Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Third (Fourth?) Time's the Charm

I now, after three days, officially have a Tennessee driver's license. I suppose it started in April when I lost my wallet. Since I had a Michigan's license and I was in Texas, it was hard for me to get a new one, so they sent me a temporary license until I could get the official one. Well, at this time I knew that I would be moving to Tennessee in about a month so there was no point in getting a Michigan license if I would just have to get a Tennessee one in a few weeks. So I kept the temporary license until I moved here. Once we got to Tennessee, Jeremy realized that he needed his birth certificate so we waited until he got his and then went to the DMV on Monday to get our licenses. I had forgotten to bring some sort of document with my social security number on it so I couldn't get mine. And Jeremy found out that the carbon copy of the internet/cable hookup would not count as a "proof of residency" because it's a carbon copy. However, a copy of an apartment lease counts, if that makes any sense.

We both returned the next day, ready to try again. This time I got turned away because the office I was at could not work with temporary licenses. Who knows why, but they couldn't. They sent me to a different office, one that does driving testing so there were a ton of 16 year olds and their parents. I sat there for probably half an hour before my number was finally called. When the lady at the desk eventually came to help me, she told me that my piece of mail - the box my checks came in - would not count because they don't accept any mail related to checks or credit cards. Defeated yet again, I left. Luckily I had one other piece of mail at home and could use that. I don't get a lot of mail so it has been hard to find stuff that will fit into their narrow rules for "proof of residency" but I found an envelope in the trash and returned today and I am happy to say that after about an hour spent at the DMV, I FINALLY have my license and am registered to vote!

The entire time this was going on and they kept refusing to give me my license, I kept thinking that this would be so much harder if I was homeless or did not know how to get all the forms of identification that I needed. The entire process reminded me of my internship in Waco when we'd help people get their birth certificates/Social Security Cards/licenses, etc. And, I have access to a car so going back and forth to the DMV isn't a problem for me like it would be for so many of the people I worked with last year. I guess that even though it took me three days and a lot of wasted time, I was fortunate to get my license so easily.

And I know have a form of picture identification so I no longer have to use my passport for that!

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