Not the full day at the DMV, just the morning, really. But today was government purgatory for me to help address a moderately confusing legal issue regarding a very old (15 years old) moving violation.

So I tried to make an appointment, like a smart person. However the website continued to give errors that the appointment system was down and I would need to arrive in person to wait in line. I looked at the expiration date of my license in all this and realized I was going to need a new picture so I might try to take out two birds with one stone today!

DMV opened at 8 am, I was dragging my heels and arrived at 8:20 am. And then I got to stand outside in the rather breezy morning, being grateful for my hoodie and my Kindle. 9 am rolls around and I’m still in the first line, but almost to an indoor space. I take my 9 am pill dry – if only I had planned ahead and brought water. After about an hour in line I am able to get to the counter and lay out my requests, but I am properly prepared with a completed form for my main issue. Unfortunately my plan of multi-tasking is thwarted, since it is too early to renew without taking a written exam. Alas, my eyeliner game has been wasted.

I get my number, find a seat in front of the monitor, and wait. Not long after I sat, a man and woman sit next to me, something that was totally expected and acceptable. But when the next number is called out by the automated voice the man asks “What’s our number?” Then a few minutes later another number is called and he asks his companion “What’s our number?” Yes, every time that cheerful automated voice announced something like “B-27!” he would answer with his eternal question, and every time he would receive the same response of “34.” While I did find it odd that she never gave the letter, I will forever remember that their number was 34.

E-book, smart phone, staring into space, all in their turn as I wait patiently for my time in the same white plastic seats that have been bolted in place since the 70’s to come to an end. My chair, likely older than me. The clock ticked by slowly, I tried to resist staring at it and failed. More than once I would hear a number called over and over, while the window remained empty, so I made a solemn promise to myself that as soon as my number was up I would me out of my chair and on the way to my window as quickly as possible. Sure enough, I recognized the number before me, so I closed the book, slid the phone into my purse, and straightened my paperwork in my hands, I was ready!

At the window I was smiles and laughter, so the woman I was working with responded in kind – while my issue turned out a little odd I hope I was a bright spot in her day as I rolled with the punches. The answer was not what I expected, but was indeed good news for me, so I happily paid the $5 for my record and raced home to resolved my legal woes.

Shaking off that burden was a relief! I’m so elated to have that cloud of possible large debt cleared away, and to be out of DMV purgatory. Though it does mean I will be back there, with an appointment, later this year. Can’t win them all.

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