Thursday, May 17, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

So today was my birthday!  I gave myself a present by taking the day off from work.  I refuse to deal with patrons and their problems on my birthday.  Tomorrow will be soon enough.

Instead, I got to go to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles, in case you didn't know.)  Fun!

I had to renew my driver's license, you see.  It expired today.  This was not my first attempt at doing so, oh no.  I had tried three previous times to renew my license, and it failed miserably every.single.time.

At first my plan was to get one of the Enhanced Driver's licenses which, according to the website "can be used instead of a passport to return to the U.S. from Canada, Mexico and some countries in the Caribbean."  Cool!  So I went to the DMV, and they told me it was too soon.  I had to wait until it was closer to my birthday to renew.  Whatever. 

So I waited a few months, and I went back again.  I get there, get my number, and wait about half an hour to be called.  Not a long time, based on past visits.  I get to the counter, and the guy looks over all of my paperwork (you have to bring a bunch of different proofs of identity and address to get an enhanced license), and then he tells me the system is down.  They can't connect to the system in Albany, but he can totally get my address updated.  Okay, fine.  At least it isn't a totally wasted trip.

So while waiting to go back yet again, I read up on the enhanced license.  The website then made it sound super-cool, but when you read the details it only worked for ground travel -- not for travel by plane or boat.  WTF is the point?  Maybe it would be handy if I lived in Buffalo, but I don't drive to Canada often.

Forget about the enhanced license.  It's like $100 more.  Not worth it to me.

The DMV sent me my lovely reminder in the mail a couple weeks ago that I had to renew my license.  Thanks, guys!  Ooh, I can do it online as well!  That would save time.

So I went to do the renewal online.  Start going through the process, la-de-de-de-da.  Then I got to the page for the corrective lenses and was screwed.  Freaking eye exam!  Yes, I need corrective lenses to drive.  I need them to do everything but read, unless I want to walk around playing "try not to bump into any of the blurry things".  To renew online, you have to get an eye exam and have the doctor fill in a special DMV form so that you can fill in all of the information.

I didn't have the form filled in.  I didn't have time to go to the eye doctor for this.  I only go once a year, and that is to get more contacts and have an eye exam.  Now I was doomed to a third trip to the DMV.

Back I went again today.  But today was different.  The entire trip -- including parking and walking to and from the DMV office -- took me less than half an hour.  Can you believe it?  It was like birthday magic!  I was in, took the eye test, got a new picture taken, and out.  Boom!  I still can't get over how quick it was.

If you have to go to the DMV, I suggest going on your birthday.  Maybe the magic will happen for you as well!  (Although it could possibly be that it was because I went in the middle of the day, on a Wednesday, in the middle of the month, and maybe that is just a slow time.  I like the birthday magic theory better.)

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