DMV Anticlimax

Okay, look: You could almost say the Department of Motor Vehicles is what drove me to become a hermit in the desert. It’s not literally true, but the DMV symbolizes everything I find intolerable about life in “civilization.” Sweartagod I have never, left to my own devices, walked into a DMV office and out again with my business successfully done on the first try. I hadn’t brought a title, or my insurance was expired, or the chicken I brought for sacrifice was blemished or of the wrong color, or…something. These days I sometimes preen around like I’m this great freedom outlaw, but here’s Joel’s dark guilty secret: I’m really just a gimp who can’t keep his papers in order.

When I got married, one of the advantages was sudden access to somebody who loved all that shit. Say what you will about my ex-wife, when I lived with her I didn’t have problems like that. My papers and tax payments and all the excreta of modern life were kept so orderly I could order a renewed driver’s license through the mail and get away with it.

When I wasn’t married any more, dear god, then were all my sins remembered. I was no longer welcome in the great state of California within five years.

I’ve lived in the desert sans Government-Issued Photo ID for twelve years. So you can imagine how gladly I regarded a trip to the DMV. But it had to be done. Landlady has concocted an elaborate plan to get me back into legal existence – kicking and whining, mostly – because I’m starting to need an increasing amount of medical care, turn 65 soon, and really need (So help me god if I get one comment about this I’ll track you down wherever you hide and yodel Lovesick Blues outside your window for the rest of your life) to get on the government tit.

Yeah. She had to contend with whining, but I didn’t argue very hard. The alternative involves living with pain and blindness till I stick a rifle in my mouth and blow the back of my head off. Sit up at night with that a while, and we’ll see how inflexible your principles remain.

And that was why I found myself parked outside an DMV office about 50 miles from my home this morning, fighting down hyperventilation. The only thing that even got me here was Landlady’s assistance in acquiring (concocting, really) the last required piece of paperwork attesting to my existence on the earth. And the story of that acquisition is a hair-raising tale which will remain untold, since it didn’t altogether end well. Let’s just say I was brushed by the leathery wings of the Last Revenge of the Ex-Wife.

She basically babysat me through it. We even got our story straight on the way to the town – preparing an explanation, should one be needed, why this younger woman was helping this old gray man do something so simple as acquire a state ID card. And also why the address on that card was nowhere near that town. I was prepared to dodder, should the muse demand it of me.

But in fact there were no substantial roadblocks at all. We were in and successfully out in a record 45 minutes! And soon I will own an expensive little laminated card. My life will be so very enhanced thereby, I’m sure.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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23 Responses to DMV Anticlimax

  1. JayNola says:

    In your previous life you got milked by the system. Might as well get some cheese out of it.

  2. Eric says:

    I’m pretty sure I read and understood what you said correctly, but just to be “sure” did you just get an ID or did you get a full blown drivers license? Inquiring minds want to know.
    Oh and bring on the yodeling “hell I’ll even send you my address” but I believe I have mentioned the .gov tit on at least two occasions. Don’t forget you worked for your money and TPTB stole part of it with a promise to pay it back with interest.
    “You made that” Now collect on it!!!

  3. coloradohermit says:

    Congratulations on surviving the ordeal!

  4. Mark Matis says:

    Glad that went so well. If it hadn’t, I was going to suggest that your next voyage to their fortress be made with Laddie the Yappy in tow as a “service dog”. If he were to be sufficiently annoying, one might be surprised at how quickly paperwork might be completed. And if not, well then you’d at least have the entertainment of annoying the heck out of the whole offiice. Especially if you were wearing ear plugs…

  5. Jean says:

    You spelled great wrong. It’s “grate” when you are writing about California. Glad you made it through the mess.

  6. Mike says:

    I feel for you because I have the same loathing for Service Ontario, our equivalent to the DMV…

    Yesterday I had to visit these folks and form me it’s about as fun as getting a root canal. All I had to do was get a license sticker for my truck. For the life of me I could not find the paperwork that the ministry had sent, but no matter. I had the ownership, the insurance card and had recorded the mileage.

    I got there bright and early and found there were only 5 people in line ahead of me. A half hour later it’s my turn and the first thing the lady asked for is the filled out form the ministry sent, which I don’t have. It goes down hill from there with it ending when I ask for the teller’s ID. I explained that my sticker expires on the weekend and if the police stop me I will be hauling her into court to explain why there isn’t a sticker on my truck.

    Well, next thing I know, she finds a work-around and, after a few mumbles, she is asking how I want to pay for the sticker. After she handed me the sticker I calmly said “Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?” My reward was a nasty scowl.

  7. Bear says:

    “Service Ontario”

    In the animal husbandry sense.

  8. Bill T says:

    45 minuets, I wish. This month was my every other time to renew my DL in person. Even with all my “papers” in order it took me over 2 hours for them to collect my $26.50.

  9. FDD says:

    Welcome to the Government tit. hehehehehehehe

  10. Ruth says:

    Last time my license came up for renewal it noted that I also had to do an eye exam. I was due to drive right on by the “big city” DMV in a couple days while running errands, I figured I’d stop in then.

    Something close to 2hrs later, they’re no where close to calling my number, and the folks behind me are talking about how long THEY’D been there (which was at least an hour longer than me), and I took another look at the eye exam paper and noticed that my Drs office could do it, called the office, they said it was a nurse visit and I could walk in any time. DONE!

    A week later I took my renewal stuff down to my small town DMV, walked in, waited behind one person for about 5 minutes, handed over my paperwork, and 15 minutes after I walked in, I walked out with a renewed license.

    I am NEVER EVER going back to the “big city” DMV again!

  11. Malatrope says:

    You guys aren’t living in the right state (no, I’m not going to say which)! I usually have five vehick-a-mobiles I keep licensed, and whether I’m in to get tags, renew a driver’s license, or get a new title I’m back on the street in 15 minutes with no hassles at all. Service with a smile, and they’ll take cash.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Hi Joel…You and I have stuff in common on these issues. Did the medicare thing with my daughter 2 weeks ago since I can’t hear…the full benefit age for ss is 66 for me probably the same for you.
    The plan for me is to get an r/v and move to a small rural piece of land that I already own…then the ss check ( not very large ) and kinda play it by ear from there. It is difficult when there are medical things slowing a guy down…but trying sure can’t hurt …ya gotta be somewhere anyhow. Hang in there…Patrick

  13. Mike says:

    Bear since the government went to the kinder, more PC name of Service Ontario, I’ve thought of it in the same way a hooker “services” a client minus the kissing. I know, I’m bitter…

  14. Mark Matis says:

    You’ve got that backwards, Mike. Unless that hooker is using a strap-on and turning you into a “catcher”…

  15. Zelda says:

    Mark Matis may have noticed a wonderful opportunity coming your way -Laddie the Intolerant
    Service Dog. What a great idea!!!! Put a harness and leash on him and he becomes a very good impression of a service dog, guiding and protecting you, a poor elderly doddering gimp. People will offer to carry things for you, maybe even buy you lunch or gasoline. No end to the benefits that service dog may bring your way. BTW his shots are up to date, yes??? in case he bites someone while protecting you.

  16. FDD says:

    Zelda, a service dog needs to have a vest saying Service Dog on it. maybe some kind soul can make one for our old friend? this applies in most State, YMMV

  17. Judy says:

    Service animal vest can be ordered from Amazon.

  18. Mark Matis says:

    You betcha! And if they give you any hassle, gimp a bit and tell them you were seriously considering a service giraffe…

  19. Joel says:

    Laddie’s nickname, it turns out, is “booger brain” and there is growing evidence that he earned it. A new incarnation as a useful service dog is probably not in his future.

  20. Zelda says:

    Ummmm, that’s MR. Booger Brain. Useful can have many interpretations…if he can stand there in his service dog harness and leash and yap and growl it’s good. There’s lots of new experiences ahead for both of you. FOMCL BTW at his age you might want to test his eyesight – he could have visual impairment issues that affect his personality.

  21. Mark Matis says:

    Ah, but there’s nothing quite like a “booger brain” wearing a service dog cape to convince people that they want to process you and yours through their line as quickly as practical. And if you bother to look up any of the “service animal” articles on the web, you’ll see what I mean. As I said, “threatening” to come back next time with a “service giraffe” is not necessarily all that incredible. And would be a sobering thought. Although out there in the desert, a “service camel” might be more believable.

    You just gots ta know how to play by THEIR “rules”. And service animals are sacrosanct…

  22. WolfSong says:

    Sorry guys, but I’m going to be that stick in the mud…
    Please, please, please don’t encourage folks to use the “service dog” designation unless the dog actually *is* one.
    I have a couple of friends who’ve had their actual, needed to live a somewhat normal life, service dogs attack by those pretenders who want the same benefits.
    If Laddie becomes an actual service dog, with all the necessary training (which does not include growling at anyone, because, honestly a service dog ain’t got time to do shit like that when fully focused on their person) that’s one thing…

To the stake with the heretic!