Have you ever walked into a DMV and then walked out in a good mood?
The last time I went to a DMV was the first time (and only…so far) a policeman ever stopped me. It was pouring rain but I had managed to have a quieter day on the consult service, and decided to battle highway traffic to the nearest DMV with my documents in tow. I had recently established residency in the state you see. An hour or so later, I left with my new license plates on the front passenger seat but without a new driver’s license. Something about needing a current visa stamp in my passport despite the fact that I had all other supporting documents.
So maybe I was a tad steamed that the worker at the DMV dared suggest to me that I needed to buy an expensive flight ticket and take time out of my busy schedule to fly outside of the US, set up an appointment at a US consulate, wait a few days or weeks before getting a visa stamp in my passport, then return to the US solely for the purpose of obtaining a state driver’s license. Maybe, just maybe, I was absent-minded. Shoo, I told myself, who is to know that I no longer reside at the address on my former state’s driver’s license. So I stewed, and steamed as I battled the rain and the lack of driving skills around me and made the 45 minute trip back home.
Wouldn’t you know that within miles, I mean really just around the corner from a warm home and a cooked meal, I heard the sirens behind me. Apparently, I made a left turn at a red light. I did not…it was yellow and the oncoming traffic had stopped. “License and registration please”. Out comes my old state license and my new state registration which obviously did not match the old state plates on the car …yet. I explained that I was just coming from the DMV. The policeman suggested that I was lying because the DMV would have collected the old state plates! Oh really?! I would like to see the day that a DMV official walks out to my car with me to change my plates. But even though I was irate, irritated, and so not in the mood, I had to remember that I was Black and he was armed and that this was not the time to have one of my tantrums. He let me go with a warning…and a welcome to the state. Whatever!
So, I was imagining a similar situation now that I have to once again transfer license and registration to my current state. Again, documents in tow, quiet consult day at work, 15 minute drive (in the rain by the way), and I get to the DMV which looks like a hole in the wall.
Walk in, not too many people, pick a number, it states 457, and as I sigh, begin to curse under my breath and walk over to the hard plastic chairs I see my number blinking. Yay! I presented all my documents and was almost almost there when oops, “you need to have a current visa stamp in your passport” I was told. Not again!!!! On the defensive, I began to argue. “No I don’t”. Goodness, are these people also going to make me leave the country, spend weeks outside before returning, just for the pleasure of having their state license. Uh-uh. My old old state license still has a few more years on it. I will ride it out until it expires if I have to. Luckily, the regional managers for the DMV were in the office and the DMV employee working with me was pleasant enough to go to the back and check things out, and voila, I was right afterall. Halleluyah!!
So now it’s time to get my picture taken. Drat! I’m not looking my best – I should have thought about this beforehand. So off I go to pick a new number, expecting to wait a couple minutes. Well not even milliseconds after the ticket printed out, I heard the number being called. When I stepped up to the official he stated “I was wondering where you were…” Seriously. Can you believe that? It’s like they were bored in there and waiting the whole day for me to show up.
All in all, a very pleasant day. Of course it would help if they actually processed transfer of registration as well but apparently I’m going to have to go to the AAA for that. Wierd!