Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Fun and games at the DMV

A while back I received a letter from our Department of Public Safety (aka the DPS, our State Police), what you folks in the other 49 would call the DMV, telling me that this year I needed to renew my drivers license in person.  

Something about they were pretty sure my appearance had changed since my last mug shot.  (I've just been renewing online without having to pose for a new photo since they invented the internet back in the '90's.)

I sent them a more current "selfie"....

...but they emailed back they couldn't use it because they can only take "head shots", then added a very nice note about how I should try out for that new TV show Last Comic Standing.

So this morning at 10:30, after I thought the line would have thinned out some, I mosied down to the DPS office.

Missed it by thaaaat much.

I finally made it inside to the "check in" window where they gave me a form to fill out and my very own personalized number, then pointed me towards the packed waiting area.  After watching the lawn boys mow the grounds outside....twice....they eventually called for me...."now serving number 12,368"

I gave the nice man my properly filled out paperwork and he looked pleased UNTIL he got to the part about my Social Security number.  It seems it didn't match the number in their database.  He insisted I wasn't me.  He wanted my Social Security card or a W-2.  I told him I didn't usually carry my file cabinet around with me, so he was just gonna have to work around it.

It was about then I think I saw him reaching under the counter to push a button which I assumed would bring out a SWAT team or something.  Trying to defuse the situation I asked him how I could be in their system since 1966 and they just now figured out something was amiss?

He turned his computer monitor around and showed me:  The first two digits of my SSN had been reversed.  He told me I MUST return with my official Social Security card or the FBI, Homeland Security, and Interpol would be super pissed, or worse, the Tea Party might have me deported as "undocumented".

In my always playful, pleasant tone I told him it seemed pretty obvious to me a DPS clerk somewhere made a data entry error and FRICKED up my file, and therefore it was up to the DPS to UN-FRICK it!

Did you know there are uniformed, armed State Troopers there patrolling behind the customer service counter?  (I wonder how badly you have to screw up to get assigned to the Drivers License Division?)  

After a twenty mile round trip home to search through files that haven't been touched since the Carter Administration, I returned with my official Social Security card.

All is good now.  After an exchange of money, a donation to some wayward urchin fund, and an agreement to be an organ donor I am now once again authorized to drive on the Highways of the Realm.

Tomorrow....I'm sleeping in.  :)



  1. I haven't had my actual SS card since 1971, I would have really been screwed. Here in New Jersey, the DMV used to be a living hell. Recently they privatized the operation and guess what? Lines are nil, service is good and people are friendly. There is a greeter to ask why you came and to direct you to the proper area. The computers have your current photo for identification. I have had to go to the NJ DMV three times in the last two years and never spent more than 15 minutes.

    I am not a Tea Party person, but I think the privatizing results of our DMV is one of the things they would approve of, I know I sure as frig do!

    1. Smart. We need to get on that train, too.

  2. I have no idea where my official Social Security Card is. I guess I'd be s*#t out of luck!

  3. Here in the sticks we just meander into the county courthouse and get pic taken for new license. Little machine prints new license on the spot. DMV comes out to the courthouse a few times a month for those who need to take driving test. Usually no waiting. If there are no changes (address, etc) drivers license can be renewed online and it is mailed out from DMV.

  4. You get your drivers license in Germany, you don't have to renew it. Unless you lose it for a DWI or points taken away. Good for life. They are losiing out on the renewal fee, and they probably should do eye exams at some time, but I'm not complaining.

  5. Nobody dislikes the DMV as much as I do. On my last job in South Carolina, I used the register the company's vehicles. We had a lot of trucks... I spent a lot of time in long lines. And this was before people carried smart phones with Kindle apps or Angry Bird games.

    After your experience, you deserve to sleep in!

  6. My last renewal, 2 years ago, I had to do the vision thing. I explained in the intervening years I'd had cataract surgery, and didn't need glasses. The woman shrugged and said "yeah, a lot of geezers have that", swivelling the eyepiece to my face.

  7. This is why I like living in a tiny town - it's not busy, the people are friendly, & if I forget something it's a 5 minute drive home :)