I feel sorry for people who work at the DMV. I don’t know a soul who likes going to that place. The take a number and wait, cramped molded plastic chairs, no ventilation, fill out this form in triplicate, hellhole is just every adult’s worse nightmare. If you’re reading this and you work for the DMV, you have my condolences. Just know that you are liked only slightly more than people who work for the IRS. Hey, there’s always a silver lining. Now, on with today’s story. I currently live in Texas. I have done so off and on since 2002. Texas has a rule that your drivers’ license is good for 6 years and can be renewed by mail another 6 years if you don’t have any changes. Because we moved to another section of state last year, I had to get a new license. Heaven help me.
So, I got all my necessary paperwork together, did my hair and makeup to where I thought I looked halfway cute (more on that later) and mentally prepared myself for the ordeal. I get to the office and was asked if I had a reservation. Ummm, no. Apparently, there is now an online check-in. If you do it the old-fashioned way like I did (just showing up) you have to wait in the hall for a chair to vacate. Apparently, you can’t stand around in there anymore. I didn’t see anything in my letter about an online check-in. It was hell just trying to figure out where my local DMV was located. So I wait in the hall like a scolded child for about 15 minutes watching others with reservations walk inside. When I was allowed in, I was given a number so I could wait some more. An hour later, I’m sitting in front of this poor guy who looked like he would rather be having a root canal and a prostate exam at the same time. Bless him, he was nice enough. When it came time to take my picture it was just awful. He graciously took it twice and both times it was just abysmal. I don’t think it would have bothered me so bad to get such a bad picture had my old one not been so good. I really got lucky that day. I texted the hubs to complain about my new picture (see photo to the left). I have these big crazy eyes, fake smile and for the life of me, I swear my face is starting to melt off my bones. I’m getting jowly. What the hell? I’m too young for this.
As if that’s not enough, the State of Texas gives you a temporary paper license. Yes, you read that right, a paper license. I got my first temporary paper license way back in 2002. I had just moved here from South Carolina. I did all the things, got my picture taken, and instead of getting a brand new, shiny, plastic license at the end of the exercise, I was given a piece of paper with my info on it that looked like something I could make at home with my own computer and printer. There was no raised state seal or colored ink. There was no fanciness to it at all. Seriously, it was like a Cracker Jack prize. When I asked (complained) to the lady behind the counter she looked at me like I had lost my mind. I told her, “Lady, I just moved here from South Carolina. A state that ranks lowest in education among other things and they issued me a valid drivers license on the spot. Texas is arguably the best state in the country and y’all give me this homemade looking thing? I think the State of Texas is spending too much on (then governor) Rick Perry’s designer boot collection and not enough on the DMV.” As I was delivering my rant, I noticed the Highway patrolman inching my way. I just knew I was going to be arrested or deported from the state for questioning the almighty Rick Perry’s spending habits. Thankfully, I was able to leave without incident. So, today, when the dude handed me my new homemade license I just shook my head. I couldn’t believe in 16 years, Texas has progressed to facial recognition software and a thumb scanner but still gives out homemade licenses. Let’s hope in 12 more years or whenever we move again, I get a better picture and no temporary paper copy.