Posts Tagged ‘california’

Sharing, With a Safety Net

SAN FRANCISCO — Kids. The reckless rants and pictures they post online can often get them in trouble…

What ever happened to parental responsibility to teach their children personal responsibility, self-discipline, discernment? The proposed law would not protect them after they turn 18, so perhaps it would be better to teach them how to use the internet before they can no longer erase their misdeeds and overshares.


Mom is making me crazy. Kaiser Permanente is making me crazy. CALIFORNIA IS MAKING ME CRAZY. You see, my family has health insurance. Mom goes onto the KP website to set me up for a doctor appointment. I don’t mind leaving things like that to Mom, since that is what moms do and I am an incredibly lazy person (I trust she won’t send me off to Dr. Frankenstein or someone like that).

Turns out, she can’t do that. The law in CA says that from 12 to 17, teenagers have complete privacy concerning their medical care. Mom doesn’t get to know anything about what medical care I’m receiving, or set appointments, or anything like that. I can get an abortion without letting her know, but I can’t get a second set of ear piercings or a tattoo without her consent. (Damn)

They won’t send me the temporary password for my KP account via email, either. Because, you know, Mom could get into my email and get the password. THE HORROR of Mom knowing what I’m up to! D:

We’re waiting for the temporary password to arrive through the snail mail so I can get into my account (Never mind the fact the Mom gets to the snail mail before I do, and could get my pass either way…).

It’s screwy, that’s all there is to it.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has a reputation for three things: long lines, long waits, seeming inefficiency. I probably could have paid my registration fees online and waited for the tag to arrive in the mail, but I had waited until the last possible minute to pay the fees and didn’t want to get pulled over by one of California’s finest.

I was prepared. I had a bottle of water and a book to read. I expected a long afternoon of it. Entering the large facility in Costa Mesa, I took my place at the end of the line where you get your number before waiting and waiting and waiting to be called to a “window” (really just a cleared spot on the counter that snaked around the middle of the warehouse-sized room).

Then I noticed a big blue and yellow kiosk and a sign that promoted self-serve vehicle registration. There were only 3 or 4 people in that line… I didn’t know if my paperwork would process without my being referred to a human helper, but I figured it was worth a shot. I moved to the shorter line at the kiosk.

Following the prompts on the touch screen, I placed my renewal notice under the red light beam so the barcode could be scanned. YAY! Appearing before my very eyes was all my information and a prompt asking me to indicate how I wanted to pay my fees: cash, e-check, or credit/debit card. Debit card. Insert. Swipe. Done! Out popped my registration card with the tag attached at one end. From another slot, a printed receipt. Wow! I was in and out of the DMV in under ten minutes with registration and tag in hand!

It seems all too rare that we have opportunity and cause to praise a government agency for being efficient and easy to do business with. Today, I was truly impressed by the small innovation of a registration-printing, tag-spewing kiosk.