So I had to get my car registration renewed last week and, as it turns out, my driver's license as well. I was not real sure, but I was thinking I was due for a new picture as the old one was over 8 years old. So, I get myself as groomed as I get, which is not easy these days. My hair needs a cut badly and as I approach menopause, I am breaking out almost as badly as I did when I was in puberty! If you are a middle aged woman, you know how unfair this is. Nuff said.
Ok, so off I go to get my errands done. "Bye honey! Be back for lunch!" I get there to the DMV building... the old highschool, and get my registration taken care of first. Done in record time. Perhaps 3 seconds or less. Jefferson county really is fabulous that way. No appointment or anything. Just walk right in, and bada bing! You're done.
So then it comes time to hand over my old driver's license, which is the custom in my state, they shred it or whatever, then take your picture and give you a new one... Not no mo. The nice lady behind the glass grinned and asked me if I brought my papers.
"Papeeeers?" My voice trailing up in comic form.
"Don't you watch the news honey?"
"Ah, no, not too much. I try not to watch tv".
"Well, it's been alll over the TV!" As of Jan. 1, 2010, one needs to bring in 4 pieces of ID/proof of address/residency. Yep, because of all the terrorism (especially here in Jefferson County) we now have to present 2 forms of ID showing that you are who you are. One can be an SS card and you MUST have your birth certificate (notarized document from Dept of vital statistics only please) Yep, if you have an original hospital certificate, no bueno. I was NOT happy. No, I was not even sure I had these documents in my possession anymore. (The full list of requirements will appear at the end of this post so that you may be both informed and horrified as well).
They don't care if you're an 8 year, card carrying member of Amnesty International, Campaign to save Tibet, The Wilderness Foundation and the Native American Relief Council... Nope.. "Ah, well, I have all of these cards with my name on them, and well, here's my New Leaf membership card (The local health food coop), and look, my Library card, will those do? I really am harmless, please, don't make me go back, please...." Well, you can guess how far that got me. At least she was kind enough to laugh at my flailing attempt at humor.
So, off I go, on the long ride home... (we live about 15-20 minutes from anywhere) A small bubble appears above my head and I fantasize that maybe I can call the hub and get him to run the stuff out to me... yea, that's it! Who am I kidding? I'm not even sure I'll be able to find this stuff myself, or if I even have it... how the hell will he ever find it? Nope, a trip home is in my future. My hair is now more than a tad mussed and the make up is probably cakey at best. Oh well, who cares? Who? I'm middle aged, married and a mom... AND, it's my DRIVER'S LICENSE!! Nobody ever looks at the damn thing except the UCI guards anyway! (Well, and the troopers when my luck runs out) But still, even more reason NOT to care! What IS on my mind though, is that I really may have to drive illegally for God knows how long till I can get copies (new originals) of all these ridiculous grown-up documents and pay God knows how much for them.... (Terrorists- 1, regular schleps- 0)
Ok, so I get home and begin tearing apart filing cabinets, old purses and wallets for any shred of anything that looked official. To make matters worse, nobody that I know of gets mail at their physical address out here. We ALL have PO FUCKING boxes! So NOW, SO NOW I have to look for the GD deed to the house! It's the only piece of "official" paper with our names and physical addresses on it. This is so not my idea of a good time. But I was sort of proud of myself. I didn't really loose my temper and I just kept mantra-ing "This has no power over me, this has no power over me.." I found my social security card first, and in the most peculiar place and really by accident.
"And, oh look, old love letters from one of my dear exes who had just recently passed on". (The only real love letters I ever received) That turns into a 15 minute distraction... This day is shaping up to be really strange. Then I found a few other documents in much the same manner as the SS card. I also found lots of my dad's old writing and a picture of my brother with Billy Crystal. (My brother interviewed lots of famous people... I swiped it.) I found lots of other precious treasures which I had forgotten about too, and that was really cool. I was astonished though, at the obscure places that I ended up finding the things I was looking for, purely by fluke or body memory of some damn thing. It did take the better part of 3 hours. *That is a LOT of mantra-ing by the way. (And did I mention that while all this is going on, my child is screeching and getting in to the middle of things, as was the cat...) "This has no power over me..."
So miraculously, after about 3 or 4 hours I did find enough papers to get myself a bona fide FL drivers license.. woo hoo! Now, can I make it back before they close? hmmm... at this point, I have to try, just because I HAD to follow this damn errand through to the end... I mean, right? Ok. So I race back, not exceeding the speed limit though, and thankfully they did not close at 4!!! (It is my lucky day.) I proudly present all my grown-up papers, and thinking I'm in the home stretch when the nice lady behind the glass points to her screen "Says here you have to take a vision test and a road sign test". Seriously? After everything I've been through today, this is how I get rewarded?? UGH! So, as I'm looking over the road signs booklet before my test, in walks a neighbor. He is a very gentle old soul, and the only person I ever met in Lloyd that has a NY accent.
"Oh hi there young lady!" He calls me young lady! titter titter!
"What are you doing here?"
"Giving blood" he jokes, walking over to the tax collector's window.
"Ha! Me too!"
Then when he's done, he walks over and tries to carry on a conversation with me, but we really don't have a lot to say. "Did you have a good holiday?" I ask. "No. Terrible." (ut oh.) Then he proceeds to tell me just HOW terrible. ugh. Poor baby, it really was terrible. His wife fell and broker her ankle, then she had some kind of kidney infection that they thought was cancer, and I think the roof caved in or something, and it goes on from there... sigh. I'm sitting there stupefied, wondering if I will EVER get my damn DR license, the sign book there on my lap. I'm really empathizing with Bill's hellish nightmare, while worrying that I will fail something as stupid as a road sign test, and just feeling completely glazed over. What with the turn of events in my day and all the eye strain from searching... it would be a miracle if I passed the eye exam at this point!
Finally, Bill finishes up. I tell him to call on me anytime for anything. He thanks me and off he goes. I take the eye test. Perfect! Then it's time for the road signs. The nice lady has me log on to a new machine. This seems odd to me because the only other machine there was already up and running with the welcome screen on.. Oh well, just another quirk in my day, this how I roll now. I don't even ask, I just do what she tells me to. All is going well till I get to the sign that says "NO TURN ON RED" and I begin to crack up laughing. The nice lady asks me what's wrong. I begin to poke fun of the question. What could that possibly mean? (ut oh) She smiles. "Watch" I say, "I'll probably get it wrong now that I've laughed at it!" hahahaha! "Well now, they do try to trick ya". Then I look at the answers... NONE of them made sense. I wasn't laughing quite so loudly now. THEY DO TRY TO TRICK YOU! (When they're not busy insulting your intelligence that is.) Anyway, it was between two answers (there were 4 options, I think) One was "No right turn" the other was "No right or left turn while the light is red" I knew I was screwed now because I thought about it too much. I went with " no right turn" because why the hell would anyone make a left turn on red?? Well unless it was on a one way from a one way, which is legal in FL, but still the sign said NOTHING about left turns.... I got it wrong! (Of course, I laughed in the face of the traffic Gods) The nice lady and I had another laugh when it was all done, because it was the ONLY one I got wrong... She repeated, "Yea, they'll try to trick ya now!"
Indeed. Terrorists wouldn't stand a chance against this kind of scrutiny. I feel safer already.
As promised... here are the new requirements for obtaining a FDL:
- United States Citizen proof of identity.
- Non-United States Citizen proof of identity.
- Proof of Social Security number, if issued Chapter 322, Florida Statutes, requires the Department to collect social security numbers for the issuance of driver license and identification cards.
- Proof of residential address (ahem... 2 of these are required now)
- Proof of completion of a Traffic Law & Substance Abuse Education Course or license from another state, country, or jurisdiction.
I. Primary Identification - One of the following (5) documents:
- Certified United States birth certificate, including territories and District of Columbia (the birth certificate must be issued by a government agency. Hospital birth certificates cannot be accepted); or
- Valid unexpired United States passport; or Passport Card
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad
- Certificate of Naturalization , Form N-550 or Form N-570
- Certificate of Citizenship, Form N-560 or Form N-561
Important Please Note :
- Proof of citizenship or legal presence may be required for renewal or replacement licenses. Please come prepared to present one of the above identification documents as proof of citizenship or legal presence.
- When necessary, marriage certificates, court orders, or divorce decrees must be provided to tie the name on the primary identification to the name the customer would like to place on the driver license or identification card.
- For the first visit in an issuance office after January 1, 2010, individuals will need to present proof of identity, social security number and two proof of residential address. This applies for all transactions, (renewal, card replacement, change of address or name).