Tim Geithner DMV Woes

The DMV experience sucks just as much if you're Tim Geithner.

The DMV experience sucks just as much if you’re Tim Geithner.

lohud.com (“Larchmont’s Tim Geithner, former treasury secretary, finds woes at Yonkers DMV“):

Just hours after the New York Times reported Thursday that he’d turned down President Barack Obama’s offer to succeed Ben Bernanke as Fed chairman, The Journal News spotted a frazzled-looking Geithner at the Department of Motor Vehicles office in Yonkers, trying to switch his Maryland driver’s license and vehicle tags back to his New York address.

Geithner, who helped steer the White House’s response to the financial crisis, has doubtless faced more stressful circumstances, but his Thursday night trip to the DMV was far from smooth sailing.

“We’re having glitches,” said his wife, Carole Geithner, who was waiting patiently on a nearby bench as her husband spoke with the DMV agent.

“Even though we brought every document known to man to do it, the bar code on his license was worn out, so that’s a problem,” she said. “And now, I don’t know why — with one of (the cars), they’re having trouble transferring it.”

But at least the Yonkers DMV was staying open until 7:30 p.m. under a pilot program to test extended hours.

“I would be freaked if it were a five-o’clock closure,” Carole Geithner said around 6 p.m. Thursday.

Her husband wasn’t available to comment.

There’s something refreshingly democratic about a man who held so much power having to deal with the same crap that the rest of us go through. Then again, it’s not obvious to me why changing residences should require this much hassle. In our computerized age, it should be a pretty simple task to update registration records so that the proper municipality can collect its taxes.

FILED UNDER: Bureaucracy, Quick Takes
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Apparently NY’s DMV is run on TurboTax software…

  2. al-Ameda says:

    I think Darrell Issa should investigate this. Geithner was there to have DMV look into the driving records of Tea Party members.

  3. wr says:

    In California we can do all this online. Of course, as our adorable conservative brethren like to remind us on a regular basis. California is a hellhole compared to the libertarian paradises they prefer…

  4. James Joyner says:

    @wr: Virginia allows most routine business to be done online, too, but I’ve still had to deal with them in person for any title changes or transfers. Additionally, you have to show up every so often to get a new photo. Oddly, it depends on your age rather than how long it’s been since your last photo.

  5. gVOR08 says:

    Then again, it’s not obvious to me why changing residences should require this much hassle. In our computerized age, it should be a pretty simple task to update registration records so that the proper municipality can collect its taxes.

    Treading on dangerous ground there, James. Start doing DMV records on a national computer system, pretty soon people will want to handle voter registration the same way. And that would put a stop to snowbirds voting in two states, the form of voter fraud that actually happens, the form that Republicans like.

  6. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @wr: I have to be honest – I have a hard time believing that you can surrender your out-of-state license and get issued a new CA license online. Same thing for out-of-state plates.

  7. Mikey says:

    @James Joyner: Virginia is awesome that way. I’ve been inside a DMV once in the last nine years, and that was to turn in the plates off a truck I sold. Everything else–license renewals, registrations–has been done online.

  8. Tyrell says:

    Just think what he will go through when he tries to change his private jet license tag or buy a large drink at McDonald’s.

  9. Peter says:

    I have to go to the local DMV office next week. To pass the time while waiting I’ll bring something to read. Right now I’m trying to choose between War and Peace, Moby Dick, or possibly the complete works of Shakespeare.

  10. Tyrell says:

    @Peter: How about “The Hunger Games” trilogy and “Fifty Shades of Gray” ?

  11. @Peter: George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” should help you pass part of the time. Heck, you might even be done there by time it comes for The Winds of Winter to be released.

  12. john425 says:

    @wr: Is it true that California DMV has extended hours at it’s branch offices in Tijuana, and Mexico City?

  13. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Timothy Watson:

    Heck, you might even be done there by time it comes for The Winds of Winter

    Well now you are just being ridiculous.

  14. JWH says:

    I recall an episode of Married … with Children. In this episode, Bud Bundy got a job at the DMV. He handled business efficiently and customers were happy with him. And then the DMV fired him for not upholding the standards of the profession …

  15. Franklin says:

    In Michigan, the usual DMV responsibilities are done by the Secretary of State. A number of years ago, they really improved the process greatly, got rid of the ridiculous lines, etc. It was done by some competent Republican, I can’t remember her name at the moment. And now you can do almost everything online. Heck they even allow credit cards now, which was my final remaining complaint.