New license drives me crazy

Photo Credit: Michelle Sanders

It’s my birthday! Time for cake! Gifts! A new driver’s license!

I study the list of items I’ll need for my new “enhanced” license. Old license, check. Social Security card, check. Birth certificate . . . Do I even have that? I dig through reams of old papers . . . Found it!

I leave home at 9 a.m. for the midtown DMV office. The line isn’t bad.

This will be quick.


I present my credentials.

“Your Social Security card looks a little ragged.”

“So do I.”

The clerk isn’t amused. “I have to check with a supervisor if this is acceptable.”

Really? When it’s approved, the clerk seems disappointed. She studies my birth certificate, then smirks. “This isn’t your original. It’s a duplicate.”


“So I need proof of your birth.”

“I’m standing here.”

The clerk shoots me the DMV death glare.

“You have to go downtown to Worth Street to get an original.”

“Great. You know which subway to take?”

“Google it . . . Next!”

I ride down to Worth Street, and enter a fresh new hell. Beside me is a man in a wheelchair. He asks the guard whether there’s a shorter line for the disabled.


Nice. I move to the row of computer terminals. Halfway through filling out the form, the instructions turn to Spanish. I call on a clerk.

“Damn, I hate when this happens,” she mumbles. “Hmm, I think that ‘direccion’ means address . . .”

I am given number 1,281. The next number flashes on screen: 823. Seriously?

Two hours and $17.50 later, I have my “original” birth certificate, fresh from the printer.

I trek to the subway again and head back to the DMV. Yes, this certificate is acceptable. Thank the Lord!

Finally, my new photo. What could go wrong? I stand there waiting for the woman to snap the picture. And wait . . .

She moves her hand to the right. I lean accordingly. Then to the left . . .

“What do you want me to do?” I plead.

Stand straight!

“I’m standing straight!”

She finally snaps the shot, which after this grueling adventure, I’m sure will look like a prisoner-of-war photo.

At 3 p.m., I trudge to the payment line. “That will be $128.50.” Whatever.

Just let me out of here!”

Maybe we can outsource these government agencies to Amazon?

 Follow playwright Mike Vogel at @mikewrite7.