Today my weekly trips to the DMV in Conway, South Carolina, came to an end. Please, don’t feel bad for me. Registering my vehicle and obtaining my South Carolina driver’s license proved a bigger ordeal than I originally thought. Showing up to the place when the line stretched long, not having a measly single signature on a piece of paper, and not thinking about carrying my birth certificate everywhere I went resulted in me making four different trips to get my state driving privileges in order.
And when it comes to DMVs, if you have seen one, you have seen them all. I am a nice guy and I would never wish four trips in less than 40 days to the DMV on my own worst enemy.
During today’s lunch hour when I walked out the door completing my encore DMV trip, it should have been a joyous occasion. Unfortunately, I trudged out with my head hung low. While I had gained a brand new, spiffy looking South Carolina license, I had lost my treasured Montana license.
When I presented to the lady my Washington state birth certificate with a Montana driver’s license, she looked at me like I was an alien. “Well that’s a first,” she said in astonishment. For however long she had been working at the DMV she had never seen a Washington birth certificate nor a Montana license. I aced the vision test and paid the fee. She then told me I could go sit down and wait for the camera desk to call me up. She said this while still gripping my Montana license. Seeing my license clutched in her hand tipped me off that things in South Carolina are different and that I wouldn’t be getting my old license back. I still made a pathetic plea in the form of a question: “Um, you can’t just punch a hole in that and give it back to me?”
I know it shouldn’t be that big of a deal but I have a semi-weird obsession with my old driver’s licenses. They tell the story of where you have been and how you have aged. My Montana license told a big part of that story and now it is most likely shredded in a South Carolina DMV waste basket.
Because I am weird and because I plan for worst case scenarios, I did snap a photo of my Montana license before I got called up. I was hoping I would get to delete it when I left the DMV but now it will hold a permanent spot in my iphone’s memory. In case you are wondering, Montana issues the coolest/most durable licenses followed by South Carolina. Washington is the cheapest state with flimsy/uninspired licenses.
A connection to Montana removed but a root in South Carolina planted. Even if I don’t have the license to validate that I lived in the Big Sky state I still have the memories. Man, that sounded corny! Don’t Blink.