Wednesday, July 6, 2011

An Ordeal at the DMV (Department of Much Vexation)

So my second learner's permit expired. (No, that's not a typo. Second.) I am about to get my license once and for all, but before I do so I want to polish up my skills so I can impress the driving instructor when I take the test. :D (Any tips?) But I want to make sure I'm legal while practicing, so I decided I'd better renew my permit, just in case.

We finally got around to getting over to the DMV's office today while we were out running errands. I walked in and was assigned a number and assured that they'd call me in a minute and was given a form to fill out. So I walked over to the table and began to methodically fill out the form. It was quiet and peaceful, with only a few other people in the office besides the workers. The table gave me a little trouble - it was one of those bumpy-surfaced 'faux granite' plastic ones and when I wrote on the piece of paper the pen wobbled and made my letters crooked. *arrgh*

I was going down the list of blanks and checkboxes when suddenly my stomach did a flip-flop. "Social Security Number." The blank demanded. Uh-oh. I looked up at Mom and mouthed "Social Security Number?" 
See, I'd never gotten around to memorizing it. Ooops.
Neither had Mom. Ooops. 
No one was at home to call, and look it up in the file. Ooops.

Just then my number was called. "Now serving A015 at counter number 02." I walked timidly up to the lady and told her my predicament and asked if they had my Social Security number in my file.
No, they didn't. Ooops.
"Are you employed?" The helpful lady asked.
"No." (That was the short answer. I have my own jewelry business and do graphic design work for my dad and brothers... but none of us were at the office - our house - to find my number!)
"Oh." She answered, dismayed.
"Yeah..." I said, gazing down at the unfinished form.
"Well look hon," She replied, "Let's finish the rest of these questions so it'll all be done when you come back. We're open till 6:00."

She proceeded to ask me the rest of the questions in rapid-fire order (filling in the answers for me) and kept a remarkably straight face when inquiring if I'd ever had any type of mental disorder or disease. (Do I really look like that's possible? Good grief.) ;)

So we went home and got the Social Security number from our file and then drove back into town and parked outside the DMV.
When we got back inside we had to wait about five minutes for the lady to come assign me a new number to wait in line - and then it took about fifteen minutes for her to find my pre-filled form. She looked and looked through a file, couldn't find it anywhere, and then went and looked over on her desk - and voila! There it was. So I was given a piece of paper with my new number on it... and then we went into the waiting area.
There were about 20 people there. All ahead of me.
My mom and I waited about 45 minutes. I had ample time to examine the charts on the wall and discovered that the fee to renew a learner's permit was still $10.  
And then at last my number was called!

I walked up to the desk and handed the finally complete form to a different lady than the woman who had helped me before.
"Sign here please." The lady said, pointing me to an electronic pad with a 'pen' attached to it with a cord.
I quickly discovered they don't give you much room below the line on that screen, and my cursive capital "J" was missing part of its lower loop. Sigh.
And then I had to sign the paper form, and to my great inward disgust I forgot one of the letters in my last name and had to insert it between two of them, making an ugly scrawl in the middle of the name.

Then I got to have my picture taken. ;) Yeah. This is the best part!
I won't torture you with the blow-by-blow account - but I had to get my picture taken twice because I moved my head as she took the first one because the flash went off twice when I was expecting only once.
Meanwhile, a young, bored, male onlooker watched with amusement.

After I got the temporary license on a piece of paper, I discovered that my cheeks looked slightly pink (no doubt from blushing in embarrassment that I had botched the first photo) but at least my expression was pleasant and I had a happy look in my eyes.
This was the result of my secret plan. I decided before I went in there that I would think about something I really liked while I was getting my picture taken. So I thought about playing Ultimate Frisbee - and it worked! :D

So here are my two important tips for all who go to have their learner's permit or driver's license renewed...

  • BE PREPARED (i.e. bring your Social Security Number, because they'll need it even though they don't keep it in their records)
  • THINK PLEASANT THOUGHTS (you will end up with a tolerable photo instead of your worst nightmare and something you would drop dead before showing to a police officer or bank teller)

I hope you enjoyed this post - I have been soundly chastised from several friends for making myself so scarce the past few months, and so, I decided that I would write a blog post and get back into the swing of things with a funny account of a tiring day. More will follow with pictures of stuff I've been up to lately.

Oh, and I'm in the market for a new blog background. I'm out of the loop these days. Where did you get your blog background? Do you have any favorite places to get cute free backgrounds? Do let me know via the comments section!


  1. Oh Julia you do make me laugh. ;) That sounds -exactly- like something I would do!
    Good luck on getting your license! I'm planning on getting mine in about three or four months... excited about finally getting it!

  2. You had quite the day! But I'm happy that you got it all taken care of and are satisfied with your picture. Those often make a person look kinda weird.
    I enjoyed your update and will look forward to more :)

  3. That's hilarious! I love how you write. I haven't gotten my permit yet... but I will one of these days.

    I like Shabby Blogs( That's where my old background came from (the one you designed a header for!).

    Have a great day!

  4. Hi Julia! So good to hear from you again on your blog! :D Missed you girl! Hugs!

    I am sorry about all the trouble you had with getting a new permit though. :( No fun! Sounds like something that would happen to me though. ;) So don't feel too're in good company (Jess and I went through an ordeal getting our I.D.'s recently too. Whoops!). ;D But I'm glad it all got taken care of in the end. :)

    #1 - I don't have my social security number memorized either. :P

    #2 - I HATE getting a photo taken at the DMV. ;) Lol! Yes, thinking of something nice is always best. My picture came out "okay", but since they made me take off my glasses, it wasn't going to be a great picture in the first place. ;) HeHe!

    #3 - I hate signing my name on those electronic never comes out looking good (more like the chicken scratches of a kindergartener!). :)

    #4 - I hate that "are you employed question. It's like asking you if you're single *still*! ;)

    I had to laugh at your description of the mental disorder though. Lol! You are so cute. :) I love being your friend. :D

    Can't wait to see what else you've been up to! :) I'll be working on a long overdue email to you in a minute too, so look for that in the few days or so. ;)

    Love and Hugs!
    Have a great rest of the week! :)

  5. Thanks for the comments, girls! :D

    Madison, yeah, me too - I'm really looking forward to being able to take myself to activities on my own once I have my license. This renewed permit is just a first step. :D (althought with all the trouble we went to, it seems like I should have the license itself by now...)

    Hey, thanks for stopping by and commenting! :) Yes, there will be an update soon, I can guarantee it. :D My goal for the summer is to get back to blogging, so here I go. :D

    Abby, Yes, Shabbyblogs has some cute ones! I looked for one there that I'd had before but I couldn't find it... :P So I chose one today from TCBOB. I like the aqua with the black and white... :) What do you all think?? :D

    Hey Rachel! Thank you so much for the sweet comment. It's good to hear from you again, my friend! :) I'll eagerly await that email! :D

    Love & Hugs,

  6. LOL! This post had me laughing the entire time while reading it. I'm convinced the DMV photoshopped my photo. ;-) My license has a very distorted smile on it. The only word for it is disturbing. :D

  7. Thanks for the comment, Johan! I'm glad the post made you laugh - laughing is good for you, you know. ;) I heartily sympathize over your photo. :D



Hi! Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog. I hope you are having an absolutely wonderful day. :)

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Love & Blessings!
~ Julia ~