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Letter to the Editor: Poor customer service at the DMV


As submitted to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles:

In my retirement, I sometimes wonder whether some people are getting more stupid or simply have become less interested in doing a competent job. A case in point:

My daughter went to the Woodstock Department of Motor Vehicles office to get a temporary HC placard for her 8 year-old as ordered by the doctor.

The applicant section of the form was already filled out by the parent, who checked the box: "Parent/Guardian."

The physician certification section was already filled out by the physician.

The very snooty DMV clerk argued that the entire form must be filled out by the physician - but in the same breath contradicted the point and argued that the 8 year-old should fill out the applicant section (with no explanation as to the purpose of the checkbox for "Parent/Guardian.")

A sample of the ridiculous interrogatories my daughter faced:

"Who is this for?"

"My 8-year-old-daughter."

"Why didn't she fill-out this form?"

"Because she's 8."

The clerk then began to argue that the 8-year-old should have signed the form; not the parent/guardian! (At this point, I must ask: What legal force has the signature of an arthritic minor in the commonwealth?)

Additionally, my daughter endured a several minutes delay while the one clerk consulted another, loudly misconstruing the facts of the matter for all to hear. This clerk also called the physician's office and reiterated her bizarre belief that it is the physician's responsibility to complete the entire form.

There was no indication that the office was staffed with a manager else at the time.

My daughter left the office humiliated and angry - but not before having to insist that the clerk return the completed application form to her.

Needless to say, my daughter has now returned from the DMV Winchester office staffed by people absent the severe attitudinal problem and the misfeasance handicap demonstrated in Woodstock.

She then called me to say that she got the placard and that she was treated very nicely.

Dan Flathers, Toms Brook


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