The VIEW from here

The case of the damaged driver’s license

Gary Gould — Managing Editor

Gary Gould — Managing Editor

I recently had to visit the Michigan Secretary of State to get a change of address. I know, it seems pretty routine but for me it was meaningful in many way — especially since I was moving back to my hometown of Davison.

I walked into the SOS, drew a number from the ticker tape machine and soon found myself at the counter. I’d have to say the woman who waited on me was probably the most patient and understanding civil servant I have ever met — because as usual I presented a host of problems for her to clear up.

“Can I help you?” she asked

“I need a change of address,” I told her, brimming over with pride in myself that I’d actually gone to change my address the same week my move was official.

“Let me see your driver’s license,” she said with a smile.

“Of course!” I said, reaching into my pocket and pulling out the required piece of identification.

Ok, I’ll stop here and explain something.

A few years ago I decided I wanted to be liberated from certain expectations in life. The first thing I did was ditch the wristwatch. Then it was the oppressive nature of a wallet which forced me to keep all my various forms of identification and money in a nice neat leather billfold.

So since then I have used my pockets to tote around my money, driver’s license and other necessary cards.

Let me just say this — four years of being kept in a pocket, ran at least twice through the washing machine, had not been kind to my driver’s license. The crumpled, broken, nearly falling apart card came limply out of my pocket and fell with a plop on the counter in front of my very patient SOS employee. She picked up the worn card by the corner, held it up before me as it swayed back and forth, and stared a moment before asking, “Really?”

I nodded with a shrug, “Yeah, really.”

“Really?” she asked again, apparently not certain I was serious about presenting this as my official form of identification.

“Um … it went through the wash a few times,” I offered as an explanation.

“Didn’t anyone tell you they aren’t waterproof?” she asked.

“Nope,” I said.

She determined quickly I would require more than a sticker affixed to the back of the card to get me by

(although I think that would have helped hold it together longer). I was told it was time to put that particular license out to pasture.

So I needed a new card. I filled out the necessary paperwork, showed the documentation and then it was time to provide my new address.

“Wait,” I said. “It’s … well maybe its …”

The clerk said nothing more. She just gave me “the look.”

Quickly I broke out my phone and made a call to confirm where I lived.

Address provided, I finished the paperwork and had my photo taken. My new address now official, I went on about my business, but decided I should probably think about carrying a wallet once again — maybe.

I’m still not in that much of a hurry to conform to what is expected of me, I’m looking for those loopholes. Maybe a money clip that holds an ID? Something to think about.

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