Today my wife makes her 3rd trip to the DMV in 6 weeks. She has a relatively simple request – magically transferring her Virginia driver’s license to a Pennsylvania one. Having an in-state driver’s license is a requirement of the state of Pennsylvania. Apparently living here is in such high demand that they try to make the process as difficult as possible.
During our first trip to the DMV we loaded up our four kids and entered the building with all 17 pieces of information that they require. We took a number and waited in line. Then my wife saw the sign:
“No cash, debit or credit cards. Checks or bank drafts only.”
This is almost as ridiculous as the founder of the Fireside Writer’s Conference (me) expecting everyone to pay with checks. Who even has checks anymore? And why wouldn’t a government agency accept the VERY CURRENCY THAT THEY ENDORSE FOR ALL OTHER TRANSACTIONS?!?! It’s not like we walked in expecting to pay with rubles.
Well, we didn’t have our checkbook along, so out the door we went, pushing strollers and shouting directions to get our small flock back across the street and loaded up into our minivan.
During trip number two Maile made sure she had the checkbook. She was given a number (something around #218 – they were helping #14 at that point). Centuries later she made it to the desk. Victory was just within her grasp.
“Okay,” the woman said, “all I need now is your proof of identity, social security card and proof of residency.”
Perhaps this was where Maile went wrong – she got cocky. She pounded the requisite pieces of paper on to the desk, did her favorite touchdown dance, then spiked her passport on to the floor as if to say, “in your face – you’re silly restrictions and lack of cash acceptance can not stop me from driving legally in PA any longer” (okay, not really, she pretty much just placed all the documents on the counter and held her breath).
“And your second proof of residency?” the woman asked with a diabolical look in her eye.
Yes, hidden 14 levels deep on the PA DMV website, in small print, written in Olde Englysh, is the fact that (2) proofs of residency are required. You know what else is messed up? Gun permits count as proof of residency, but bank statements are no good.
It has taken us weeks to gather the courage to try again. Part of me can’t wait to see why Maile won’t get her license today. But we scoured the website. Last night we did a mock run, with me as the diabolical behind-the-counter lady. I couldn’t find a reason not to give her a PA driver’s license.
Say a prayer for us today around 10:30am, if you think about it.