Friday, March 31, 2023

The DMV and Me

 My birthday approaches and a notice from DMV told me it was time to renew my driver's license and that I had to come into the office and take some tests and get a new photo.

The notice said I was required to fill out an online application.  Only one problem-- despite spending too much time trying to access the application, all I ever got was a message telling me I couldn't renew online.  The website offered a chat, but when I tried to ask about how to locate the online application, someone named Bill who I bet was really a robot gave me an answer about getting a learner's permit.  I tried leaving a comment on Facebook and got an answer that was no help.  By then I had begun  to think there was no the online application.

But when I went to the DMV at the time of my appointment, the first thing the clerk asked if I'd filled out the online application.  By then it was a waste of time to ask her how I might have accessed it, so I just followed her order to go to Window 30 and wait for a computer.

It seemed that Window 30 had people waiting for different things.  I was finally sent to a computer which thankfully  had fill out application as one of the choices which when clicked  on produced the elusive form.  After that I was sent to a waiting area and told I'd be called, but a message appeared on my phone telling me to get in the line for people with no appointments.  I never did find out what that was about, but was sent back to the waiting area to watch for the number I'd been given to come up with a window assignment.  The place was mobbed, but eventually I was sent to Window 11 to have a vision test, take my finger print and pay some money.  The man informed me that I had three times to take the knowledge test and if I failed them all, I'd have to start the whole process over again.  He also told me that if I'd already flunked it twice and didn't feel up to it, I could leave and come back another time just to take the test.

I wasn't sure if that was part of the script, or it was somehow personal to me.  Either way, I ignored it and went back to Window 30 after the stop to get an unflattering picture taken.  It was the whole ritual again to wait for an available computer and then to choose the take the test option.  I passed and once I'd checked in with the person in charge and signed  my temporary license, I was done. No three times and you're out for me.

I spent the waiting time looking around at the place and at the people. There were definitely some characters like an older man who looked dapper in his hat and jacket even if they were threadbare.  A tiny woman with a shaved head was wearing a long brown tunic and I guessed belonged to some religious order.  I noticed something funny while I was waiting for my number to come on the big overhead screen.  One portion of the screen had the current numbers being called, but the other part had ads.  One was for a personal injury lawyer who has lots of billboards in the area and another for a woman who offers insurance and also advertises on billboards.  It seemed a little odd as if the DMV was recommending them.

In the midst of it all, something popped into my mind about the Molly book which for now I'm calling KILLER HOOKS.  Of course, it was car related and the perfect solution to something I'd been stuck on.

What a nice bonus! 



Patty said...

Good morning -- That sounds like a delightful day at the DMV -- not!! It is fun to people-watch -- there are certainly a variety out there. Glad you got inspiration for Molly.

I read "Silence of the Lambs Wool" over the last couple of days -- first of your yarn retreat books I've read -- enjoyed it. Casey's Ebony and Ivory muffin recipe sounds good -- wonder if upping the flour measurement to a full cup instead of 7/8 would make a big difference? Google told me 7/8 is 3/4 plus two tablespoons. Hurray for Google!!

The weather here has been gorgeous -- I was able to sit on the patio yesterday, crocheting -- so pleasant.

I just noticed today's date -- I retired 24 years ago on March 31, 1999. The next morning, my husband and I left on a wonderful five-week trip -- were home for another five weeks when he suddenly died of a massive heart attack. That was a traumatic time but I struggled through. Never thought I'd marry again but a couple years later met a wonderful man and we had 16 1/2 years together before he died in 2018.

I plan lots of crocheting today -- have some lovely yarn with royal blue, teal, black and white shades in it and some solid royal blue and teal -- making a granny rectangle -- very pretty.

Hope you have a very Happy Birthday tomorrow!!

Sally Morrison said...

The DMV is really a cross section of life, isn't it? I always wonder how these government processes come to be. They frequently seem so complicated, but I guess they just develop from one situation to another. They make sense to someone somehow. I can see Molly having an interesting time in a DMV. It would surely be a place to find a body in some hidden corner or maybe the restroom. :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Linda D Osborn said...

DMV days...I had to go in for a written test, photo, etc. 3 years ago. Of course I couldn't find any accepted ID to get the special mark on my license, I still haven't gone back to do that. I have a handicapped tag due to my arthritis, and all the marked parking places were on the opposite side of the large building from the door. Of course there was a line out to the parking area anyway. Having an appointment didn't help much. At least I passed, and won't have to go back for a long time !!
I am counting on mail-in's. A friend who is 94 hasn't even taken a written test for over 20 years. Actually her photo still looks pretty accurate ! She just got a new license in the mail--good for 5 years. She can drive to 99 now , Long live the DMV !!

Betty Hechtman said...

Patty, the sun has finally come out here and I took my coffee outside. The only problem which I didn't notice until I got up, was that while the chair seemed dry, it wasn't. I came inside with damp pants.

It's nice that you had that five week trip with your husband before he died, but what a shock. So nice that you meet someone else and had a nice amount of time together. You sound very resilient.

Your Yarn sounds lovely. Happy crocheting.

Yes, I was an April Fools baby. I'm trying to do something that pleases everyone which means we're taking my grandson to his favorite playground and then dinner at the six year olds favorite restaurant. I like everything so its no problem for me.

Betty Hechtman said...

Sally, there was a certainly a lot of commotion and confusion about where to go. The most frustrating thing was that the notice mentioned that I had to fill out an online application, but I kept going in circles when I tried to find it on their website.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda O. Osborn, I got the REAL ID thing the last time I had to renew. It was a pain to get all the stuff together. I had to order a copy of my birth certificate and marriage license. I brought my passport and I think a utility bill to prove my address. I guess they don't have exactly the best equipment there and the guy's computer broke in the middle of his putting in my information. It wasn't clear on the renewal form I got as in it said nothing, but once you get the REAL ID it renews along with your license.

Your 94 year old friend seems to have lucked out. I heard that after 70 you had to go into the DMV and take all those tests to renew.

How crazy that they put the handicapped spots so far away. Sometimes you wonder if people think things through.

My experience was really okay. I always think about the people working behind the counter and try to be gracious.

Miss Merry said...

I got the "real" id when I renewed my license, too. I had spent hours getting all the necessary documents together according to the list, including a trip to the court house to get a notarized copy of my marriage license from 47 years ago. Even with all my preparations, I was missing one piece of acceptable mail with my name and address. My husband was with me and was able to fill out an affidavit swearing I was me. I live in a small town and have been renewing my driver's license at this location for over 50 years. Then they couldn't figure out the glare on the camera and made us both remove our glasses, that we are never without for our photos. I told my husband that will be helpful if we ever go on the lam, no one will recognize us.

Patty said...

Damp pants aren't good!! I got out of the car the other day and tipped a cup of water I was carrying. Some of it ran inside of my shoe -- walking with a squishy shoe was yucky!!

When I got my Arizona license a few years ago, I was asked if I wanted the REAL license -- I said yes and that was all there was to it. Arizona made it really easy for me -- I had a Texas license, just filled out an app for Arizona, had my picture taken, paid the fee and that was it. It's good until 2026 when I'll be 89.

Betty Hechtman said...

Miss Merry, funny about the glasses! They made me take mine off for the photo. My eyes changed and I don't need glasses to read anymore and not even as much for distance, so I only wear mine for driving and when I go out. It was a production to get the stuff together for the Real Id.

Betty Hechtman said...

Patty, interesting that the rules are different in different states.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Your license renewal issues sound familiar, Betty. I just had to go through that too, and went in person. Fortunately, I've received my renewed license.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda O. Johnston, congrats on getting your renewed license! I bet you read the handbook as I did.

chkntza said...

I just had to renew my license in person too. I studied for the test but I was worried so I paid for a test prep course and studied a lot. When I went to the DMV it was empty. I did fill out the online form but they didn't have it so I had to do it again on their computer. I wear prescription glasses but the person behind the counter didn't notice it was on my license so she had me take the vision test which I failed. Then we went to another vision test. The letter from my optometrist didn't help. Finally she realized I have to wear prescription glasses so we moved on. I had my ugly picture taken then told I was finished. What!!! No test? I couldn't believe it. I was not going to argue with them. They told me I didn't have to take the test because I came in December. Another man was told he didn't have to take the test because it was his birthday. We are both in the over 70 club. My friend also didn't have to take the test and he was told they changed the law but I could find no evidence of it. That was my DMV experience.

chkntza said...

Belated Happy Birthday to you!

Betty Hechtman said...

Chkntza, thanks for the birthday wish. Your experience at the DMV was crazy. Sorry that you took the prep course for nothing. I told the guy that I wore glasses for distance and he had me use them for the test. My picture was pretty bad too. I had hoped to get a haircut before it was taken since I had what I call old lady long hair which I had pulled back in a scrunchy.

Interesting the different stories they gave about why people didn't have to take the test. Thehy all sound made up. Steve Lopez had a column about older people and the DMV and he said it was ageism requiring the "knowledge" test so I don't think the law has changed.

My license just came in the mail. Weirdly, I look the same, just the old lady long hair shows in the license that expired.