August 25th, 2013  |  Filed under Building BRC

A Visit to the DMV

August 25th, 2013  |  Filed under Building BRC
Sparky is justifiably proud of the changes at the DMV

Sparky is justifiably proud of the changes at the DMV

If you’re going to drive a mutant vehicle in Black Rock City, you’re going to need a permit for that beast. And to get one, you’re going to need to visit the DMV – the Department of Mutant Vehicles.

Tell us your favorite story of a visit to the DMV in the real world– oh, that’s right, you don’t have one. It’s a miserable, soul-sucking experience.

Not too long ago, it wasn’t much different on the playa. Fantastic and fantastical vehicles would be lined up along the Esplanade, their owners looking for someone who could PLEASE check them in and get them on their way. It was pretty haphazard and frustrating for all concerned.

“Frankly, we sucked,” Sparky was saying as a line of cars began taking shape in the morning sun. But things have changed, and Sparky seemed justifiably proud of the way the department has turned around.

“It took us two years, but we completely redid everything,” Sparky said. “All new software, and a really robust database.” That database makes lots of things possible, including quicker and easier registration, and access to the clientele.

Tashi Pomo does the cooking for the big Osiris sound camp, and she was having trouble getting clearance for food deliveries. “So I called the DMV and asked if I could do a last-minute registration,” she said. There was no way that could happen, BUT, what the DMV could do was get out word to all of their already registered vehicles to see if someone might be able to step up and help. And of course someone did.

“They saved me,” Tashi said.

Tashi: The DMV saved her bacon

Tashi: The DMV saved her bacon

This morning volunteers were getting training before the day’s first appointments would begin. Around 25 volunteers were being shown the ropes, and they included some lessons in customer service, and how to negotiate the iPads that would handle all the data input.

“Remember to have fun,” the shift lead said. “If you’re not having fun, let’s change that.”

The vehicles were lined up in twelve-foot-wide lanes. This would separate the vehicles that were compact enough to negotiate city streets from those that would be confined to the open playa. The mood was light, and everything seemed quite orderly and upbeat. Five minutes later the first big rolling funhouses were on their way out to roam around Black Rock City.

Take that, Sacramento.

IMG_9445

IMG_9430

The DMV offices in Black Rock City

IMG_9432

IMG_9434

Mutant vehicles lined up to get their operating permits

IMG_9436

A meeting for volunteers at the DMV offices


3 Responses to “A Visit to the DMV”

  1. TT Says:

    the gatekeepers on ‘what is art’ … no thanks, i’ll walk.

    Report comment

  2. Vulfie Munson Says:

    You guys are Great!
    2011 was my first year with a Mutant Vehicle ‘Cephalo’ I barely squeaked through the Permit process, so many DMV’ers gave me tips on what needed to be done if I wanted to being him back, it was a super help!
    2012 after re-working him into ‘Frobot’ I cruzed right on through! I can’t thank you guys enough!
    I did hear tales of bad experiences in years past, but you guys have made the DMV a painless and quick process!
    Sadly I couldn’t make it Home this year…But, Hears looking foreword to 2014!!!

    Report comment

  3. Gary Jenanyan Says:

    2014 will be our 3rd year at BM.
    we have heard that EVERY vehicle
    Is required to have a 40.00 permit
    Is this true and if so what is the process
    To obtain one. My thanks and see you
    On the Playa. GJ

    Report comment

Post a Comment

The comments section will be moderated for the benefit of all readers and at the sole discretion of the editors. Our comment policy is here.