Overall, Department of Mutant Vehicle (DMV) operations were a success in 2008, and both DMV volunteers and mutant vehicle owners reported having an easier and more fun-filled time at the DMV.
The DMV itself was strategically relocated to the corner of the Esplanade and the Center Camp Keyhole. This spot provided plenty of space for mutant vehicles to congregate as the DMV Hotties processed their licenses, making for a great show of lights for people mingling around Center Camp. There was also the addition of a very large, very bright LED sign and a sound system to make sure no one missed the DMV. This added to the fun, and helped more than a few people navigate home through dust storms!
There were a few small changes that made significant impact on the processing at the DMV. The first was a change in hours of operation. The DMV opened and closed one hour later than in previous years, allowing for more time to process vehicles for night licenses. The second was a new system for taking pictures of the mutant vehicles. For nearly as long as there has been a DMV on the playa, there have been issues with taking pictures of mutant vehicles. In 2008, this problem was finally solved. Technology caught up to our requirements, and the DMV’s need to have a functional, stable picture-taking system was finally filled.
The rough playa surface made traversing Black Rock City a challenge for many vehicles. The DMV received reports of broken and stuck vehicles, and heard about owners who wouldn’t dare take their vehicles out. The result was that some vehicles did not make it to the DMV, so there were fewer vehicles registered and driving around the event. The DMV staff will take this into consideration in the future, with the intent of keeping the number of registered vehicles up.
The DMV licensed over 600 vehicles for the playa in 2008. The quality of the mutant vehicles on the playa was truly outstanding, and a testament to the incredible creativity of our participants.