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WORKING LIFE ‌ Teresa Dixon

Fast, friendly, and efficient at the DMV

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"I started working here when a friend let me know there was a position open. Before here I had two jobs; I was working for an attorney downtown and for a parking assistance company. My job involves issuing licenses, renewing licenses, titling vehicles. There's a week of training in Columbia.

"The craziest thing that happens? Well, people not knowing that their license is suspended and we have to tell them why they're suspended. The usual reaction is not very happy; surprised.

"I've been here for a little over a year. The good thing about this is I'm not sitting at this particular counter each day. We all rotate, and each one of us has maybe three or four times a month that we are the greeters. Most of the time we're all at the counter, we're all cross-trained so that we can do driver's licenses, vehicles, suspensions, anything to do with your insurance. We all pretty much know how to do all of it. So I'm not just stuck here at the greeter's station every day.

"This is actually where you meet the people for the first time and you look over their documents and make sure they have everything necessary before they get to the counter, so they're not standing in line for 35-40 minutes waiting and so they don't get to the counter and find they don't have something they need. So this is a really good thing that we have this greeter's station.

"It is true that this is one of the nicest DMVs. I don't know if it's something Charleston itself is doing differently, we get a lot of compliments about it — I had one gentleman one day who said 'This cannot be the DMV, the employees are actually smiling.' It's a good place to work. You know, the DMV has gotten a bad rap for a long time, but I think the way the governor changed the system, especially implementing the greeter's station in here, people are really shocked and surprised. Most of the time when people come in here and are unhappy, it's because they have issues, not us or the system. But I don't really know one thing particularly that makes the DMV a better place, except the system works a lot better now than it used to." —as told to Kinsey Labberton

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