Thursday, January 24, 2008


I would like someone to explain why I, quite the most unphotogenic person I know, tend to sit for perfectly lovely driver's license pictures. Wedding day? Eye-bags and pimples. Four hours in the DMV? The very morning dew!

And I'm not even in a good mood when this happens; I am, as I was recently, just through the state-level bureaucracy wringer. It was two tries to make myself exist here in the Far Northern Swamp as a driver; the first time, I got an hour along in the process and was informed that the national Social Security system's computer was down, and that I must come back and try another day.

I slapped down the Baggie containing my passport, the Bridemobile's original registration, a credit card, my marriage license, and a paycheck stub with my current address. Oh, and my original Social Security card, issued five seconds after I was born.

The clerk stared at all these-- everything the DMV had told me to haul with me and which I had practically taped to my underwear, so fearful was I of purse theft.

"We can't verify your identity," she said.

I politely requested the return of my Florida license, surrendered at the beginning of the entire delightful operation, so that I could drive home and dream serenely of doing it all again tomorrow. This was refused, for the following reason: "Can't."

The clerk who took my paperwork, it seemed, the very one who told me that I was to return another time, had locked my license into her workstation. And left for lunch. In her car.

It took a stern husband intervention, two supervisors, and a set of separately locked-up keys to retrieve everything with which I'd originally entered the building. This made my foundation was all cakey, and so I say, thank you, Commonwealth of Virginia. You just wanted some fresh makeup for liquor store cashiers to behold.

But on the second take, I was already familiar with the background color, so I could make a perfect shirt match for a Total Disembodied Head effect. That's right, Virginia: I'm operating a motor vehicle without glasses, restrictions, or arms.

(Also note that under "class," the license correctly notes that I have, quote, "NONE. ")

officially a citizen of the State of Ginger at:


Starnarcosis said...

This was so difficult because, you know, you fall blatantly into that well known terrorist profile subclass, "Nordic Blonde". If you had freckles they'd have slammed you into a wall and taken you off to Gitmo.

MissDirected said...

No arms AND no class? This post made me laugh out loud at my desk. A perfect beginning to what promises to be a very long Friday.

Toni said...

My last DL photo was wonderful and it was terribly hard to sit for a new one when it was time to renew.

Then again, my very first DL photo included my high school perm and braces, so maybe the second (and awesome) photo was making up for that.

Chelsea said...

My photo is amazing, only because I was overjoyed at the fact that they were finally (after three trips to the SSA, three trips to the DMV, a court hearing, and a trip to the hall of records) letting me take my husband's last name. I feel your glory!

And, I noticed you are an organ donor. I knew I liked you!

Kell Belle said...

My DL says I'm 5'5" and blonde. They refuse to change it. The last time the lady told me it really doesn't matter. Good thing they never compare the vitals with the pict, it would be caught as a fake for sure.

It still amazes me that although each state has its own driving rules the DMV hell is so universal.

I'd move in a minute if a state had an efficently run or even helpful and curtious DMV.

Carrie said...

Ah yes, that elusive dream--the good driver's license picture. When I went to get a new license at the age of 21, I managed to achieve that rare feat. I clung to that license for nine years, in its ratty, laminated, bar-codes-are-for-sissies glory. Upon turning 30, I was forced to surrender it, only to have it replaced by a positively dreadful picture. On the plus side, my license reflects my current address for the first time in 4 years...

Anonymous said...

It's nice to know that I'm not the only going about Va. with the inexplicable "Sunburn" effect.

Carrie Beth said...

So by your own standards of hair volume = value of immediate environment, the DMV was ranked...pretty much as low as it goes?
And to kell belle - the ladies at the Idaho DMV were so nice I wanted to take them home with me and bake them brownies.

Heather said...

MB -

Next time you have to go the DMV here in the Communist Commonwealth, let me know first and I'll show you the bestest, easiest DMV to patronize. They even let me see my picture before the print it! And they are waaay nicer than most. (It's in Chantilly, but hidden)

Anonymous said...

I just realized, after looking closely at your license, that I am decades older than you--two to be exact. Kill me now. Is there no one out there older than me anymore?
Enough whining. Cute DL pic! Hilarious post.

willow3x3 said...

Ha! We are of the same ilk. I photograph really poorly. So bad, in fact, that I don't think I've let myself be photographed for about 2 years. ...but my driver's license photos? Always perfect. It is so good that my boyfriend of 3 years (who has not taken my picture once) asked me to scan my driver's license pic for him. (We don't even have a "couple" shot. It is that bad.)

My conclusion is that the camera with crappy lighting (as Twiggy from ANTM would say) loves us.

Adrian said...

I guess I shouldn't read your blog first thing in the morning. I was looking at the two driver's licenses, wondering what the vertical wording was on them. We don't have anything like that on our Utah licenses. Then when I finally deciphered the tiny print, I thought "How on earth did she get her blog name to show up repeatedly on her driver's license?". Duh... Time for coffee, I think.

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