Thursday, September 30, 2010

No Smiling Allowed

My driver's license expired last week. I don't know why I haven't run right down to the DMV to get it renewed. Oh wait, I do know why ... I'm not psycho.

I told my husband a couple of days ago that I was planning on taking care of the renewal first thing Saturday morning. He reminded me that because of furlough days, the DMV probably wouldn't be open on Saturday. I checked the Internet. He was right.

So then I thought I'd do that appointment thing online. First available appointment: November 2nd. Seriously?

My only other (legal) option, was to go stand in line with all the other happy people. It was recommended to me to get there before the doors open, so I arrived 30 minutes before business hours, and there were already 20 people ahead of me! Another 40 people came after that. CRAZY.

Once the doors opened, I had my number (G-006) and was sitting inside within 5 minutes. (So far, so good.) 2 minutes later, some guy sits right next to me. I'm sorry, but there were like 100 other places for him to sit, and he chooses to sit RIGHT NEXT TO ME. He didn't even leave the one chair buffer. I almost moved over, but didn't want to be rude. (Blogging about it is much more polite.)

Anyway, my number was called within another 15 minutes (Yay!) I went up to Window 14 and did all the necessary stuff (thumb print, vision test, payment.) I was told to go over to the blue screen located across the room to have my photo taken.

This was the best part of the whole deal for me. I've had my last license for like 8 years, and wasn't thrilled with the photo (read: flat hair day) so I was ready to make a change for the better!

I go up to the counter and sign ...

DMV Guy: Okay, stand up against the wall.

Me: Alright.

DMV Guy: Now focus on the machine.

For some reason I looked at him instead. (In my defense, his arms were too small for his body. How could I not look?)

DMV Guy: Don't look at me, look at the machine.

Me: Right, sorry. I stare at the machine (also known as a "camera", hello?) and SMILE.

DMV Guy: Don't smile.

Me: Don't smile?

DMV Guy: It's a mug shot, not a picture anymore.

Me: Are you serious?

DMV Guy (looking very irritated after only being at work for 25 minutes): YES, I'M SERIOUS.

How sad is that?! You can't even smile for a driver's license photo anymore? My girls will never know what it's like to hand over a smiling driver's license to a policeman. I can hear me already ...

"Back when I was 16, we got to smile for our driver's license pictures ..."

It's the end of an era, and I'm NOT smiling about it.

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