Tuesday, January 30, 2007

FUBAR at the DMV

If you are relocating, please remember to keep identifying documents with you. Keep driver licenses or ID cards up to date. Otherwise, you can get into a Catch-22 really quickly. If your out-of-state license is expired, guess what? You have to take a road test, too. Road test takers must supply the vehicle. You cannot rent a vehicle without a valid drivers license. Beginning to get the picture?

I made two mistakes:

  1. Let my origin state driver license expire; I could have renewed it online!
  2. Left my social security card in my storage unit

To get a Texas drivers license, relocators must:

  1. Produce a valid out-of-state license
  2. Produce a Social Security Card
  3. Pass a written exam

Now, I could have taken a bus to my storage unit, dig through the pods, hoping to find my file box, and hope to find the social security card. Instead, I chose to walk three blocks to the social security administration and apply for a replacement card. That's how I found myself among the teeming masses, in a room with 100 seated persons plus standers, wherein cell phone calls are jammed. I'm number A219, in a queue that is now serving A155 and B567. It's near two pm.

There are yet more layers to this onion. If I apply for a Texas license, and they discover my Washington-registered vehicle, I will pay a fine of $2,000. I don't have a permanent address to put on my new driver license. I don't have a permanent Texas address for the government to send me any of these documents. The search for new real estate is slowed by my lack of a local vehicle, and lack of employment. The interview process that I am undergoing for new employment is hindered by my lack of transportation. I don't have a social security card with which to qualify for new employment -- on me. Should my prospective employer call me on my cell phone -- the one local root I have successfully planted -- they won't reach me. The federal government has jammed calls.

At least the feds are now providing entertainment. A disney movie starring live-action kitties and doggies has fired up on the wall TV. That's more than most federal detainees get.

Number A166 to window 23, please...


At Wednesday, January 31, 2007 8:40:00 AM, Anonymous Steve said...

Yes, Monte, the harsh realities of relocating. I have a lot of respect for you for taking the risk of moving, and to place such a long way from home. I think you'll find the culture of the southwest different (and especially TX's version) from anything you have experienced. My best advice to you is to try to stay focused and not be overwhelmed by the stimuli of the new environment. But, of course, take that in as well and tell us what you think. When you get around to it, visit The Continental Club- that's a place I've always been interested in- http://www.continentalclub.com/Austin.html And more advice- use the culture to keep a positive attitude and for motivation to move forward in the job market.


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