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the trip to the DMV...

Saturday, August 27, 2016
...to get my driving permit renewed. Another opportunity to take a number and get in line. Wait your turn, with the option of standing by or sitting in molded plastic chairs that have held thousands of bodies over time, and were not designed for the backsides of actual humans.

In the envelope that came in early August with the form to take to the tax/tag office for getting a sticker for another year of using the roads/streets was a reminder to renew my permit. Got the tag sticker for 2017 last week, and knew I needed to go to the DMV to get license before late September. I actually had this on my 'to-do' list to be sure it did not slip through the cracks and I would be at risk of driving all over the world with an expired license.

The list of things you need to prove You are You was pretty extensive. Generally meaning: highly annoying and thoroughly aggravating if you went unprepared. Should you go in to accomplish the task without adequate proof in the way of providing sufficient and appropriate documentation, you would leave with steam coming out of your ears. I know, as this has happened to my very own person.

Several years ago, my license got mis-put. I won't give details. (I dis-remember, but it probably went through the washer, or got left in a jacket pocket, forgotten.) But the part I do remember: making three trips back to the house to get all the paperwork they demanded before issuing a replacement.

Our house is less than a mile from the office of the Department of Motor Vehicles, where you would go at age sixteen to take the driving test and receive a permit to take to the public thoroughfare. In theory, my replacement experience could have been far more frustrating than it actually was by having to drive miles to get there. But I still recall having to make several trips back home to get the perfectly perfect documents to present for getting the mis-put license replaced. (Which I later found.)

They would not accept a birth certificate that was not 'official', without a raised notary seal. They would not accept a 'copy' of a SS card. And some other nit-picky issue that caused me to make a third trip home to get it right. Be Forewarned: save yourself elevated blood pressure and possibly a stress headache by taking all the right paperwork the first time you go.

I went on Wednesday, with an accumulation of all the required/proper documentation on the list. Which I had put in my car, to stop at the D.M.V., when I would notice a small number of vehicles in the parking lot. Indicating a fairly short wait line, with only a few people in the building awaiting service by cranky state employees. It was thankfully a non-event, with no incidents to report after I completed the form and was issued a 'wait-in-line' number.

I understand that the laminated card I can expect to receive in the mail is good for eight years. And comes with some sort of signifier imprinted so I won't have to take my passport, SS card, and proof of residence when up for renewal in eight years. Which is great, as I probably will not have the where-with-all  to assemble the multiplicity of documents eight years hence.

I guess I should be also thankful that it IS good for eight years, as I was stunned when they said I would be paying $35 for the privilege. I think I remember my first license (printed on card stock, dogeared over a years' time, filled in with ink pen by the presiding state trooper) was two, or  possibly three bucks. But, of course, had to be replaced each year. It's good the current version is laminated, as it could possibly/theoretically survive multiple trips through the washer and dryer. Not that anything this irresponsible would happen at my house....

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