Imagine this. You’ve put off getting a renewed car registration until the last minute and, now, in the afternoon of the last business day of the month, you get your paperwork together and rush down to the local NC Division of Motor Vehicles office and wait in a long line so you don’t get any late fees. 

Bad enough as it is, right? 

But then imagine that, once getting there with all your paperwork in hand, DMV staff announce that the credit card machines for the NC DMV are down across the state – so, if you don’t have a checkbook on you or enough cash in your wallet, you’re out of luck.

On Friday, Feb. 26, the credit card payment system for NC DMV offices went on the blink and many people trying to do their business with the department couldn’t pay, and now they’ll have to come back and try again next month.

At the DMV license plate office in Golden Gate Shopping Center in Greensboro on Friday, workers were continually alerting disappointed clients as they came in that they couldn’t pay with a credit card.

“It’s a statewide problem” one DMV employee called out.

What made the system’s crash so particularly irritating on this day was it was the last business day of the month, which meant that, for some who couldn’t do their business, they’ll be facing a late fee and another trip to the almost always crowded DMV office.

The Golden Gate DMV office has an ATM inside – but, of course, a large message across the top of the machine stated, “Out of Service.” 

A DMV worker stated that the ATM was displaying that message because it was out of money rather than because It was experiencing mechanical problems.  She said that, when the credit card system went down, customers quickly drained the money from the onsite ATM.

She also stated that it was rare for the credit card system for the state’s offices to go down but that it has happened before.

In “Reaper,” a now-defunct television series, a DMV office was portrayed as a gateway to hell.