Yesterday, I had the pleasure of making a trip to the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles. Fortunately, all I had to do was renew my driver’s license and change the address on my vehicle registration so I was able to go to the little office on the westbank under the expressway. Based on stories of most people’s experiences I expected a long wait, but being middle of the day on a Thursday, I was in and out in an hour.
Even though an hour isn’t too bad, especially when you are sufficiently prepared with reading material, there must be a better way. How is it possible that in the New Orleans metro area there are a grand total of 2 offices to serve this size of a population? Not to mention that there are none in Orleans Parish. This is crazy.
I grew up in Oklahoma, where instead of centralized, state-run offices they have “tag agencies.” Tag agencies are businesses contracted with the state to provide all the services of the Office of Motor Vehicles. The beauty of this system is that they function like franchise businesses, so they have offices all over and compete with each other for customers. In the city of Tulsa, there are 15 offices alone! Some are even open on Saturday. Can you imagine a world where you can walk in and out with a new license in 5 minutes and have the option of paying with a debit/credit card? That is what the people of Oklahoma are able to enjoy.
As we approach a new state legislative session I’m hoping to get a bill introduced to pave the way for Louisiana to implement a tag agency system like Oklahoma. I’ll be sure to post on my progress to eliminate an avoidable headache for Louisianans.