Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The DMV & Me

The DMV and I got extremely familiar over the past couple of weeks. And, I found out that I've been calling it the wrong thing - in Washington, it's actually the Department of Licensing.

Before my first visit to the ODL, I checked their websites to see what was required for obtaining a Washington license/name change. Naturally, nothing was listed, so I called. 1-3 attempts: busy signal. 4th attempt: recording. We decided to risk it, so I brought what I thought I needed and Paul and I went anyway.

Thus continues the story of the DMV drearies:
Visit #1, Thursday: Picked out a "drivers license outfit", curled my hair, pulled a number, got called up the counter, displayed my Oregon license and marriage certificate and was told I needed more proof of identification.

*in between visits, we went to the bank to add me to Paul's account. We ended up opening a new checking account to earn a little interest, and our teller assured us Paul's debit card would still work and she didn't need to change anything.*

Visit #2, Saturday: Picked out a second "drivers license outfit", curled my hair, brought passport, marriage license, Oregon license, took a number, sat for a bit, and then realized we didn't have any cash or checks on us and they don't accept credit cards. (Who doesn't accept plastic these days?!) Went to our bank's drive-through ATM, and it wouldn't accept Paul's card. I didn't have mine yet, because it was being sent in the mail. Couldn't go back to the ODL.

Visit #3, Tuesday: Picked out third "drivers license outfit", curled my hair, brought passport, marriage license, Oregon license, and met Paul at the ODL. He had pulled out some cash earlier in the day before work, but had transferred vehicles to haul some stuff to the dump. We took a number, got called to the counter. "You have the cash, right?" I asked sarcastically, already frustrated that this was attempt numero tres. Paul checked his wallet. "Uhhhhhhh......" blank stare from me. "...It's in the other car." blank stare #2 from me. He apologized and laughed out of disbelief. I didn't think it was so funny and I'm sorry to say I didn't show him much grace in the moment.

Visit #4, Tuesday of the following week: I recycled my first "driver's license outfit", curled my hair, and Paul met me at the ODL. This time, we had cash, my passport, Oregon license, marriage license. Took a number, sat for about 10 minutes, then noticed a sign that read "Our computers are down, we apologize for the inconvenience." Some people behind us muttered some choice words about how long they'd been waiting. One lady stormed out the door. We decided to try it anyway. When our number was called, we approached the counter. Paul signed something to prove that I live at his address, and then he had to leave for a meeting. I stayed up at the counter while the nice ODL man typed reviewed my documents and attempted several times to type my information into the computer. When he got to my marriage license, he told me I didn't have the one that had been signed by the County Auditor and that I needed that before he could continue. He asked if I could come come back later that afternoon after I had obtained the correct copy. I took a deep breath and walked to my car, while realizing that Paul had left with our cash and I wouldn't have been able to pay, anyway. I called the county office and they confirmed that they had a signed copy of my marriage license on file, and that if I paid $3 they would give me a copy. I grabbed my checkbook, visited the county office, paid my dues, and went back to the ODL.

Visit #5, still Tuesday: I didn't bother to take a number, because the nice ODL man waved me right up to the counter. I showed him my passport, Oregon license, the correct copy of my marriage certificate, and my cash. He started typing again, and said with a sigh: "Can you come back Thursday? Our computers are still down and we're closed tomorrow for Veteran's Day." I had to laugh.

Visit #6, Friday: I recycled my 2nd "drivers license outfit", curled my hair, and Paul agreed to spend his day off with me on my 6th visit to the ODL, and it's a good thing he did, because the nice ODL man couldn't find the form he had previously signed, verifying my proof of residence. Paul signed. I displayed my passport, Oregon license, marriage license, and my cash. The nice ODL man typed. He took my cash. He typed some more, then asked me to take a seat. The camera lady called me up, I took a brief look in the mirror to fluff my curls, and flashed my pearly whites. Flash. Voila.

"You should receive your Washington License in the mail in a few weeks. Here is your temporary license to use in the meantime. Welcome to Washington!"

Hooray! They even punched a hole in my Oregon license and let me keep it.

So, here I am.
Elizabeth Caitlin Bricknell.
Born in Washington, married in Washington, living in Washington, driving in Washington.

Now it's time to change my Social Security card, passport, savings accounts, credit cards, school loans, etc. But, I think I'll wait a little bit and revel in my sweet, ODL victory!


Violet Read said...

i'm sorry to say this but this post made me laugh out loud. while i'm sure it was frustrating, looking back you can't help but laugh! =)

Mattanda said...

Ahh yes, "two becoming one" is quite a journey!