Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spending Time at the DMV

It was inevitable. I had been avoiding doing this for as long as possible, but at a certain point you are setting yourself up for trouble.  I renew my driver's license today.  The last time I had to do this was before my daughter was born when the cop absconded with my old one which was basically a laminated piece of paper with my picture on it.  He whisked it away from me saying that I had 21 types of protection built into the new format and that was what he needed me to do, get a new license   Yes, but you can't sell my data with it, I retorted. I should have been happy that he took my license rather than giving me a speeding ticket.    I waited in a hot dark cramped office that summer to renew my license  My picture looked like a mug shot.  I had high hopes for my experience this morning.

In Orange County, you can't make an appointment.  I knew that did not bode well for my morning plus I had to drag my nine-year old with me.  We were prepared with books. I am reading Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Princess and unbeknown to me, my daughter packed The Walking Dead Compendium One for me and Compendium Two for herself.  I had all of my paperwork, passport, social security cards, and 2 different pieces of mail with my address on it.

We waited in line to get in number.  There were over a 100 people in the room.  The woman told us it would take about 45 minutes. I had number 346 and they were on 320.  We read.  We said hi to a school friend. We read some more.  Forty-five minutes passed.  I couldn't figure out the numbering system. There seemed to be another "ticketing system" going on with the numbers in the 100's and 800's that were moving much more rapidly than the 300's. After 2 hours, we were getting close.  We were still reading.

To my delight, a teenager interrupted me and asked what I was reading.  That made the two hours worth it.  We talked books and exchanged titles for the 20 minutes that it took for number 245 to transform to 246.  I shared titles. She told me what her plans were. She was getting her driver's license and this was her fourth visit this week.  She spent four hours waiting the day before. I considered myself lucky.

Number 346 was finally called. It took under 10 minutes to process my paperwork, but I left the office knowing that I made a difference and that I had a decent picture on my license
, but not a glamour shot.


  1. Your slice brought back memories of long waits at the BMV, but I loved the conversation with the teen about books.

  2. An experience we can ALL connect with - even if we do not live in Orange County. The DMVs of our universe are univerally scary and difficult experiences that we all avoid = unless our liscense is confiscated or we decide to be proactive....and get it done. My own picture is now 20 years old....I am not willing to go in and have it retaken and prefer to renew on line...whenever possible!


Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Your words matter!