Adventures at DMV, Oregon

Recently it was voted here in Oregon that the rules for getting a drivers license should be tougher.  This decision was made as a way to keep illegal residents from getting drivers licenses.  I am not sure how much I agree at all with any of this, but the result has been is that it now takes a herculean effort to even renew a drivers license in Oregon.

Drivers beware.

The first time I went to DMV, they fortunately sent me away fast enough that I didn’t have to wait in their infamously long lines for service.  So even though I spent and hour driving and it was ultimately useless, at least I didn’t have to wait in line to be told that I didn’t have the proper documents to renew my license.

What documents had I brought?  Well as I mentioned in a previous post, I thought I had been very overly cautious, bringing in way more than necessary, because all it took previously was the old license and some pieces of mail from like a utility company.

I brought in:

A passport 3 years expired (had no new one)

My old license

My Social Security card

2 pieces of mail

So that was 2 pieces of picture ID, both government issued, one federal ID card and some address verification.   I was sent away…they needed a marraige license or birth certificate to show how I got from maiden name to married name.  The odd thing is that my old license had my married name, and they accepted that.  I shrugged, I know better than to argue with a bureaucrat that works at a counter and calls numbers to help people.

So I go in again, with every piece of ID that I have in this world.

Everything from before, plus my birth certificate and marriage certificate, mined from the trusty 4 drawer file.

I was told that neither the birth certificate nor the marraige certificate were valid.  See my jaw hitting the floor?  How in the world was I supposed to get my license, which I had held in Oregon for 16 years, renewed?

My birth certificate wasn’t valid because it didn’t have my mother’s maiden name on it.  Um, I don’t think even my daughter’s birth certificate has my maiden name on it, what would be the purpose of that?  I was told my marriage certificate wasn’t valid because it was supposed to be a marriage LICENSE and because the signature was part of the document, meaning, it hadn’t been validated after filling out, rather before.

Jeez, I dunno, it’s was in Pierce County Washington, I don’t know why they do what they do.

So, I am there, I have waited for an hour to have this lady tell me that none of my documents will allow me to renew my license.  Even my old license isn’t sufficient proof of who I am.

She goes and asks all the people employed there, and of course she asks them like this”

“Her documents won’t work because they don’t have blah blah blah, right?”

and they are helping someone else, and so they are probably answering like this:

“Uh, right”

As I am standing there, trying to coax my 3 year old to quit kicking me, I am asking her what I am supposed to do.  Somehow I am supposed to get another birth certificate and a marraige license, since mine only says marraige certificate.

Just then the branch bigwig calls.  The conversation , despite her wording the question in a way that would almost once again guarantee that I cannot renew, was brief.

“Were the birth dates the same?  Was the first and middle name the same?  Then just give the poor lady her renewal.”

Thank God someone had a leptogram of sense there.  I was ready to be shuttled out the door to try and appeal to another government agency to send me documents which they might or might not have.

At the end of the 2 hour debacle, I rewarded the 3 year old with a picnic in the park, and for my part, at 37 weeks pregnant, considered the day a success and decided nothing more should be accomplished.

However, if it is your unlucky turn to get your driver’s license renewed in Oregon, beware.  Bring everything you got to show you is who you is.

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