Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Watertown RMV and I : A Love Story

I'm really not about any kind of recurring expense especially when it comes to my car. Registration. Inspections. Excise Tax. These are all things I could do without but alas doing so is cause to be pulled over, chastised, and in some cases issued a hefty ticket. So I must stay on top of these recurring expenses.

A snafu occurred when renewing my registration this year, as I found out late that I owed a parking ticket I got in Newton almost two years ago. I remember this ticket well because I contested it. The meter was covered completely by a snow bank and there was no way to get to it. I was literally only running into the bank for 2 minutes. When I came out, there was a ticket but no sign of the person who issued it.

And so it goes in Newton, the meter maids are as stealth as ninjas and wield tickets like nunchucks.

I contested the ticket because I think if a meter is buried under 6 feet of snow that is the city's problem and not mine, but alas I was denied and then somehow forgot to pay it. Good story, right?

In any case this ticket came back to haunt me so before I could register my car I had to go to Newton City Hall, pay the ticket and get a special "release" form to bring to the RMV. All of which is to say I kept putting it off and my registration expired yesterday.


So today, April 1st, I really HAD yo go and get it done. I debated going into work late or leaving early in order to hit up the Braintree RMV when a coworker suggested the Watertown RMV which is only a few miles down the street. I could go on my lunch break.


Knowing only that it resided in the Arsenal Mall, I headed over there at noon....and after twenty minutes of looking in vain for it I thought to look up the website on my phone and lo, it's actually in the WATERTOWN Mall across the street. Fine. So I head over there and walk in.

The registry is actually in this mall, next to a Papa Ginos. It is not the most modern place and the wooden benches inside looked as uncomfortable as you would expect.

As I walked towards it all I could really see was a mass of people. There were so many people waiting in the actual registry that there were no seats and the crowd had spilled out into the mall area and people were sitting on benches, leaning against floors and walls waiting.

Pretty much a nightmare.

I sighed and got in the line to check in. I decided after I checked in I would call my boss and say I might be a little late coming back from lunch, judging by the crowd. I noticed loads of signs around me that said "Cash, Check or Money Order ONLY for Registration Transactions. NO CREDIT CARDS". I had already hit the ATM anticipating this so that was one less thing to worry about. As the man at the front desk motioned for me to step up, I clutched my release from the City of Newton and approached him.

"Hi I am here to renew my registration" I said.
"Will you be paying by credit card?" He asked
I paused and motioned to one of the CASH ONLY signs "Uhh I thought it was cash only?"
"Do you have a credit card?" He asked
I told him I did
"Are you able to you use this credit card?" He asked.
I was kind of confused. "Yeah of course I can use it but I thought it was cash only for registration renewals"
At this point I was clearly not picking up what he was putting down so he spelled it out for me "If you pay with your credit card I can renew your registration right now but if you want to pay cash you'll have to wait with the rest of them" he said, motioning to the epic crowd behind me.
"Wait really!?" I said.

"Yes, now what's it gonna be?"
And before the man could get even more exasperated at my slowness I plunked down my card, handed in my release and within 3 minutes I had my shiny new "12" sticker and a brand new registration.

Holy bananas!! In and out of an RMV in under 10 minutes? It's an Easter miracle!!

I don't know if this was a one time deal or if they were just trying to get people in and out of there as quickly as possible or what. But all I know is Watertown RMV, I love you.


Andy said...

I'm a hit that up. Word.

ryssee said...

THAT. Is miraculous. I'm going there next time.

Jenny said...

Wow. Crazy. I heard last night that they are now charging people a bit extra to do things in person. I guess lines like that are why!!

That's the RMV I go to and I always bring a book with me for the wait. So definitely a nice little Easter miracle for you!

Pop said...

Great story Sarah! And linked to - are you one of the Boston blogerati?

Anonymous said...

I hate the Watertown RMV, and the Watertown mall. Even the Target there sucks. I'm glad you had a decent time of it!

Sarah said...

You are dead right about the Target. And it is hard for me to find something NOT to like about Target...but that one is skeezy.

MK said...

They did just redo and expand the Target. It's better! I can also walk to it, so that's a bonus.