralled into a line to acquire a number to wait in another line. Conference hall seating is provided since you’ll be here for a while. You’re now waiting for your letter and number to appear in a line on a digital board. There is no known rhyme or reason behind the order of the letters while the numbers attached to them progress in order…sometimes.
Where can you find a location that’s infamous for its wait times and for expecting the unexpected? Its your local service location of the Department of Motor Vehicles. Take note: In Maryland, you can check wait times for branch of choice at www.mva.maryland.gov/locations.
In my case, on Monday, I departed for the MVA in Bel Air in the midday with the expectation of a 14-minute wait for all matters related to a title. That sounded wholly unreasonable since it was lunchtime but the bait had to be taken. My schedule would have it no other way. After a 30-minute drive, I entered the branch and settled into the first line. 8 minutes later, I was holding a call ticket. 30 minutes later, I was at the service desk. 5 minutes at the service desk resulted in the delivery of a form. [The entire focus was to remove my bank from the title at their request since the car was recently paid off.] The form had to be completed away from the service desk so that took 5 minutes and it meant sacrificing my chair at the service desk. That led to 10 additional minutes of waiting for ‘I-31’ to take care of her business. After nearly an hour at the branch, it was time to get down to business. 10 minutes at the desk and $20 later, my trek was over. Total visit time: 68 minutes.
Was spending midday on Monday at the MVA the best choice? According to the MVA website, Monday, Friday and Saturday should be avoided if possible. Also, steer clear of the beginning and end of the month. Take it from me, avoid Monday, September 29. That’s a double whammy.