I knew in May that I needed to renew my drivers license. But I did what I always do, and I put off renewing it because I had plenty of time. In Virginia you can do it online, so there just didn't seem to be any hurry. But on the evening of the 29th I decided the time had come to renew it. It didn't take long to realize I was unable to renew it because my license expired on my birthday and not at the end of the month like I thought it did. That meant that for 19 days I was unknowingly driving around on an expired license. The punishment by the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) for not renewing on time is that you have to go into one of their main offices to renew it and bring with you proof of 'legal presence' which as you may know means that I need to show that I'm a U.S. citizen and legally authorized to be in the United States....Thankfully Carl is organized and gave me my birth certificate and on an impulse gave me our marriage license too.
Many of you may know that any trip to the DMV typically means long lines and endless waiting. I came prepared with magazines, my camera and cell phone and I wondered why the Virginia flag was at half mast...Was that a sign? I was about to find out as my odyssey began with standing in line waiting for a number.
It was mid-morning and with the long line and people waiting I happened to notice there was practically no one at any of the counters. Why was that?
My turn in line to get a number to wait and I told the person at the counter that I was there to renew my expired drivers license. She looked at my license and told me it was expired...Of course she mentioned that I had to be able to show that I was a US citizen. I gave her my birth certificate which was met with some skepticism because it's not notarized. I told her that it was the one given to my Mother; however it still needed a supervisors approval and I was asked to give proof of my married name. Thank-you Carl for thinking that I might need that marriage license. Both were approved and I had my number and was now going to get to wait...again.
Finally my number was called, and I repeated to the DMV employee my reason for being there. She looked at my license and told me it was expired and I needed to show that I was a US citizen. I gave it to her and mentioned that my birth certificate was an original but wasn't notarized but had been okayed by the other clerk and a supervisor and I gave her my marriage license. She told me that she would have to get an approval from a supervisor because my birth certificate wasn't notarized...There was something that I really wanted to say to her, but I thought it best to just let it go.
Finally after several more minutes everything was approved--I am now able to drive legally again!! The punishment and fine, or rather the fee for coming into the DMV and not doing it online was increased by 5 dollars and my license will arrive in about 10 days.
It'll be good for 8 years. I wonder if I'll remember next time to renew early or wait until the last minute?