Always a Surprise at the DMV

And don’t mistake me – I don’t mean the DVM, the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

Our particular Department of Motor Vehicles is pretty tame compared to most. You’ll rarely find The Angry Lady or That Screaming Baby. And there’s usually no real wait. I walked right in today. Sort of. I still had to “Wait in line AT THE DOOR to be called to the next available window.” (Emphasis theirs, not mine.)

A little back story. I had an out-of-state license, and I was pick-pocketed back in the city. Not the end of the world, but – being as the original was an out-of-state ID, I had to do the whole six-points-of-identification thing to get a New York State replacement. You know – certified copy of you birth certificate, Social Security card, credit card, pay stubs, utility bill in your name, a DNA sample, and fifteen recent home improvement or sportswear catalogues with your home address printed on them. Perhaps I exaggerate. But again, no problem. One must do what one must do. I checked the DMV website, followed the instructions, and put my precious documents together in a folder.

Oh, I had it all totally organized and done up right. Everything checked off. Multiple copies. I don’t quite know why I bothered bringing multiple pay stubs and utility bills, but I’m a firm believer in being over-prepared. I mean, you never know when a band of thugs will come rampaging through downtown Saranac Lake, holding people at gunpoint for a copies of their utility bills.

I am called from the doorway to a window. Proud of my organizational skills, I state that I would like to get a New York State ID, and that “I believe I have all my documents in order.” (I figure they like it when you talk official-like.) The young, rather pleasant DMV employee looks at me as if to say, “Yeah, I bet you have all your documents in order.” Still, she was perfectly pleasant. She asks for my birth certificate and Social Security Card. Check. Okay. Those look good. I hand over the other required items. I hold my breath as she looks at them. She ponders. I sweat. Finally she speaks. I can’t use some of these things. I’m turned away. Why, you ask?

My utility bills, credit card, and health insurance card do not feature my middle initial.

Does it mention anywhere on the application or on the DMV website that my insurance card and utility bills (and/or whatever) have to have my middle initial on them? Nope. Does it even mention that all my various forms of ID have to match exactly? Nope.

To push matter over the border into ridiculous, I’m told that I have two choices – I can get those non-middle-initial items re-issued with my middle initial – or – I can have everything re-issued without my middle initial on it all, and bring that back.

I gotta go now. I have to call the utility company.



Filed under adirondacks

10 responses to “Always a Surprise at the DMV

  1. hideawayhill

    Somehow this story doesn’t surprise me in the least. I don’t know when I’m going to get caught with a different initial on my license from everything else (a mistake from my younger years when I used the initial from my maiden name, which the IRS doesn’t accept), but I imagine it will happen sometime. There is only ONE person in the Pburgh DMV who I trust to help. And middle initial on bills? Hardly!

    Good luck!

  2. Anonymous

    This is why we left New York ,besides the taxes.

  3. I had a feeling this was not going to have a happy ending. 😦
    That totally sucks.
    I’m so sorry.

  4. You write a funny account of a not-so-funny situation. Amazing, isn’t it? Good luck. And, thanks for the warning, when I get home I’ll check my utility bills for a match against my SS card, etc. Might as well be prepared. Struggle on! 🙂

  5. I’ve been told to wait at that door myself.

    And when I moved to PA? It took me two months to get all of my paperwork in order to get a license. At the time I kind of laughed about how the terrorists have it much easier- the fake id people don’t care about the documentation.

  6. themac

    Holy Geesh!!! I’m so very sorry you have to deal with this. I know for sure I’d be in the same boat if I had to do this as I my middle name appears here, shortered first name there…and I have NO bills in my name.

    Thankfully, if you’re nice at that office – you’ll be fine.

    Good luck!

  7. I think you need to call them–or talk to her supervisor. She may have been trying too hard. I think I’d want a second opinion before going to all that trouble. What a lot of nonsense. I’m afraid I would have pulled Assertive Granny out of my bag and gone up the ranks.

  8. Just think, they haven’t even taken your picture yet for your driver’s license! Wait ’til you see that! LOL!

  9. kate

    Kathy P is not kidding. I have been to that same DMV. I was sent to the back of the line (outside the door) more than once to fill out some missing detail on my form. I was not happy. She got the last laugh though. She took that picture that will get laughs for years.

  10. PNelba

    Were you trying to get a NYS enhanced drivers license? Took me 3 tries to get one. It was easier to get a US passport.

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