I wanted to write and share my wonderful experience I had recently with the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state of Florida. Talk about bureaucracy, this is bureaucracy to the max as far as I’m concerned. I don’t know if it is the same in every state, but this is how it works in the sunshine state.
It all started when my state ID expired. Warning: If you do anything at all, do not let your ID expire. It will be one of the biggest mistakes you make!
First trip to the DMV
I was told by a friend, even though my ID expired, just take it to the DMV, and they will just issue me a new one. Wrong!
Since there is a two hour turnaround time with my Para-transit, a very kind lady from my church offered to take me to the DMV so I wouldn’t have to wait so long for my return trip.
I took my expired ID, as my friend suggested, which of course had my picture on it, and after standing in line for about 30 minutes, was told it could not be accepted because it was expired. I then offered another ID with a picture of my service animal and myself on it, but they still wouldn’t budge. They told me I needed to come back with two utility bills, to show proof of address, a social security card or birth certificate, and I would be good to go.
Second Trip to the DMV
About two or three weeks later, my very kind church lady and I went back to the DMV, water and electric bills in hand, along with my two photo ID’s, my birth certificate, and got back in line to wait my turn. I got up to the reception desk with all my info, and after looking at it, was asked for my social security card. I explained I misplaced it, and the last time I was there, was told my birth certificate along with the other pieces of information I had would suffice. She apologized, and stated my social security card was required. I could go to the social security office and obtain a letter which they would accept, substantiating that I did have a social security card.
Feeling very frustrated, since I truly thought this issue was going to be resolved at this time, and had other things to do, I told my very kind church lady friend that we would deal with this another day. Once again, she graciously offered to take me to the Social Security office one day the next week, and then back to the DMV, which was exactly what we did.
Third Trip to the DMV
We went back to the DMV a week later, social security letter in hand, two utility bills, two picture ID’s, and my birth certificate. I anxiously awaited my turn, and after waiting approximately 30 to 45 minutes, got up to the desk and handed the person my info. After looking through it, she stated my name on my birth certificate was not the same as on the other pieces of information. My response was, “Yes, I know, I got married.” Can you guess what her next statement was? You got it. She now needs a certified copy of my marriage certificate.
Needless to say, at this point, I wanted to scream, but thanks to our Lord and Savior, managed to compose myself. I then proceeded to tell her that this was my third trip to the DMV, and pointed out that she did have two picture ID’s right there in her hot little hand (well, I did leave the hot little hand part out), with me standing right in front of her, verifying those pictures, plus two utility bills which verified home address and name, as well as my social security letter. Noticing how frustrated I was, she decided to check with her boss, and upon return, proceeded to apologize for my inconvenience, but stated I would still have to come back with the marriage certificate.
Frustrated, disappointed, and discouraged, out the door we went for the third time, knowing I had yet another obstacle to overcome.
After numerous calls to New Jersey, I finally got to the correct office, where I was told they would be happy to send me a copy of my marriage certificate, provided I furnished them with a current driver’s license or ID. Hmmm, another obstacle! Long story short, I ended up contacting my ex, who found it, and sent it to me. Elated, I almost said “I love you,” but caught myself in the nick of time, as that wouldn’t have been a very good idea.
Fourth Trip to the DMV
So now my church lady friend and I are back at the DMV, with two photo ID’s, two utility bills, my social security letter, my birth certificate, and my marriage certificate. I once again, got up to the desk, feeling very confident this would be the day I get my new ID, but there was yet another glitch. The marriage certificate that my ex thought was the original, was a copy, and I was told she could not accept a copy. Now, I could feel the blood rush to my head, and tried very hard to maintain my composure. She obviously took note of my expression, knowing I had been there before, and decided to ask her boss if she could accept it. Luckily, for my sake, they did, and I was finally able to go on my merry way with my new ID.
Now, let me say because of what happened with September 11th, and the ever-present identity theft problem, I do understand the security issue, and totally agree with it one hundred percent. But what happened in my case, though, I feel was overkill. If I didn’t have two photo ID’s, which obviously reiterated who I was, I could understand connecting all the dots, but truly feel that wasn’t necessary here. Also, people who drive get notified 2 months in advance that their license will be expiring. People with state ID’s who do not drive, do not ever get notified. What’s up with that?
Are people who don’t drive less important? Do they not deserve equal treatment? Is this discrimination? You tell me.