Alas, poor license! I knew him, Horatio.

Gone are the days of yesteryear!

Gone are my days of trying to drink alcohol or identify myself in other states, only to be met with confused stares or suspicion of falsification!

I went to the Secretary of State's office* yesterday to renew my driver's license, which would otherwise have expired on my 25th birthday. I was able to renew my license by mail** when I turned 21, so I still had the 0ld Sk00l driver's license that is becoming rarer and rarer in the state as we oldies have to renew in person the second time and get a new card. Alas, there was no avoiding it. I think I was the last person I knew who was still holding on to one of the ugly oversized brownish things instead of the bright colorful new credit-card-sized blue one.

So I stood in line for about twenty minutes in front of some really bitchy people who got offended that there was someone there to make sure the line was in order and that everyone had the correct documents with them. Then I filled out my paperwork, had my picture taken, saw the evil-looking preview of my picture, asked if I could have it retaken, got DE-NIED, and sighed, resigned to the fate of looking rather nefarious in my photo ID. Maybe when it comes in the mail, I can draw a little pirate hat on.

* In Michigan, drivers' licenses, license plates, registration, etc are handled by the Secretary of State rather than a Department of Motor Vehicles. Who knows? We're strange.

** When you renew by mail, they send you a little sticker to put over the old "expires on your birthday [Year X]" saying "See back" and a sticker to put on the back with the new expiration year. No one in other states buys this malarkey and I suspect that they always think it is a stupid fake way to try to make your older sister's expired ID look valid.

srah - Saturday, 13 August 2005 - 10:28 AM

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Comments (11)

gravatar katie - August 13, 2005 - 10:51 AM -

In Vermont, they still issue licenses without photos. When you renew by mail, they send you this thin green thing with no picture, and I used to get a lot of trouble over that. Finally I gave up and got my picture taken. You have to pay extra to get a license with a photo.

gravatar srah - August 13, 2005 - 12:02 PM -

They want to prevent people from leaving the state!

gravatar Erica M - August 13, 2005 - 2:31 PM -

In Michigan, drivers' licenses, license plates, registration, etc are handled by the Secretary of State rather than a Department of Motor Vehicles.

That really threw me when I moved to Minnesota. I was looking for a SOS office, and all I could find was these "county service centers."

gravatar jamelah - August 13, 2005 - 2:47 PM -

Yeah, I finally got one of the new licenses last year when I turned 25 (because I also renewed by mail when I was 21). Oh, the memories of standing outside of a bar in New York in the rain, looking longingly at all of my friends who had normal, non-fake-looking licenses and got inside, while I argued with a bouncer about the fact that yes, my ID was real so let me inside already, bastard. Good times indeed.

In my new license picture (which I also couldn't get re-taken), my hair is roughly the size of Montana, and I totally don't appreciate it.

gravatar Amy - August 13, 2005 - 3:25 PM -

I had the old school license until last summer when I moved to Texas. Before that though I can't even count the number of arguements I had about my license. Even bouncers in Michigan thought it was fake! I mean, the license isn't THAT old, right?

They totally didn't buy the orange renewal sticker on the back. Especially because all the print had rubbed off of it.

gravatar Not Your MOM - August 13, 2005 - 4:18 PM -

That old DL photo makes you look under 14. :-)

gravatar srah - August 13, 2005 - 11:16 PM -

I was only 16!

gravatar Noor - August 14, 2005 - 9:55 AM -

When I went in to get my MI driver's license, the clerk offered to retake my picture if I wasn't happy with it. I was happy with it so we didn't have to retake it. Maybe you had a mean clerk? Well, I should mention that the clerk I had kept telling me that I had nice eyes, which was pretty creepy given that she knew where I lived and stuff.

In IL, the DMV is run by the Secretary of State so maybe we're even weirder than MI? We also do the annoying sticker on the back thing, too.

gravatar Not Your MOM - August 14, 2005 - 10:26 AM -

Srah, not that this has anything to do with this post, but I wanted to tell you this. I had a dream about you the other night.

In it you were a dermatolgist (in a white coat) and I was your patient. You were using a sander type device on the back of my arm to smooth it. Then you mentioned that this is what Cheryl's arm looked like before you treated it. I don't even know Cheryl, but you mention her often enough she got a bit part in my dream! How odd. ;-)

gravatar apete - August 14, 2005 - 3:05 PM -

Sounds as if you should send a letter complaining about the mean clerk.

gravatar Cheryl - August 15, 2005 - 6:18 PM -

In Ohio, it's the BMV

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