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Going to the SF CA DMV without an appointment.

My out-of-state driver's license expires mid-August. I'd like to a get a new one before then, but the "next available appointment" on the DMV website is at the end of August. How likely am I, in San Francisco, California, to be able to get this done without an appointment? What times should I go, to maximize this likelihood? [more inside]
posted by wayland on Jul 26, 2014 - 17 answers

Proactive synergies, moving forward

Resources for helping to recognise and identify, then eliminate or mitigate, government department operational waste? [more inside]
posted by turbid dahlia on Jan 21, 2014 - 4 answers

I need a name for this bureaucratic phenomena

Here's the background: I'm working on a project that will make it easier to issue state and federal permits for certain traditional indigenous land uses here in Hawai`i. There are already 17 federal and state permits, for example, that cultural practitioners need to secure in order to restore a native fishpond. We intend to streamline this. We have a lot of both community and political support, and a lot of people want to help out to make it successful. [more inside]
posted by kanewai on Dec 3, 2013 - 12 answers

Car Insurance- Get them involved or Don't get them involved?

3 years ago my husband backed into a concrete pole in a parking garage while away on business. It has rendered the hatch back useless. We are now moving and need the hatch back more than ever. For many reasons we never informed our insurance company and never fixed it. This is what our insurance is for; right? [more inside]
posted by m. says: on Nov 5, 2013 - 19 answers

US passport woes

Despite my best efforts I am running out of time to get my passport processed before travel at the end of this month (Aug 25). After run-ins with with multiple confused passport acceptance agents and many phone calls I am afraid this is an unknown-unknowns situation and I need help! Kafkaesque (ok maybe not quite) bureaucracy within: [more inside]
posted by velebita on Aug 1, 2013 - 17 answers

Confused By US Passport Requirements. Help?

I had a passport when I was a kid. My dad was USAF and I spent about 40% of my childhood overseas. However, I have not had a passport since and I have not left the country since I was in college. What do I need to get a passport? [more inside]
posted by COD on Mar 25, 2013 - 12 answers

How to deal with an inefficient bureaucracy-- from the inside?

What are your strategies and best practices for being a cog in an inefficient bureaucracy? How do you compartmentalize the frustration and leave it in the office? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 11, 2013 - 14 answers

It shouldn't be this hard when Toronto is barely 100 miles from Buffalo, OK?

I want to change the world. Or at least make it easier/faster/cheaper to send my niece and nephew, currently living less than 500 miles from where I live, a flipping Christmas package. Who should I bother to help get this done? [more inside]
posted by SMPA on Dec 19, 2012 - 21 answers

Therapist's professional boundaries in conflict with school's request--help?

How do I deal with the conflict between my therapist's professional boundaries and the information my college wants? Also, how to deal with the trust issues this is creating? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 12, 2012 - 19 answers

My middle name is not "Evgene"

Birth Certificate: Should I bother correcting a non-vital piece of info? [more inside]
posted by Buffaload on Jul 3, 2012 - 18 answers

Shadowy names?

What are some obliquely named bureaucracies, organizations, and companies? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 25, 2012 - 46 answers

Wait, you knew the whole time and didn't tell us?!

I go to a California community college that writes course descriptions for every class it offers, but it doesn't display them on the actual class schedule. The college has an obscure web application (which I just found) that will give you the description if you enter in the course number, but it's barely advertised (it took me three semesters to find it). How do I go about getting the (much needed) course descriptions displayed with the class schedule? Is this an issue I need to join the ASB to get publicised? Is there another way to go about this? I want to make a stink, because for a year and a half now I've been dealing with inadequate or often nonexistent class descriptions which have made choosing the appropriate classes a challenge. [more inside]
posted by malapropist on Nov 14, 2011 - 10 answers

German visa questions and a question about Goethe Institut stipends

I want to take some intensive language classes in Germany for 6-7 months. I'm not affiliated with a university, and I have a bunch of question about visas and one short question about stipends from the Goethe Institut. [more inside]
posted by colfax on Sep 20, 2011 - 3 answers

What's the damage?

I am fixing to renew my US passport, and want to know if I should mail it in, or if I have to renew it in person. I'm concerned about what level of damage is unacceptable to the U.S. State Department. [more inside]
posted by baniak on Aug 15, 2011 - 10 answers

I need a new driver's license, and not to throw a public tantrum

How can I navigate this RMV/Social Security office debacle and get a new driver's license? [more inside]
posted by little cow make small moo on Jul 18, 2011 - 4 answers

What constitutes reasonable "proof of payment" for reimbursement from a 501c3?

What exactly constitutes "proof of payment" for the purposes of 501c3 accounting standards? Are my accounting demons tormenting me for their own sick pleasure, or because they actually have to? [more inside]
posted by col_pogo on Jan 12, 2011 - 8 answers

Hospital Transfer Help

How to get a hospital transfer approved and done *fast*? [more inside]
posted by Andrhia on Dec 22, 2010 - 13 answers

Why can't I give it away?

How can I get rid of my freaking car? [more inside]
posted by A Terrible Llama on Dec 9, 2010 - 27 answers

How do I tell my manager to wake up?

How do I (or we) speak to my manager about his increasing lack of involvement in what we feel are the core components of a product's (re)launch, especially when the stakes in the launch include: our careers, the fate of the company, and the jobs of fellow colleagues in the office? [more inside]
posted by mistertoronto on Aug 11, 2010 - 5 answers

The consulate wants my passport to issue a visa but I am afraid I will not get it back in time: what to do?

I am in a bit of a bureaucratic bind and I need some advice. Short story: I leave for a trip in 10 days and at this point have no visa for the country that I will be living in for a year. The consulate just emailed me a couple of hours ago and informed me that I need to send my passport to them (who are located in a city 12 hours away) in order that they can issue me the visa. Problem: I have been trying to get this visa for months now, and they have been terribly slow every step of the way. I am worried that I will not get my passport back in time before my flight. What do I do? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 22, 2010 - 18 answers

The DMV sucks, amirite?

Having lost my wallet three times in six months, I need to streamline the process for replacing a Driver License and dealing with the California DMV as much as possible. [more inside]
posted by slidell on Jul 8, 2010 - 18 answers

Looking for Japanese bank address

Can any of you less-frustrated Japanese readers or super sleuths find the address of my former bank in Japan? It is moneykit.net, the all-electronic division of Sony Bank (ソニー銀行). So electronic, I can't find a physical address, which is required for US tax forms. All documentation is in boxes, the account is since closed, I am no longer in Japan, and my eyes are burning from all the googling in Japanese. お願い致します。
posted by whatzit on Jun 11, 2010 - 3 answers

How would I go about filing a complaint against the food stamp program for screwing up my case?

The food stamp program screwed me out of c. $100 in benefits. Can anyone recommend an agency or pro bono clinic in NYC that could help me if I decide to file a complaint? [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet on Mar 2, 2010 - 6 answers

Berlin car sticker duplication?

Berlin-Filter: mandatory car emissions sticker stuck in post... [more inside]
posted by runincircles on Oct 21, 2009 - 7 answers

Is there a way to speed up the construction of the house next to mine?

Is there a way to speed up the construction of the house next to mine? [more inside]
posted by hellbient on Aug 13, 2009 - 5 answers

Am I just a victim of inept bureaucracy? Can I do anything?

I have had a perfect storm of bureaucratic screwups take $400 and many hours of my life from me. Can I get my money back? I've been fighting up to now with no success so I don't even know who or what to do anymore. Help! (Companies involved: AAA, DMV, LA Parking Violations Bureau) [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster on May 20, 2009 - 22 answers

What hurdles did you encounter in trying to get a personnel file on someone "famous"?

Have you ordered a US military personnel file (aka "OMPF," or "201 file"), for someone famous that was "released" under the Persons of Exceptional Prominence (PEP) program? How did that go? How long did it take? Did you have to go there in person? [more inside]
posted by garfy3 on May 8, 2009 - 4 answers

Logistics of registering for British citizenship by descent

Registering for British citizenship by descent: do they return the documents? Also: cutting a check in foreign currency? [more inside]
posted by paultopia on Oct 29, 2008 - 7 answers

____'s Law of Bureaucracy?

Obscure political science filter: What is the name of the political science/urban studies law [___'s Law] of bureaucracy that states that, over time, agencies have a tendency/need to invest much of their energy and resources into sustaining themselves, often at the cost of more completely and directly fulfilling their original missions? [more inside]
posted by lunit on Sep 24, 2008 - 5 answers

Who was this this later famous supply clerk?

Which later-famous-for-something-else supply clerk began reporting on the number of flies that he'd killed? [more inside]
posted by dws on Aug 27, 2008 - 7 answers

American citizen getting married abroad

We want to get married in Gibraltar. Among the documents we have to present to the registry office is a Certificate of Non Impediment which, from what we've googled, isn't a standard US document and is a requirement to get married in most European countries. Where can the future Mr. Dada, an American citizen, get one of these?
posted by lucia__is__dada on Jan 22, 2008 - 11 answers

Getting our natural gas turned back on by Christmas?

Do I have any options as far as getting our natural gas turned back on by Christmas? [more inside]
posted by Ziggy Zaga on Dec 20, 2007 - 17 answers

I've fallen into a Motor Vehicle Rabbit Hole

When you find yourself in a life-harming situation due to a unique administrative hiccup in a government bureaucracy (and since no one's anticipated this sort of hiccup, no one's empowered to override it)....what do you do? [more inside]
posted by jimmyjimjim on Oct 13, 2007 - 38 answers

Corporate history?

ResearchFilter Part 2: Some weeks ago, I asked about theories of collaboration and received some excellent research suggestions. Now, I'm reworking my thesis proposal and would like to include some details about the history of corporation. Not critiques the modern corporate entity, but an overview of the origins of incorporation, bureaucracy, etc. Any suggestions would be much appreciated! [more inside]
posted by aladfar on Mar 9, 2007 - 4 answers

Not goin' to the chapel, but we're gonna get married

How do we get married in Multnomah County, OR? [more inside]
posted by pdb on Sep 5, 2006 - 10 answers

Identification Catch-22

Let's say you emigrated to the USA from Italy with your family when you were just a child and you're now in your 20's. You find yourself in a situation where, for one reason or another, you've lost your birth certificate, your citizenship papers and your passport and you want to set about obtaining them again. How would you go about doing it? Where would you even start? Could you come up with a detailed step-by-step plan? It would seem to be a Catch-22. Can you get one document without having the other.
posted by TheManticore on May 24, 2006 - 20 answers

Looking for a good book on the history of bureaucracy

I'm looking for a good book on the history of bureaucracy, care to recommend some? [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Apr 20, 2006 - 8 answers

(Am I) good enough for government work?

Who writes all those pages and pages of text that the US government generates? More to the point, might someone pay me to write some of them? [more inside]
posted by nebulawindphone on Feb 10, 2006 - 23 answers

Posted: Question about, er, posting.

Why do signs to deter trespassers use the convention "Posted: No Trespassing" when the very fact that such a sign is physically posted makes the use of the word "Posted" redundant? [more inside]
posted by eschatfische on Jun 26, 2005 - 15 answers

Bench on the beach

Unexpected death in the family. I'm in charge of finding out how to obtain a memorial bench on the California coast, preferably in a state park. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie on Jun 20, 2005 - 5 answers

How to succeed in government

What is the best non-cynical advice you have heard (or can offer) on how to excel within a government bureaucracy?
posted by profwhat on Apr 12, 2005 - 29 answers

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