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Wednesday, February 20 , 2019, 8:33 pm | Fair 48º


She Said, Z Said: With Not A Lot on Their Plate, dmv.ca.gov Is the Best We Can Do?

Eureka! California's bureaucrats have found the lamest state slogan on the road today

Z: dmv.ca.gov? Seriously?

She: What’s with the website? Is the DMV our new sponsor? It seems unlikely.

Z: Nope. dmv.ca.gov is on the newest California license plates. You know how the California plates are extremely simple — white background, blue characters, California in red script? And absolutely nothing else?

She: I know every single lyric in “Rock of Ages” but I couldn’t tell you the numbers on my own license plate, let alone the colors.

Z: Well, they’re very simple, because clearly there have been 12,000 hours of bureaucratic meetings hashing out the least offensive plate possible.

She: It worked. I’m not offended by license plates.

Z: Now you should be. All of the sudden, they’ve added dmv.ca.gov to the bottom of the plates in red lettering. Seventy-two square inches of real estate, and this is the thing that they decide to add?

She: If one were to care about such things, it would seem odd.

Z: Odd? It’s horrifying. First off, seriously? Did someone at the DMV just discover that there’s a zany new thing that all the kids are doing called the Internet? “Gentlemen, we’ve got to get in on this Internet thing. Smith, any ideas?” “Yes, sir. Let’s put dmv.ca.gov on our license plates, and then all the kids can visit us at something called a website. It’s the cat’s pajamas.”

She: I had no idea that the meetings at the DMV were in black and white and took place in the 1940s.

Z: Second, who wants to advertise the DMV on their license plate? This is the thing that’s so beloved by all Californians, that it deserves a space on our cars? Most states put mountains or lakes or even a fruit tree on their license plates. Apparently, California thinks it’s a billboard for the DMV.

She: I think they should actually use it like a billboard and sell advertising for movies. They could advertise that boring black and white movie about the DMV you were just describing.

Z: It’d be a blockbuster.

She: Or they could have driving tips on the license plates, like: “It’s just a little further up the 101,” or, “Always expect traffic on the 405.”

Z: Third, how is this useful? Did they do a survey, and found that people were unable to find their website? Were people sitting at their computers and thinking, “Golly, I wonder what the web address for the DMV is? If only that information was in a handy place somewhere, like on my car out in the parking lot. I wouldn’t want to have to Google it or something.”

She: You might be overthinking this.

Z: Fourth, I thought there was a concerted effort to keep people from texting while driving. But now they’re putting a website on the car in front of you? Are they saying that we should be surfing the web while we’re driving?

She: You’re right. That’s a mixed and confusing message — for a 5-year-old.

Z: Fifth, I did it. I actually went to dmv.ca.gov.

She: Then it worked. They win.

Z: No, I did it so that no one else would have to. And I must say, I was amused. The top banner scrolled through a number of different screens. They advertised their DMV apps (again, seriously?), a new virtual hold system (sounds awesome), “the new young drivers webpage” (fun font!), and best of all, I could like them on Facebook.

She: Oh, dear. I sense another thing for you to rant about.

Z: Seriously, why would I possibly want to “friend” the DMV on Facebook?

She: I don’t know. Maybe if you become their friend they’ll give you a part in their super-secret 1940s movie where all of these dumb decisions are made.

Z: Yes, dear.

— Personalize your DMV message to She and Z by emailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Read She Said, Z Said every Monday on Noozhawk and follow them on Twitter: @lesliedinaberg. Click here for previous She Said, Z Said columns.

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