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The 2002 Department of Mutant Vehicles team grew from 30 volunteers to 50 including a year-round team of folks dedicated to making the DMV a better experience both for participants and the volunteers. A major task for this year was to more clearly identify the Burning Man criteria for an Art Car and to "raise the bar", i.e. Art Cars = Art with a Chassis, not just a method of transportation.

After the Vehicle Protocol was rewritten in April, the DMV staff began meeting every two weeks in May in order to revamp the on-line pre-registration form, create a FAQ section, streamline our administrative process with simplified forms and new onsite registration process, and update all the information available to participants on the Burning Man website. New positions were created on the staff for Administrative Whipmistress and Pyro Team Liaison. This year brought a brand new training class created in cooperation with the Black Rock Ranger Training Department!

The issue of driving and importance of safety was a major priority for the 2002 event. In order to work towards those ends, the DMV made a concerted effort to work more closely with the Ranger Organization on mutal concerns in these areas. This meant attendance at many meetings and participation in the Ranger Council. Issues identified were then taken back to the DMV Staff to plan a campaign of education, clarification of definitions and, with the participation of the Ranger Council members, information for the Rangers on identifying Art Cars and improving enforcement.

The 2002 DMV playa registration experience was improved this year with longer hours (10am-10pm), online preregistration form, and a trained crew of volunteers, many of whom returned from the 2001 team. New on-site volunteer positions were created for Hottie of the Day and Administrative Whip, as well as having a dedicated member of the Pyro team available to license vehicles that incorporated fire into their art.

2002 also brought a return of wind-powered vehicles to the playa in the form of stand-up sailboards with pivoting masts which were required to be registered by the DMV.

  • Number of DMV Volunteers, aka "Hotties": 50
  • Number of vehicles registered: 487
  • Number of vehicles rejected: ~50
  • Number of photos taken: 600
  • Number of shifts staffed: 126
  • Number of wind vehicles registered: ~20
  • Number of unregistered art vehicles: still too many

2003 will find your dedicated DMV continuing to streamline the registration and preregistration process, further clarify our criteria and continue to" raise the bar" for art vehicles, post information on the website for people wanting to create large-scale vehicles, and educate the Burning Man community about vehicle responsibility.

Submitted by,
Jewelz Cody aka Grits

Click here to read the 2001 Rangers Operations report.