Ham License Plates: What a Hassle!

license plate
license plate mock up
Mock up of a Missouri license plate with my call sign

So I decided I wanted to get some of the special ham radio license plates with my call sign on them. My registration is due anyway, so why not. They mail me a post card every year with an ID number to use in the online renewal system. I can log in, verify my address, enter a credit card number, and print off my new registration. By the middle of next week I’ll get new stickers in the mail that I can place on my plates and I’ll be good to go until next February. All things considered, the registration renewal process in Missouri has become pretty easy the last few years, so I had no reason to expect a headache getting new call sign plates.

But, for whatever reason, special plates can only be requested by filling out a PDF form, printing it out and mailing it to the state DMV office. The page telling me which forms I needed provided a link, which should have taken me to the actual form, but instead it took me to a general forms search page, so I had to go back to the first page to make a note of the form number, and the return again to the forms library and search for the form number. After locating and downloading the correct form, I filled it all in. On this form, I have to specify which DMV office I want to pick plates up from — why can’t they mail them to my house? And even though the form provided a link to look up the details of the local DMV offices, so they obviously have all of this information in their own database, I have to enter the name, office number, ad address of the branch I select.

Is it just me, or does it seem like some bureaucracies are purposely trying to make things more inconvenient and inefficient than necessary? I just really can’t understand why, if the DMV’s online system can verify that I’ve passed inspections and paid my taxes, and process my registration, and then mail me my new stickers, why can’t I request special plates and have them sent to my home?

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