Tuesday, June 18, 2019

A visit to DMV


The Peekskill office of New York DMV.  Usually, lines move quickly here, but today was a rainy day exception to the norm.  GFJ told me to do my renewal on some other day. However, I decided to kill a couple of hours waiting for my number to be called - just in case something went wrong, such as my eye test.

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Not having much sleep last night, I could have stayed in bed all day. The forecast of rain gave me an opportunity to make lemonade out of the lemons I was handed. Specifically, I didn't want to go out in the rain as Marian, so I took advantage of a "Mario Mode Day" to do a task or two that required Mario's presence.

Peekskill is only 5-10 minutes away from me, so I decided to choose closeness as my reason for going to this DMV office.  When I got there, it was busier than usual, and I needed to ask someone for help.  Once I found out which line to get on to start the process, I was able to get my picture taken and was assigned a number.  Little did I know that I'd wait about 90 minutes for this number to be called. 

Waiting at DMV is a form of purgatory. None of the benches are particularly comfortable, and the people you wait with are a true cross section of society.  Semi-attended children are running around, but they are not interested in causing trouble. Like their parents, they struggle to fight the boredom that permeates the place.  After a while, one starts to notice the little things, such as being able to make a reservation for service. Then you start to wonder: Why didn't I do that? Instead of waiting 90 minutes to be processed, you could wait 15 minutes or less to be serviced.  That's the kind of information you file away for use the next time you or your friends have to visit this windowless place of torture by boredom.

Eventually, your number gets called, and you get the privilege of being able to apply for your license.  There are two forms you could choose from: (1) A regular license renewal which  only permits you to drive your car, and (2) A Real-ID or Enhanced license renewal which permits you to drive a car and may be used for identification when dealing with the TSA imposed purgatory encountered at airports. In addition, if you choose the Enhanced license and pay another $30, you can use this document for land crossings between the USA, Canada, and Mexico.  But first, you must have your paperwork ready.

Assuming you've chosen the second kind of license, you'll need to establish your identity, your residence, your right to work in the USA, and your citizenship.  In my case, my driver's license proves who I am to the state.  My social security card proves that I have the right to work here.  My passport shows that I am a citizen, and that the Federal government has acknowledged my identity. And two utility bills show that I still live at the place on my license renewal application.  In my case, my license showed my name as Mario L. Johnson, while my passport showed my name as Mario Luigi Johnson.  So that had to be "Corrected", as well as how my mailing address appears on my license.  Of course, there was the little hiccup that I expected.  Traditional utility bills are for gas, electric, and phone service.  For me, I have cable service (with triple play) and electric service. This anomaly wasted another few minutes while the clerk found out whether she could accept this proof.  Luckily, she accepted it, and all there was left to do was take the eye test and pay for my renewal. And with that, I was out the door two hours after I arrived.

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As I left the place, the rain started coming down in buckets.  Instead of going home and unboxing my Freshly, I went to the local Chinese buffet and overate.  I hadn't eaten or consumed any liquids since I woke up, and I didn't care about calories anymore.  As much as I should have gone home and nuked two of the Freshlys, I wanted something more. 

My next stop was home for the night.  Several people wanted to talk with me, but I was too tired to do so.  I didn't regain consciousness until 9 pm.  So I figured that it was best to write this entry before my evening chat with GFJ....

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