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December 13, 2010 - Dennis Spalvieri
The next time someone tells you how great it was in the old days ... Like a lot of people, I used to hate going to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The lines were long, the process slow. It got even worse when commercial driver's licenses were instituted. At first, CDLs were all renewed right around my birthday. So there were even more people crammed into the BMV when I showed up to get my new sticker. The state eventually staggered the CDL renewal dates, but the BMV remained a good way to kill a few hours. But something happened in the last five or 10 years. A visit to the BMV has become pain free. In the past, there was just one deputy registrar per county. Now under a more privatized system, the state awards more than one contract. I know of at least three in this county, Lisbon, Salem and Calcutta. I went to the Lisbon BMV recently. First, I called with a question. And a person answered. No automated phone system. How great is that. The woman was polite and helpful on the phone, and the same in person. Even though there were a few people there, I was in and out in less than 10 minutes. Perhaps one of the reasons for less crowds is the fact that many people handle their registration through the mail. But it can't be the only reason. And I'll take human contact over the state bureaucracy any day. — Dennis Spalvieri
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