renewing my TDL, or the fifth circle

Yesterday I completed a rite of citizenry that I haven’t had to face in 12 years: renewal of my Texas driver license. My current license features a photo of me at 30. Not exactly accurate. Nor was my expectation regarding completion of this errand. I expected it would take, at most, an hour and a half. I was 50% correct – it actually took three hours. My phone couldn’t get a signal once I was inside (purgatory doesn’t have wifi), and I didn’t bring a book, so I wrote notes about the experience on my phone. Here ya go:

  • I’m wearing a tee shirt with writing on it – hope they don’t try to turn me away – if they do, I’ll flip that bitch inside out
  • why am I surprised that the two teenagers behind me are actually kind of smart and funny? is my faith in today’s youth really that lacking?
  • do rich people have to stand in this long ass line? I’m not seeing anyone who looks higher up the money chain than lower/middle middle class
  • there’s a guy sitting in his car right by where we’re all standing – it’s idling, and in addition to being able to enjoy the exhaust fumes, we’re also being treated to shitty ’80s dance music turned up too loud – he thinks he’s jamming – he is mistaken
  • almost to the door! only took 40 minutes…
  • four old people pushing walker/seat combos in front of them just cut to the front of the line – one of the women said “you’ll be old one day too” – I hope so, and I hope that I don’t have to cut in line at the DMV wearing orthopedic shoes and pushing a stroller for adults
  • fuck – inside now, and it looks like a refugee camp – there are easily 200 people crammed into this tiny room – hope license renewal goes quickly and these people are waiting to take a test or something
  • near the front of the line – at the one hour point now – the lone clerk just asked dude for his social security card – I thought all I needed to bring was my license
  • they took my thumbprint last time I did this – seems like my thumb should be an acceptable form of ID – if not, maybe middle finger will work?
  • whew – made it through checking in with no second ID required – now I wait
  • no longer worried about my shirt with writing on it – dude in here is wearing a tee shirt that features Brittny Spears (I think?) with no top on, holding two teddy bears over her tits – classy
  • indecipherable number system – I’m number 44 and they are currently serving people in the 900s and 600s – they do this to keep you confused – also keeps you from leaving this dank shithole with no wifi to sit out in the sunshine because you can’t tell where they are in the line up
  • holy cow – deaf girl sitting in row behind me just yelled at an old man to move over because she can’t see the board that tells you what number they’re serving – he’s confused and not sure what to do – she’s yelling (because she’s deaf) and he’s got no place to go – exchanging glances with surrounding people – we have reached silent pact to jump in if this gets any more intense
  • have made friends with tiny little old man with a strong accent whose number is 981 – we’re both confused but for different reasons

All told, I was in and out in three hours. When the chick took my photo, she said, “I’m going to take your picture. You can smile or not.” Yeah lady, I know I can smile or not. Texas hasn’t started trying to regulate my facial muscles. Yet.

3 Replies to “renewing my TDL, or the fifth circle”

  1. Thanks for the trenchant observations. I left my wallet on the Super Shuttle from IAH Sunday night. The *only* thing I was worried about (not the cash, not the credit cards) was having to stand in line to get another DL. Just did it last year, and that’s enough aggravation for, oh, 11 more years. Luckily, the van driver found and returned it three days later. (And luckily, I’m a procrastinator!)

  2. Yeah, the week of spring break might not have been the best choice to renew your license..

    1. Can’t say there were a lot of school-aged people there, though there were a few. From what I’m hearing, my 3-hour wait may not have been that bad. Relatively speaking.

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