Miscellaneous Thoughts on a Morning at the DMV

1) My printer hates the DMV. Or else it thinks it's doing me a favor by priming me for frustrating experiences to come at the DMV by refusing to print out my proof of insurance as I'm heading out the door to the DMV.

Fortunately, the DMV has never actually asked me to provide proof of insurance. Does that strike anyone else as odd? Not that I'm complaining.

2) I wonder whether you would get through the process faster with an appointment Monday morning or without an appointment in the middle of the week. I tried to make a midweek appointment, but they didn't have any slots available. But the place sure seemed packed Monday morning. It was hard to find a parking space.

It took about an hour to get my driver's license. Most of that was standing in line. Three times: once to get the application to take the driver's test, once to get the driver's test itself, and once to turn in the driver's test.

3) The keyboards at the DMV seem to have trouble handling my middle name. It was misspelled one way on my vehicle registration, and misspelled another way on the first draft of my driver's license. It's a good thing they have you proof-read your own driver's license.

4) I find it disorienting to have to remove my glasses for an ID picture. I know that the camera can still "see" me even if I can't see it, but I feel vulnerable for those few moments when the world becomes a fuzzy whirl around me. And the picture that results looks wrong to me, because my glasses are part of my appearance. I can understand asking people to remove hats and veils, but glasses? Oh, well.

5) I don't understand the rule about which way to turn your front wheels when parking on a hill with no curb. I read that part through most carefully in the handbook, and still got the question wrong, because it's harder for me to remember things when I don't get the logic behind them. Why isn't it the same as parking on a hill with a curb? Can someone explain this to me?

6) There was something strangely satisfying about the fact that my old Oregon drivers' license put up a good fight when the DMV lady tried to invalidate it. She had to go find a superpowered hole-punch to get through the plastic. I was having some nostalgic remorse over surrendering it, and not just because my weight was still the same number I put down when I originally got the license at 16.

7) There was something strangely unsatisfying about being handed back a plain half-sheet of paper with a few lines of printing on it and being told that was my license. (The real one will come in the mail.) I think I would feel more bereft if I didn't also have my passport on me. How will anyone believe who I am if I don't have a valid government issued photo ID?

8) The independent fabric shop that my Mom likes is a really fun place to stop on the way home from the DMV. I found fabric for curtains for my bedroom. Whether I'll actually get around to making the curtains in the next three months is another matter altogether.


danedy said...

I understand about turning your wheels if you park on a hill with a curb. I don't know anything about without a curb, so I'll let it go.

But I will tell you that I recently flew without a license. Well, I had the paper one like you have. Techinically, TSA is supposed to let you through as long as you have two forms of ID (credit card, car or home insurance, workplace or school ID--lots of things count), one issued by a govt agency (social security card, library card). I had about 8 things that should have counted, including my valid but suspect driver's license. On the way there, I got through with that alone. On the way back, I couldn't convince them of their policy. They filled out a form where they checked "has no identification" and then did everything but a cavity search. But I made it!

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