Life as Lou

I Hate the DMV

  • December 30, 2011 11:44 pm

A few days ago I realized that my drivers license had expired without my knowledge.  This means that for an undisclosed number of days weeks I had actually been breaking the law every single time I got behind the wheel of my car.  I was horrified.  I stopped driving immediately.

Most people who I spoke to about this thought I was crazy.  “Carry on,” they said. “Deal with it when you get the chance.  Just don’t get caught”.  Right.  This frame of thinking doesn’t work with me.  You see, I am not the type of person to risk any minor lawbreaking because I just assume I will end up cuffed and dragged off while my children are taken into child protective custody and I end up in an interrogation room somewhere confessing to the murders of Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley, and John F. Kennedy.  Some people call this being neurotic; I call it having a healthy respect for the law and try to leave out the part about my overachieving guilty conscience.

Anyway. I gathered up the documents the DMV website said I would require to fix my little problem.  I had a momentary panic about not being able to locate my social security card, but realized that I could bring in my W-2 and be all squared away.  I begged convinced a friend to be my chauffeur and hired one of my favorite teenagers to watch my unruly mob, and headed out the door with my bag full of documents, twenty bucks cash, and a prayer in my heart that I wouldn’t need to take the drivers exam (like I did in Utah, California and North Dakota, thank you very much). Why all this driver’s license upheaval?  I’m a military spouse, and every time we move, I have to change everything out and it involved re-testing in many states.

So my trip to the DMV was squared away.  I felt together. I felt like this was going to be one smooth trip.  I filled out my application and gave the guy all my papers.  He filled in every single thing and then asked why I had a few different last names.  I explained that I had legally changed it when I was eighteen.  Now, it should be noted that this man had my birth certificate, my marriage license, my last two tax returns and W-2 forms, multiple pieces of mail, two expired drivers licenses and a military identification card.  I had ample proof of being who I said I was.  But, it wasn’t enough.  He wanted legal documentation of that name change from twelve years ago, even though I had proof that multiple other government agencies believed I was who I said I was.  Really?!!  Does the DMV really think they know more than the military ID issuing system?  Do they think I’ve committed fraud by paying some random person’s taxes for the past several years? UGH!

Thankfully, I do keep files.  I drove (excuse me, was driven) home where I grabbed the file that had every bit of information having to do with that issue.  Upon returning I handed him the three papers all verifying that I had, indeed, had my name changed and that I was (wait for it) who I said I was.  Well, apparently, that just wasn’t enough.  I needed the one that was notarized and more official than the official ones I had, which I did not have, and did not know the location of.

ARGHH.  I called my mother in a panic then went home and tried to find the number to the Cass County Clerk’s office (good a place as any to start looking, I supposed).  At this point, I’m assuming that getting a copy of this is going to cost me fees upon fees as well as take three to four months.  The last legal document I requested (birth certificates) took nearly two weeks- and that was expedited!  I wasn’t going to be able to drive for WEEKS!  Of course, I thanked my friend who had been so kind to ferry me back and forth, and sent her on her merry way.

It was in this panic that I suddenly felt I should go through my files again.  I pawed through my college letters of recommendation, eons old taxes, birth certificates and social security cards and there, smack dab in the middle of my frequent flyer miles was the paper I needed.

At this point the poor gal who was babysitting got told she was still stuck at my house, and I called her mother, who happens to be my dear friend and begged for a ride.  Third trip to the DMV was successful, and I am now legal.

People, I know why driver’s license photos are always so bad.  It is really hard to look cute when you’ve been at that level of stressed and just plain pissed off for three consecutive trips to the DMV.



  1. amie says:

    So frustrating. And just plain unnecessary!

  2. Sanisi says:

    That’s crazy. You could always move to a Portsmouth or London. The public transport is good. :)

  3. Marrigje says:

    This is crazy. Some man who thought he was really important I think. Good for you, you kept your head cool and found the paper.

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