Friday, March 7, 2008

A Day at the DMV

Despite the fact that I was reminded to renew my driver's license twenty times while I was in Texas, I still procrastinated, put it off, forgot about it. My friends reminded me yet again the other day. Still, I didn't take care of it until today. Now I'm not sure how the DMV works in other states or countries, but I'll give you a short run-down of how it works here in Illinois.

I enter the Department of Motor Vehicles and walk up to the front desk where a grumpy person who hates his life glances up at me and says, "Why are you bothering me?" fine upstanding citizen greets me.
"Hi! I need to get my license renewed," I happily tell the gentleman.
Without a word or any semblance of human expression, he hands me a paper with a number on it and points to his right.
"Thank you!" I say as head in the direction he's pointing.

I arrive in a waiting area of sorts and take a seat. There are twenty happy state employees just waiting on pins and needles to help me. So naturally, I sat there for fifteen minutes until one of them decided to do some work, and called my number. I approached a woman who was much too busy talking to her coworker to bother looking up at me.

"You should go to this bar with me. They play country music there. Oooo! We could call you Lurlene! I never give out my real name when I meet people at a bar. If a guy asks me my name, I tell him Maria and hope that my friends don't come by and call me Emily in front of him. I think we should go to the country bar and we'll call you Lurlene. Isn't that hilarious?"
"Hee hee hee! I never use my real name either! And if someone asks me for my phone number, I always say 588-2300. (You may only get this if you live in Chicagoland, but it's the number for a carpet company and for like 500 years, they've sang that stupid phone number on their commercials. Everyone has that number etched in their brains.)
"Hee hee hee. That's funny Lurlene!

I mentally thank God that I'm married (even if it's to a man who makes Kool-Aid fish and paints the insides of closets) because I cannot imagine being on the single scene with folks like these. Seeing that they have no intention of ending their exchange of dating tips any time soon, I cleared my throat and asked, "Excuse me. Am I in the right place?"

Maria, Emily, Lurlene's friend, never looked up at me, but stuck out her hand in my general direction. Does she want money? A handshake? Maybe she's just putting some sort of Vulcan mind meld on me? (I've never seen Star Trek and have no idea what I'm talking about, so if you are one of those freaks people who are obsessed with all things Trekky, please don't feel the need to write and correct my terminology because I actually don't care. All I'm saying is that customer service is NOT their number one priority.)

Anyway, I plopped my old license in Lurlene's friend's outstretched hand. She looked at it, typed on her computer, and asked, "Is your address the same?"

"Yep."

"Is your height and weight the same?"

This is the part where I snorted a little. I replied sarcastically, "Yeah, I'm still 125 pounds." I laughed hysterically thinking that was pretty darn funny as it's quite clear that I haven't seen 125 since Jimmy Carter was in office. Apparently Lurlene's friend wasn't amused as she looked at me deadpan, and said, "So it's 125?"

"Umm no. It's ummm, well, it's kinda, umm," I stammered, not really wanting to tell her the truth.

She rolled her eyes, as if to say, "Look lady, it doesn't matter what your driver's license says, you're a cow and no number you give me is going to change that. Now hurry up because I have bar hopping plans to make."

I decided that lying was the best policy and told her to put 150. Ha! I only wish I was 150.

She pushed a paper at me and, yawning with boredom, told me to sign it and then take my old license to the cashier in yet another line.

I stood in the cashier's line and encountered yet another friendly, smiling face. I'm not positive, but I think she said, "That'll be $10 and you suck for taking up my time." I paid her and moved on to line number four.

This is where I had the vision test. I'm pretty sure I could be legally blind and still pass. "Look into the machine. Do you see any letters?"

"Yes. G, B, T..."

He cut me off, "You don't need to tell me what they are. Do you see flashing lights on the right, the left, or both sides?"

"The right."

"Good enough! Go over there to the update counter now."

OK then. I was able to bypass the written test line and the behind-the-wheel test line this time. I walked over to the update counter and stood in line there. Finally I was greeted by yet another fun, friendly, happy-to-be-alive DMV employee. I handed her my old license and paperwork. She directed me to take a seat in another waiting area. I waited there for my name to be called so I could get my picture taken.

The woman who called my name and took my picture actually smiled at me. I couldn't figure out how she ever managed to get a job there. I stood against the backdrop and smiled. After she took the picture (or so I thought), I relaxed my stance and made a goofy face at Savannah who was waiting for me. That's when she clicked the camera. She looked at the picture and said something along the lines of, "That's a terrible picture! You look like a serial killer. Stand back over there."

Now, I should have been ecstatic that she noticed it was a bad picture and let me have a "do-over", right? I mean, I'd hate to be caught speeding some day and have the police officer arrest me just because I look like a psychopath in my driver's license photo. But (and this is the really pathetic part) I thought to myself, "Oh bummer. If she made me keep the awful photo, that would make a pretty good blog post!" I know, I know. I warned you it was pathetic.

So I went to another waiting area until my new license was ready. It actually didn't turn out too badly. Well, except for the part where Savannah brought to my attention that I was only wearing one big, gold hoop earring and I had my sunglasses pushed up in my hair like a headband. I'm such a dork. But still, I was only at the DMV for 4 1/2 hours and I only had Savannah with me, and IL has pretty new licenses with red on them! So all in all it was good.

172 comments:

roseys madhouse said...

That is a great picture you ahouls be proud I have some dreadful ones. I cant belioeve it is only $10?
Ours are about $33 from memory and thats only for 3 years

Jen said...

Is your secretary of state a big deal? Cause here in Texas I don't think we care enough to put his name on our licenses... :)

kimikki said...

At least your picture doesn't look like a mug shot or a wanted poster. You get them right away? We have to sign our life away, pay the piper, and then wait two or three weeks to get the plastic thing. Until then, we have a yellow piece of paper that says, yes, we did actually pay to be able to drive in this state. Our license did not come from the back of a Cheerios box, as many may think.

Anonymous said...

Thats such a good picture!!!

I'm in Canada, and I could never survive 4.5 hours at the DMV. Here we just take in a form, they snap a picture and we're on our way in 20 min or less, or at least thats been my experience. You have a temp liscence for a couple weeks and get your new one in the mail. Downside is that it costs $75 in Ontario, but at least we dont have our weight on ours- I'd rather walk then do that!!!

Mamallama said...

Cute license! Happy Birthday :)

Rebekah D. said...

Not to rub it in, but reading this post makes me SO happy I live in small town Alabama, where people are generally nice to you, even if they say, "Bless her heart, she's such a b***h," after you leave! I had to take my two toddlers to get my hubby's car tag renewed today, and we got the same sweet lady who renewed my tag last week, along with the license commissioner, who's our former preacher and a genuinely nice guy. The lady gave the kids suckers both times, said they were cute even when they were running around, and even looked up my DH's driver's license number when she realized I hadn't brought it with me. And we didn't have to wait in line at all. And one of the workers held the door open for me on the way in, even though she had a bouquet of roses in one hand and her purse in the other. So if you ever get tired of snow and rudeness, come visit down South, where we'll still smile at you even if we don't have all our teeth! ;-)

nutralady2001 said...

Eek you have to put height, weight and eye colour on your license??

Here in South Australia, I get the renewal, fill it in,go to the Post Office get to the counter go into a room and have my photo taken, get handed a piece of paper saying I can drive til my license comes in the mail...every 10 years, no eye colour no height or weight no eye check til you get to 70

At least that's what happened last time, I'll find out again in 2012

BTW great photo I always look hung over in mine (and I don't drink)

Laura said...

Dawn, what is a class 'D'. I'm for Canada and our license classes are numbers 6-1. 5 being a regular vehicle driver and 1 being a semi-truck with air-breaks driver. it's not a bad photo. Mines much funnier!

Jennifer Foster said...

Wow...that's one of the nicest DMV photos I've seen! You look great!
~funjenny

Jan Scholl said...

I am not from Chicagoland but I know about Empire Carpet. Here in Michigan we have similar commercials. I also still remember the phone number for dedications on Saturday night radio from Disney world.

I like your photo-wanna trade? My contact lens got stuck to my left eyelid (it was so dry in the place) and you can see my angst in my photo.

California Grandma said...

Apparently DMV employees are the same all over the US of A. You described the ones in California to a "T." There must be a DMV Employee factory somewhere that churns these people out. Everytime I have to go to the DMV I almost forget how to smile - it's a sad place....

Kalynne Pudner said...

Your DMV is way cooler than mine.

The Beastie license episode (http://phdwithninekids.blogspot.com/2008/02/tootin-time-at-dmv.html)
was harrowing enough...but when Trooper-Racer did it last year, the even-happier-to-be-alive state employee REFUSED TO GET IN THE CAR BECAUSE IT WAS DIRTY. No lie! She told us to go vacuum it out and then come back and take a new number...this after a five-hour do-nothing wait. I had to pitch a hysterical threaten-to-call-the-Governor fit for the sergeant to assign a different, less persnickety examiner. (My kids had lots of friends in the waiting area when this happened; apparently, I'm still famous at the high school.)

And I get to do it again, between learner's permits and licenses, for each of the next seven years.

(By the way, we had a Lurleen run for lieutenant governor down here. No lie.)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

The picture lady was probably new.

You don't have to live in Chicago to know that phone number; the company is everywhere now. My husband works for them!

Very nice photo--totally non-serial-killerish!

Donna said...

The Secretary of State in Michigan is pretty much like that, only you have to stand in line for 20 minutes to get the chance to justify your being to a person who will decide if you are worthy of getting a number or not. Only once the bestow a number upon you are you allowed to sit in the waiting area.


I could be wrong about this, but I swear my sister told me that when she lived in Georgia she renewed her drivers license in a vending machine at the grocery store.

You picture looks gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

I love your picture-you are so pretty! You look like the kind of sweet, gal-next-door that super stressed moms like me wish they actually had next door to help us laugh and get thru the day...instead, I get the joy of living next door to a gal who I just learned does not wear underwear, after her son came up and pounded on my car as I was pulling out of the parking lot...she ran over to get her son and her jeans literally slid off her butt revealing way more pasty white skin than I want to see...doesn't she know I see enough pasty white flab when I look in the mirror? I don't want to see it everywhere I turn! lol

Anyway, I love your blog. I hope I get to keep reading about your adventures (and misadventures) for a long time. Forget Calgon, Zoloft, wine coolers and all that other crap...give me a funny mommy blog any day and it instantly makes everything so much better. :)

Beth

Anonymous said...

Dawn,

OMG how funny. I also went to the DMV today:0) The oh so friendly staff must float between all DMV offices because I pretty much had the same experience here in California. We have the same birthday-except I am 2 years older which means I will be turning 40 on Monday Ahhhh!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You are so lucky you got to skip the test. I HAD to take it (just another lovely perk here in California) Let me tell you, I was sweating bullets when the lady in front of me failed with 12 out of 36 wrong. Fortunately I had read the booklet and was able to pass. I love your blog. Your a hoot... keep up the great work:0)

Lisa McKenzie

Rick said...

And they say that they haven't invented human cloning yet. I tell you every DMV employee is either a clone of each other, or has been birthed from the very same womb.

Nice pic. Looks like a 150 pounder to me.

http://organizeddoodles.blogspot.com/

Becky said...

Honestly, that's a great photo. I can't SEE your sunglasses or earrings. So no problem there. I'm amazed at how unorganized your DMV is. In my state they outsourced all things DMV to a private company and wow are they efficient. But it's like trying to join the FBI trying to get your license. I had to bring my old license, passport, utility bill, marriage license and library card (or something like that) and they won't even let you in the room until the guy at the front table checks your IDs and makes sure your renewal form (which they send ahead of time in the mail) is filled out right. A second person enters your data into a computer and re-checks your IDs. Then you go pay. Then someone takes your picture. No eye test. Oh, and they don't put your weight on the license anymore in this state. I guess too many people lied and it made the number irrelevant. When I went, it only took about 30 minutes...which sorta pissed me off since it was almost a 30 minute drive to GET there. So, an hour of driving and they didn't have the decency to make me wait so I could read the book I brought. ;-)

Heather said...

Wow - what a rubbish experience. (I'm guessing being there for four and a half hours was a SLIGHT exaggeration?)

Here in Britain the driving license used to be a bit of paper you had from age 17 to 80. Now it's a photo card and has to be renewed more often, but it's all done by post rather than creepy DMV office!

Brandi said...

Happy birthday!

Thought I'd "say" it now so I wouldn't forget.

melech said...

Well Dawn..Either you are a real beauty..OR Motor Vehicles took the first ever really nice picture of a customer. (either way..you look GREAT!)

JoanK said...

Dawn - thanks for the giggles - glad to know we don't have the only oxymorons here in Canada!

I love the weight on your "changed to protect the innocent" licence.

Anonymous said...

Dawn,

Isn't it nice to know that there is some consistency in this world? My DMV experiences were the same decades ago, except I've never had the guts to take a child with me. You are a brave, brave woman! At least you won't have to do this again for another 4 years. Oh, by the way, Happy Birthday!

God Bless,

stlmom

Hoffman Family said...

What are you doing to celebrate your birthday? Don't forget Daylight Savings is this weekend too.

Corey said...

You can't fool me, I see where you wrote in 100 lbs. Seriously though, were there really that many lines? The DMV in Texas in my county only has one line. Hand the lady the old license and insurance, step back take picture, step forward put head in machine, can you see numbers, read line for with right eye, then with left eye (memorized from the right eye), fingerprint, sign paper, done. AND we don't have our weight on the license, it is on file though. I think the longest I've spent at the DMV is 30 minutes. You have to get there early when they've just had their coffee.

When I was a cashier I used to remind people about the license expiring, is it only Texas that does that?

Anonymous said...

WOW 4.5 hours is ALOT of time there I went to renew my license in January (I live in TEXAS) and just walked in got a paper made all changes to it got in line handed them my paper, and my old license. They then cut the top of your license off, take a new picture take your money, have u sign a paper copy of your new license and inform you that it will be in in approximately 3-4 weeks. All of this took me 20 minutes with both of my kids. I'ld have probably slapped one of those (very eager) people if I was in there that long. lol have a great one.----sasha

Sue said...

OMG Dawn! My 9 yr old and I are cracking up reading your post. I think they raise DMV people from birth. The picture part was the funniest! Can you imagine making a funny face at your kid (or the DMV people) and not having a do-over? LOL! Looks like it turned out great!

Do you have birthday plans this weekend? You know other than laundry, cooking, cleaning toilets before your kids swim in them and painting closets?

Julie said...

I think your picture is pretty good!! My best picture ever was the year I turned 27 - I always got compliments on the picture. When I renewed last year, do you think they'd let me keep that picture? OH NO, now I have a picture that shows what I REALLY look like (no make-up, sweatshirt, and bad hair). Great.
Love how you changed your weight to 100....hey, a girl can dream, can't she?

Anonymous said...

What do you know! I thought Ohio must be the only state with such wonderful, friendly, helpful DMV workers!

Trista said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Dawn!

Kellee said...

Wow, you ended up with a GOOD picture! Was it really only $10? Here in MA we have to give up our first born child in exchange for our licenses...seriously, I think it's around $45 or so to renew for 5 years. One good thing about living here though, no weight on your license...guess all that extra money has to make you feel good about something.

Anonymous said...

Dawn, I have to admit I take good license pictures, but yours is gorgeous!!! And I agree, they are crabby at the DMV. I hope the kids are feeling better!! Keep us laughing!!

Becky said...

four and a half hours? are you kidding me? here in sc you can be in and out in 15 minutes.

Life with Spirit said...

Wow, one of the funniest posts in a long time. Which is a hard statement to make because you always bring me a smile or chuckle. This one had me giggling the entire time. That picture is way to good btw.

Do you think they promote BMV people based on their lack of customer service? I bet they are the inspiration for those computer personalities on the AT&T type customer service lines!

Stella said...

Your DMV sounds like Disney World compared to NJ. You need 4000 points in order to prove you are who you really are and none of those points can include the license you're renewing, you know the one they issued with your picture on it and your name on it. And the people who are gainfully employed there are the most unhappy individuals I have ever encountered in my life and apparently they are trained in the art of working BACKWARDS because they take 4 years to get anything done and inevitably it isn't done correctly.
Wow....I never really realized the amount of hostility I harbored towards the DMV. Thank you for this release.....

Dawn said...

You shhould live in Maryland. We get a cute little blue crab on our license! BTW- we have Empire commercials here too. 588-2300-Empire Today!

Polli said...

4 and a half hours??? OMG!!!
That pic is really good tho. My husband looks like a serial killer on his Vermont driving license, (my English license doesnt have a pic on cos I havent updated it yet lol). I am NOT looking forward to DMV days when we move back to VT lol
Polli (UK mum of 2 boys)

Anonymous said...

That's a GREAT DL photo. In all of my official documents, passport, military ID card, and driver's license - I swear I look like a half dead, anorexic man dressed like a woman dressed like a man that's trying to dress like a woman.... LOL

brent said...

you're a very attractive lady and take a nice photo! thank you very much for being a organ donor. Heaven know we need them here. In PA once you get your license all you do is pay and get you picture taken every 4 years,no tests of any kind. You can be blind and 110still get your license.

Anonymous said...

I think "crabby" must be in the job description for anyone who works for the DMV in any state. They're just as bad here in FL, except they also think they're doctors or lawyers; you need to make an appointment to renew your license. Not that having an appointment makes the process go any faster - I think it just makes the DMV staff feel like they have "professional" standing instead of the equivalent of assembly line jobs. When I changed my out of state license to FL, I had to endure rude comments about my native state, and was rushed through the stations, the DMV people never even looked up. I was given all of 3 seconds to read one line in that eye test thingy - hardly enough time for the ol' eyes to adjust. Without telling me that I'd failed the eye test, the examiner put a restriction on my license (my distance vision is fine)., and they didn't ask me to confirm all information was correct before printing the license. Getting the restriction removed is impossible. There are lots of drivers over the age of 80 here (imagine that, we are "God's waiting room," after all), and NONE of them seem to wear glasses when they're driving - wonder how they passed the eye test? Thanks for letting me vent.

The Olsson Family, Sweden said...

Oh my goodness, that sure took up a good chunk of your day! Well, on the other hand, the dmw does put a lot of people to "work". I Sweden we get a note when our licence is about to expire, we fill in birthdate, name and then sign it, go to take our picture at either one of those machines that are everywhere on trainstations or malls (or go to a photographer), send it in and get the new license to pick up at the post office a few days later. Forgive me if I like our way better... Nice alteration on the weight btw... Photoshop? :D
Anyway, congratulations on your new driver's licence and on the great praise of Savannah the other day!

Ann in TN said...

I think that's a pretty good drivers license picture. I despise my picture. Thank goodness the state of Tennessee doesn't require weight on drivers licenses anymore.

You go through a lot more than I do, to get my DL renewed. Actually, I could renew by mail, but I keep going to the DMV in hopes of getting a better picture. I don't know why I keep trying. Pfftttt!!!!

Brenda said...

That is a GREAT photo. And hasn't anyone explained to you that when it says "weight" it means "GOAL weight"? They just did not have room for the word goal in that spot.

Michelle said...

I have not lived in Chicago since I was 11... but I still know the Empire phone number... have you ever noticed you can't just say the number... you have to sing it.

Anonymous said...

800-588-2300 Empiiiiiiiiire!

Yea, I'm from South Jersey and we have that really awful commercial here, too. With the really silly looking old man that has a lisp. Could they not have found a better spokesperson?

Love your blog- you are hilarious :)

Erin said...

I waited till the last minute to get my license renewed as well. I went on my birthday last week to the DMV in Midlothian. It was a little out of the way since I live in the city, but it was the best DMV experience I've ever had! (Well, expect for the guy who kept trying to cheat off me on the written test.) Everyone was so nice, and I was out of there in 45 minutes. I know you're in the north suburbs, but it might be worth the drive to have a happy DMV experience next time.

Happy Birthday!

Sondie said...

That's hilarious! Here in PA, at least at our local DMV place, we are able to choose our picture. LOL! That is when they aren't that busy. We don't have to retake a vision test. I don't think I've EVER updated my weight. It doesn't have your weight listed on the license. Wanna move here?

Mom of Army Brats. said...

588-2300 EMIPIRE!! same song in michigan :) and here in alabama..

Liz said...

First! They play that awful Empire Flooring commercial here in MD too.

Kristin said...

This is my DMV/Secretary of State Horror Story that happened 2 weeks ago... hope it makes you think your state is better than mine... I'm in Michigan btw...

So I took today off, I called in sick, because I had to renew my license and license plate tabs, update my address, and add corrective lenses to my restrictions... well it costs like $120 to get it all done. I bring my wallet but no cash.. didn't think I need it I can pay with my Visa or MC... nope they only take Discover! Right because everyone has one of those! Sigh. So I go and use one of their expensive ATMS and get the cash. Get in line, get called to the lady, and take my eye test... she looks in the computer and say to me... you're license is suspended.

EXCUSE ME?

(Lady) Yeah, it's been suspended since Nov, 11, 2005.

WHAT? HOW ON EARTH HAS IT BEEN SUSPENDED FOR 3 YEARS AND NO ONE TOLD ME?????

(Lady) It's the treasury's job to tell you that...

Me thinking to myself... Gee cause that makes sense.... the treasury always deals with my license... So it costs me another $125 to reinstate my license... I don't have the cash so the lady renews my tabs, with the wrong address, and then tells me to go to the bank and get the cash and come back.... (me thinking to myself) Oh, so I should illegally drive to the bank at your suggestion??? I was fuming mad! I could have gotten in huge trouble, I could have fixed this forever ago, I would have like a letter that said... why are you getting tickets when you shouldn't be driving??? ya know logical things like that...

Apparently no one knew about it... not even the police... because I've been pulled over numerous, well let's not go that far, a few times, and they never said anything... Heck, in Michigan apparently the Treasury takes the right hand scratches it's butt with it and then gives it to the Secretary of State to eat with... honestly... no one knows what the other is doing and the people of the state deal with all the crap! So in all it ruined my care free day because the second time I had to go back I had to wait 30 minutes with the ticket counter on 50 when I was holding the 51 ticket! I got a headache and just didn't feel like having any fun! When that's all I wanted to do was relax.

However, I planned on going today so my license picture is cute and I lied about my weight to get back at them!

mom2cors said...

When we lived in IL and before my dad had eye surgery he actually was legally blind and could not read any letters on the eye chart at the DMV. He came home with his renewed license. Don't worry a couple years latter he had surgery, he can see and now only wears glasses for reading.

Anonymous said...

You are so pretty!! How do you keep from getting any wrinkles???

Anonymous said...

In North Carolina you get your license renewed every 5 years. They make adjustments the first time to bring you to the five year cycle.....25...30...35...40 etc.

Tara in Alpine TX said...

What a pretty picture! It still made an entertaining post, so there you go. Have a wonderful weekend!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I have to go this year, too. Now I just can't wait...

Anonymous said...

Was that the Schaumburg facility you spent 4-1/2 hours at today? Sounds like it! Or are ALL Illinois facilities like that?

I moved to Wisconsin last year . . . Much better DMV facilities and employees!! In fact, I was "warned" that it might take an hour if we went to the Wausau facility . . . an hour! That's funny!! We actually had to go twice being new residents, once for plates and a different time for licenses. We went to the itty bitty rural place for our licenses . . . NICE people, 20 minutes in and out with new licenses for both myself and my husband . . . . and Wausau, but "big" place for our plates. Again, nice people, in and out in a little less than an hour!

No, I don't miss Illinois at all!
Lori

Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot in my first post, why is your picture necessary twice in a 3" license?
Lori

Becs said...

588-2300 is everywhere!!! I know it and I live in FL!!! Empire! (That commercial has been on for-ever!)

StampingJoan said...

Well you look awesome!!!! Wish my photo could turn out! And I hate going to the DMV with a passion. We have the same people here in Maryland!!!

and BTW.....Happy Birthday!

Spider Lady said...

would you hate to know that arizona licenses don't expire for like 30 years? :) Have a good day!

My Kids' Mom said...

Georgia may be back-ass-wards in most ways, but we have online drivers license renewals now. Plus, when I went in (when I lost my license because I'd left it at the airport in another state when they started checking them six dozen times before you board) they let me keep my old photo! So, since I renewed online this time, I actually still have the same photo from about 15 years ago. Before I was married and had kids and actually had time to put on makeup and fix my hair and smile with purpose for a good license photo. I haven't gained wait since then either ;0 I hope they never use women's licenses to identify our bodies (hair color- changed... eye color - can change that these days too... weight- ha!)

Kyddryn said...

I renewed online, this year.

We have that same carpet company in Georgia - I think they're national. And now the jingle is stuck in my head. And I don't need carpet because I have Pergo. Ack.

Shade and Sweetwater,
K

Jessi said...

Oh wow! I thought it was only that bad here in Michigan. I think you have it worse there. We call it the Secretary of State (SOS - ha! You have to tap out an SOS just for someone to rescue you in that place!) here.

It's much the same except our lovely Secretary of State (Terri Lynn Land) herself has personally made sure that there is less waiting and the branches are more customer service oriented - "where the customer always comes first".

Thankfully, there's usually only one line. You walk in, grab a ticket from one of those ticket machines and plop a squat. You wait for your number to be called and you walk up and state your case. You are never greeted. No one ever smiles. It has to be the most hated job ever, I guess. I can't imagine what could be so wrong with it unless you are really just not a customer service oriented person. Oh, and lest we forget that when they do speak to you, it's very monotone and loud so that everyone in the whole entire place can hear your business and know that, for the third time, you did not bring the proper paperwork with you. How could you not know that you needed 6 documents instead of 4! Hello!

=)

Gosh, if I had to spend 4 1/2 hours there though, I'd never go. That's a whole day off of work. I mean, by the time you drive there and drive home. No way. I thought an hour-hour and a half was bad!

Anonymous said...

Are our driver's license really supposed to say the correct weight??? I thought that was a goal, or merely a suggestion!

Vanessa said...

LOL Dawn...Here in Texas you can renew ONLINE and keep your skinny/young picture! I think after you renew it online once then you do have to go back and deal with the lovely people that work there...oh joy, I can't wait until '09 so I can "visit" all the old ladies that have worked there since before I was even born! I think your new license came out great...what is the picture at the bottom right? PS...HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!! :)

Vanessa
www.mymommysbracelets.com
www.babygirlbracelets.com

Mabunny said...

Yeah, customer service seems to have gone down the toilet steadily. You actually are excited to get someone that smiles at you and actually acts interested in why you are there!!
Your picture looks great, and you can't even see your one hoop earring and your hair looks fine.
Have a great day!!

MaBunny

Tamara Follett said...

You're so lucky--I've never had a liscence picture turn out that cute before! No matter what I actually look like when I go in, I always look like I just rolled out of bed in the picture:)

Carla Stream said...

Lurlene's friend sounds like a peach.
Cute photo. Love the red. 100 pounds sound about right. I am thanking the Lord I live in WI.

Jess said...

I just had to tell you that sadly that phone number is not confined to the Chicagoland area. It has permeated all of New England as well, to that point where as soon as I read the number, I started singing "588-2300 Empiiire Today". Sick. Just sick.

feefifoto said...

They let you smile? That's awesome; they never let me smile. My 16-year-old nephew just got his license, however, and they let him do a happy dance while they took his picture. I guess 16-year-old boys are more charming than jrekltvd-year-old aunts.

Anonymous said...

Well, Dawn, you have the benefit in life that when things are not going well that is GOOD for you so you can write about it on your blog. That DMV entry is hysterical and I'm very impressed with your photo! Take care, Liz F.

ashley nicole said...

The people who work for the DMV in IL sound even worse than the ones who work for it in MI...but at least you got to take the bad picture over again...

Have a great weekend!!

Ted & Laura said...

oh oh oh did you have the joy of going to the one on Elston? I believe those employees have their will to live surgically removed!

Erica said...

Dawn, you should move to Arizona if you want to avoid this experience again! My license was issued in 2007 (when we moved to a new address), and it expires in 2044! Yep, 37 years! I don't know why they do it, but it saves alot of hassle! I could be 72 when I get an updated license, and still have the picture from when I was 28! Crazy, huh?!

Val Cox said...

you look beautiful!

Barbara Manatee said...

And you wonder why we only hear about people 'going postal.' Why don't we hear about people going "DMV"? I usually have a more pleasant experience at the post office, a place where I have to visit a few times a month. BUT...when I know I have to go in to renew my license, etc...just like you, I put it off and dread the experience. Why is that?

Anonymous said...

Happy early birthday!!
I think the picture came out great- and I also think it's awesome that you're an organ donor! :-D
Don't worry- every Ohio DMV I've been to only has 5 'happy' employees to serve you, so your 4 1/2 hours was fantastic compaired to the 6+ that I've actually had to spend in there before. The quickest was around 4 hours, but that was a fluke. I think everyone who has my birthday is too cranky and mean to sit there for very long, so it works in my favor to have a smidge more patience. ;-)
Take care!!

Anonymous said...

We have Empire carpet here in CT as well (and they do hardwood foors now, too)! They really are omni-present...

Only 4 1/2 hours at DMV and it only cost you $10? I'd consider that an early birthday present! They're phasing in the 6 year license here, and I lucked out and got one of those 4 years ago, and I'm dreading having to go back any time soon. And now I'm convinced that they have a federal class for all DMV employees, because I'm pretty sure Lurlene and her friend, as well as the oh-so-pleasant picture-taker, work at my local office, too.

All that blog-fodder, and you ended up with a great license picture. That's a good day in my book!

Laura

Anonymous said...

OMGOSH, Dawn!

That's a great picture! I wish mine looked that good!

Obviously, they do it different in IL. I'm from PA and they say "Smile if you wish" before they snap your picture. I think that's to warn you to stop looking like a deranged serial killer before they take your picture.

By the way, what happened to your other earring?? ;)

Thanks for posting the picture!!

Donna :)

Sonya said...

We have the same commercial here in San Diego!!! I was singing that in my head without even realizing it until you brought up the commercial. Great, it's going to be like getting "It's a Small World" out of your head...going to sing that all day now! And my dad works for the DMV here in San Diego and I had him read this post...I don't think I have ever heard him laugh when READING something!!!! But, it's ok, no feelings were hurt as he is the happy person that answers questions from the phone center! And actually I think he is one of those that actually LIKES to work for the state...eeeuuuuwwww! :)
Great picture by the way...I am still using mine from high school, and that was 20 years ago! :)

Kathy said...

LOL! I just got my SC DL renewal in the mail the other day, but I have until May to complete my sentence of waiting in SC's DMV lines. Yippee!!

Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAWN! Looks like you'll be celebrating your big day on Monday! Congratulations!

fourmonsters said...

Oh my gosh, your post just reminded me that my drivers license expired in January!! I got the renewal in the mail but I didn't open it right away because I thought it was my car registration, which isn't due until April. I finally opened it last week and found my license renewal. Of course I then forgot about it again until just now!! The worst part is my son has his learners permit and has been driving with me for the past month. I can just see us getting pulled over. "License and registration, please" the trooper would ask my son, to which my son would hand over his learners permit and then I would be asked for my drivers license (expired by nearly 2 months) "Step out of the car Ms.Something-Johnson" (I have a hyphenated name which no one can pronounce)"It appears that you are driving on a expired license" " No, really because I could have sworn I just renewed it last year. I distinctly remember driving to the DMV. It was on the same day my son had a wrestling match 40 miles away from the DMV and I managed to make it just in time to see his last match, even though I was the first customer at the DMV waiting at the door before they opened at 9am. I had to drive 70 mph the whole way to the wrestling tournament just to catch his last match at 3 o'clock. I know it was last year because it was the year after my son's knee surgery and it was his 'come back' year. You see he tore his meniscus the year before and that was 'his' year. His record was blah blah blah" At this point the trooper makes a heavy sigh and hands back my expired license and asks me to not drive in his patrol area anymore and get my license renewed asap. I agree and thank him so graciously, telling him that I can't possibly do it for a week and a half because I have to work until 5pm each day and the DMV is only open on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 11am to 4pm and Fridays 8am to 2pm. I can't possibly make those times any time soon. At this point he has pulled out his gun and is holding it to his own head. "Listen, lady, you mean to tell me you can remember in detail the day you last renewed your license. You just recited the DMV days and hours of operation, yet you could not remember that your license expired on your birthday! Please just go and NEVER return to my patrol area again!" Guess I will renew online. Can I submit my own photo? I'd like to use a photo from college(the skinny pic). Since I am now literally twice the woman I used to be! I tease my husband that he got a 2-for-1 deal, he still loves me anyway. Hey-having kids does that to you sometimes!!!!!

Anna in IL said...

That is a way different license than mine from 2006! Personally, I don't like the addition of red. It'll probably be like the "new" license plates and change again next year anyway.

You really missed out by not taking the written test. My favorite part was matching the blank signs with their meanings. Actually, I'm surprised that anyone who drives around here can pass that part. They certainly don't understand "yield," "merge," or "lane ends!"

Amanda said...

LMAO I had to renew my license a few weeks ago (I also live in IL) and pretty much had the same experience minus Lurlene and Maria and the whole 'only one gold hoop earring' thing. LOL When I went up to the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed employee behind the counter, I could barely understand what he said so unfortunately the weight on my license is the same. Darn. *giggle*

monica said...

Georgia is like that too, DMV. Terrible!! Now though... we can renew through the mail!! AND...the best part, we can renew for 10 years at a time. You can't change your picture, but the rest you can update and you're done. It's a beautiful thing.

On another note. Be thankful for do-overs. I have a passport picture that scares small children. I was getting my short self up on this very high stool and as I made a face and hoisted my big rear up there, the old fart snapped. My hubby is forever telling me if I'm ever grabbed by a bad guy to just show 'em my passport picture. We're always saying when we travel I will probably be kept out of the country or something because it's soooo scary!!

Loth said...

Great photo - you must be pleased! Do you want to know how driver's licenses work here in Britain? You pass your test, get your license and then, when you are 70, you write a letter in to confirm you are still alive and driving and they renew it for another 5 years. And I don't have ANY photo on my license - it's just a piece of folded green paper with my name and address on it! (I am eternally grateful that you don't have to put your height and weight on it!)

Anonymous said...

That number is fore Empire Carpet here in NJ. Same company? I used to shudder every time my then 3-year-old sang along with the radio commercial.

Everyday stuff said...

LOL well our dmv is the same with the over joyful people that are happily at work and so glad that you came to see them! However our biggest difference would be we only have one line to wait in, and their are no chairs, its a very long line and you only have to deal with two happy people!

However I do love to listen to other peoples conversations so I think I might have well been amused with the country bar lady, and even chimed in on her conversation like suggesting another name!

Franzi said...

hahaha, love the 100lbs :-D

works kind of the same in MD but over here in Michigan, there is only one counter for everything and in order to take the picture they make you move over 2 yards to the grey backdrop thing.
BUT the people working at the DMV in Grand Rapids are very friendly. go move to GR, just to get your license over here!! ;-)

Theresa said...

Happy Birthday! My California driver's license expires this year too. Actually, my birthday is March 11th, so you are a day older than me. No, not really, I'm almost 15 years older than you.
If I had been thinking about it, I would have tried to renew it when I was in California in December, but I forgot. Okay, I didn't forget but I just didn't get around to it.
So now I have to get a Mexican Driver's license, which means a written test in Spanish and a driving test too. But thank goodness that will give me at least a couple of blog posts!
Actually, my husband did it a couple of years ago, he passed the written test with minimal Spanish, and the driver's test consisted of parallel parking, and that was it. So I figure it should be okay.
regards,
Theresa

Anonymous said...

VERY photogenic. Nice shot. If ever I should get pulled over, they would take one look at my license and do a sobriety field test on me, because I look drunk in my photo. Congrats on the minimal time (only 4 1/2 hours) and just having one leech, er, kid with you!

Anonymous said...

ROFL! Everyone, look at the bottom of the picture, 1[][] pounds

Lara said...

Well, WA is not one of the states where the DMV functions beautifully. The wait is a minimum of 2 hours to get a drivers license renewed and you have to time that right because they close for an hour and a half for lunch and kick everyone out. This year I got a letter in the mail inviting me to renew my license online! For $25 and 15 minutes it was done. The license arrived less than a week later! I thought I had died and gone to heaven! Of course you can't change your photo, but that's a small price to pay for not having to deal with the creepy, miserable DMV staff!

TheHMC said...

I almost always have sunglasses on my head. My mother is constantly griping for me to take them off when we have family gatherings because, god forbid, anyone should get a picture of me with sunglasses on my head!! *gasp*

Thank goodness I haven't had to go to the DMV since '02. I'm due back in 2012 but I think my husband said something about it getting changed again. Don't know, don't really care. When it comes to getting our tags renewed, it's on him all the way. That's one thing he's good for.(Other than wrecking the bedroom I just cleaned from top to bottom in order to put a new computer desk together and then leave it a mess when he's done.)

P.S. I think you got me sick.

Ok, so not really, but we're all super sick here right now and I need someone... anyone to blame lol!!
Oh.. and I'm way jealous of your DL pic. After just having the flu even. Go figure.

Mary said...

I'm from South Dakota where the DMV folks are very quick and efficient and take care of your transaction before they are done saying "Hello How are you today?" Then I moved to California. Imagine the shock!

I wrote about my first DMV experience and posted it here: http://raisingprincesses.blogspot.com/2007/07/my-dmv-experience-from-sept-2003.html
sorry, I don't know how to make a hotlink in the comment box or I wouldn't put that long link there.

Since then, I have made a few more trips to the CA DMV, all of them were long days. Now I know... bring a thick book and a sack lunch!

Your DL turned out too cute!

M.A. Smith said...

In Oklahoma, you go to the tag agency to renew your license. It's not a long process, unless there is a line. You do get your license the same day (I don't remember how much it costs, I'll find out in June when both my husband and I have to renew our licenses).

And Class D is for regular vehicles.

Cerys said...

Gosh, I'm so glad I live in the UK. Once we've passed our driving test we have our licence until we're 70.

Happy Birthday.

TONYA said...

ha ha, that was hilarious. Your photo looks fabulous. I look like a homeless person on my drivers license ... seriously, I do. I'd just moved here from Australia and so went to the DMV to get what I thought was a temporary licence (a slip of paper) so that I could start driving over here while I waited to sit my official 'lets get a brand new licence' test. Anyway, after I did the written test, they decided to tell me that they would be taking my photo - bare in mind I had not a scrap of makeup on that day and hadn't brushed my hair. I had in fact stumbled out of bed, threw on a ratty pair of clothes and driven down there at opening so I wouldn't have to wait in a huge line. What they failed to mention to me was that same photo they took that day for my temporary piece of paper licence was going to appear on my actual licence. Ugh. People now look at it and look at me and I see the look on their faces as they try hard not to laugh. I've been told how bad a photo it is, that it looks nothing like me and do I have somebody elses identification. Now that I've chopped my hair off and dyed it a different colour I can only imagine the comments I will be getting in the future he he. Oh and I'm also 150 lbs on all of my id cards - maybe one day I will get back to that weight.

AlaneM said...

Great photo!
I think there must be a law that says you must be rude, grumpy, & generally unpleasant to get a job there.
I had to renew mine recently & the picture person smiled at me too...I thought I might fall on the floor! Especially after my 4yo daughter had been throwing tantrums on the floor. Fun fun - HA!

Mum-me said...

Just goes to show that Customer Service is an endangered species all around the world. Last time I waited in line forever with a newborn baby and a i year old in a tandem pram as well as a 2 year old and a 4 year old hanging off either side. The only good thing about it was the antics of my girls amused other victims (customers). Over here we at least don't have to tell our weight! But I did pay over AU$100 for my last licence which only lasted 3 years. Your photo looked great.

Coma Girl said...

My husband once asked the woman behind the counter at the DMV how one would go about getting a job there, she answered "first you need your head examined"

m8price said...

Oh, Dawn... the joys of the DMV! It's interesting to know that it *could* be run more efficiently, but so long as Jesse White is in charge, I don't see that happening (much as he's touted improvements!).

If it makes you feel any better, when I had to renew my license last time, the only place that was open at a time I could go was the one in Woodstock. So I took my few month old daughter with me and drove alllllllllllllllllllllllll the way up to Woodstock (I'd never been there before) and got to the DMV about 45 minutes after it had opened. And closed again. Apparently, they had some sort of minor fire and smoke damage. The manager of the facility WAS at least outside telling people the closest place to do what they needed done or offer other suggestions. Apparently, the closest place was Elgin (I'm still not sure how), so I got directions and drove alllllllllllllllllllllll the way down to Elgin from Woodstock. THEN I got to do the wait, move, wait, move, wait wait wait wait, move wait, pay, wait, snap wait, wait dance at the Elgin DMV. I think the VERY last person I spoke to there was somewhat friendly, but I don't remember, as I was in a coma at that point. And, remember, few month old baby girl ... and I'm a nursing mom. But I can't leave the facility in case they call my number. Here's hoping I have more fun next time!

And for those who have asked, IL keeps changing the license to make it harder to make fake IDs with them. The second pic is a new wrinkle to try to make counterfitting more difficult. Because after you do the first picture, you can't make a copy to do the second one. Or something.

Michelle

beckya said...

588-2300 empire....

we have that commercial here too...LOL BTW Great pic - I also weigh 100 lbs on my photo too - about 250 lbs ago :)

Dorothy said...

Your photo is great..they are the same here. I think you have to take a test for personality and if you have one..you don't get the job to work in motor vehicles.

My best,
Dorothy from grammology
remember to call your gram
www.grammology.com

laughingatchaos said...

Oh no, dearest, Empire Carpets has taken their show on the road! They're here in Denver now. I moved away from Chicago to get that jingle out of my head and they followed me and now my sons sing it and I want to rip my ears out of my head and run over them with my car.
And your photo is awesome! :)

Mara said...

That's a great picture, and the license for IL sure is nicer than when I lived there! Last time I renewed my license in that state I had to wait an HOUR before someone would talk to me.

Oh and THANKS for posting that carpeting company phone number. Now I can't get it out of my head, and it took me years to get rid of it the first time!!!

Jenene said...

Boy, I really can't wait to move to the US.<--(no sarcasm there) Not that I'm looking forward to dealing with those lovely DMV people, but you only have to pay $10? And you even get to smile in your photo!! I also keep hearing that Americans don't have to renew their license every year. Up here in Manitoba, we renew every single year (and it costs $60 every single time) but our photos only have to be renewed every 4 or 5 years.

Anonymous said...

I just renewed mine (in Texas) online for $25 and it lasts 6 years I believe. We don't have our weight listed on ours here (Thank goodness!!) I did not have to get a new photo since I renewed online. That means, when my lisence expires, I'll be 42 with pic of me when I was 30!! Melody-TX

Stacy said...

My first comment on your blog! Nice picture! And happy almost birthday! Love everything you write!

Anonymous said...

You must have went to the Waukegan DMV - too funny. You described them exactly - they suck.

Tamara said...

Oh my goodness. Even if there are some exaggerations (not that you would do that Dawn), I can't imagine taking a whole day to renew my license.

In Saskatchewan, and I think in most of Canada, it's a very simple process of going in with your old license, signing a form, taking an photo and paying your fee. 20 minutes tops. Also, in Saskatchewan our photos are valid for 5 years, if you are in one of the "in between" years where you don't have to get a photo, it's maybe a 10 minute process. And, there are a multitude of private insurance agencies that are authorized to issue licenses, so there is no need to deal directly with government employees.

majikfaerie said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!
for tomorrow (well, since I'm in Australia, its probably the day after for you)
and most likely you'll get arrested for having a false birthdate; like you really should have 10-3-79 on there ;)

http://majikfaerie.blogspot.com

joyfulmom said...

Dawn,

I think your photo looks great! It looks like you had an enjoyable day at the spa before your trip to the DMV. :0)

I'm ROFL at where you wrote in 100 lbs! I'm going to try that on my license.

Kate said...

Great photo! I look like I'm stoned in mine...I like to call it corporate gypsy burnout....we moved 3 years in a row. My sis's birthday is the 10th and mine is the 1st. Made for a lot of shared parties :)

oh, btw, you can get kiddos state ids with no minimum age. My kids were each under 2 when they got their first. I liked carrying them when we were traveling, even though they are not required. You can also tell them the state has their thumb print on file, hehe, should they get some goofy idea to do some damage. ~kate

Anonymous said...

Hey Dawn,

This "Freak" wants to wish you a Happy Birthday!

I enjoy your writing.

The Boyds Family said...

This sound JUST LIKE the DMV where I live! That must be the required criteria for getting a job at any of the DMV's....

That's a good picture though....I wasn't expecting to get my picture made...I thought I was going to get a little sticker to put on the back so I look liked I woke up, rolled out of bed, and went to the DMV in my photo.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

That IS a great picture of you. You should be very proud! I got a good picture on my last driver's license -- it was the day I went out in my "slop" clothes to run errands with my husband, not having combed my hair or put on makeup that day, and we ended up at Motor Vehicles to get our new licenses. BEST PICTURE I EVER HAD!!! Go figure. Here in New Mexico, we can either wait for 6 days in line at the Div. of Motor Vehicles, or go to a great place called MVD Express, where we pay an extra fee (probably $15 or $18) for darned near instantaneous service. I haven't been inside the State DMV in years! Takes about 15 minutes and you're out the door.

Mary in NM

Denise said...

One day I asked my son our phone #. We'd been practicing for weeks. He answered in a song...."800-588-2300 EMPIRE!!" We laughed about that for days!

BoufMom9 said...

LOL Yep, it's about the same here in NJ, except for the fact that most of the DMV workers in my part of NJ don't speak English. (or, it's VERY broken English)
Your pic turned out fabulous!
BTW If it's pathetic that you thought a bad pic would make a good blog entry, then sign me right up for pathetic too. Every single time I do something stupid I think," Ooooh! This will be great for the blog. Now, where's my camera. "
LOL

Mama said...

Happy early Birthday, Dawn, my son turned 2 today but we'll be celebrating Monday so I assume I'll be too busy (read un-organized) to leave you a Happy Birthday comment then.

megryansmom said...

Hatty Birdy Dawn!

Ahhh the Illinois DMV, what a joke! My best and quickest experiences with them have been in Morris, IL. You probably could have driven there and back in less than 4 1/2 hours. IMO, Morris is the closet to Mayberry you'll find near the Chicago area.

Anonymous said...

Great. Just great. Thanks for the earworm..588-2300...Empireeeee! Gahhh...

About a year ago we were visiting Chicago for the first time with our three kids. Wouldn't you know it but my purse with everything I own in it was stolen from me at a Starbucks on Michigan Avenue. Nice intro to the Windy City, eh? Scared the beejeebers out of my kids who never want to return to the city of "robbers & bad guys" ever again. But, I digress...

Upon returning to Michigan, I went to the SOS to get a new license. Whereupon I was told I couldn't get one without any id. Ummm...that's why I'm here, remember? I even told them I had my number memorized and could they just look it up? No! They don't keep any of that information on file! Of course they wouldn't. What ever was I thinking that the SOS would keep things like driver's licenses on file. Silly me! After digging up not one, but two pieces of alternative id (requiring another round trip, with no license on my person) I returned with my birth certificate and my marriage license. Voila. New license. Except that now my name is Fred Hermanschlagerjohnson. Just kidding.

The SOS sucks...

Jenn said...

Congrats on a decent picture!

I had to post a Happy Birthday since you and my husband are "birthday buddies"!

Hope you have a great one!

(our DMV in SC is much the same as yours....no lines, long wait, happy, smiling people...)

StuckInSD said...

UGH!! I live in South Dakota and even I know that stupid phone number and jingle commerical

"588-2300.. EMPIRE"
Stupid ad!!

What is end and rest mean on the license though??

Michelle said...

Ok, Dawn, so if that's your bad photo, what do your good pictures look like?

Michelle

honestandtruly.blogspot.com

Lori said...

I feel so badly for that lady from Michigan! She needs to ask for proof that her license was suspended, because it sure sounded fishy to me. I think a DMV employee just got a $125 tip. Yup.

Kelli said...

Its the exact same in Washington state. Same employees also. hehe I wish I could just cut and copy your blog on mine when its my turn to get a new DL. (everyone would think I suddenly got so funny. hehe) I actually got mine a week before I was due with my last baby, Yeah, I weighed 125 also!

Anonymous said...

First, your picture is great! You look so pretty - I always look scary. Here in CA, regardless of city the employees act exactly the same as you described. I've never had a good experience. I guess when you are required to have something and they know it they don't feel they have to give you good service. I don't know what happened to just being a nice person in general. Luckily, I can renew my mail more often than not. With our department though you can call for an appointment and usually just wait 15-20 minutes at the most.

Anonymous said...

There is no way you weigh 150+! Unless you show absolutely no weight in your face 9since that is the only pic I have to go by).

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

I checked my drivers license earlier this week and IT EXPIRED THREE YEARS AND NINE MONTHS AGO. As you can imagine, I am grounded. I hope they don't ask me if my weight is correct. Is any woman's DL weight correct? At least the test is open book. Wish me luck. Your picture is darling. Really it is. Feel proud.

SAHM: Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem said...

Ok, I KNOW you know this, [& were just told umpteen times] but that is a great photo, Dawn!

SubWife said...

Gosh, this post reminded of me Homer Simpson's sisters-in-law. Here in New York we have the same people working in DMV as in Springfield or Chicago. My non-driver's ID expired years ago and every cashier wonders why I haven't renewed it. That's why! because even though it's a non-drivers ID, you have to get it from DMV. I am not in a rush to go there at all!

Mary said...

I thought of you when I saw this on ebay. You've never said you were looking for a bigger house, but I found one for ya.

Each one of your kids could have their own room. Or two! Plenty of space. Nice town. Priced under budget.

Ebay item: 250215152750

And, no, I'm not a realtor. But wouldn't it be cool to live there!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday...tomorrow! My #3 (who will be turning four) shares the same birthday with you. Have a happy, happy day!!!

Anonymous said...

Lol that sounds like a long day... for just a license renewal..

Here in the Netherlands, you go to the photostore to have your picture taken...

And then you go to the buro that handles it..
You give them your old license, the new photo and 40 euro's. You sign the paper..and go home..

One week later you can pick up your new license, which is valid for 10 years...

Piece of cake lol

Nice photo... over here it is not allowed to smile on the photo :-(
So mine is not charming at all...

AKB said...

I live in Illinois too and know how long it takes. You were probably there for 30-45 minutes and that seemed like 4.5 hours. Right?
Great picture! I take good ones too.
You describe the workers correctly. They all seem so sad, by comparison of everyone walking inthe door and then rushing out the door when they are finally done with their business. I know licenses are $10 but are your car stickers $68 like the ones down south in Ilinois?
Be glad that you only had one child instead of all six.
Happy Birthday! Just doesn't stop, does it? AKB

plainprecious said...

the dmv post made me remember one time when my brother went to get his new picture on his license. Where he lives they have a man working there who is disabled and has a nasty attitude. Anyway Ben was sitting the with the backdrop behind him and this moron was taking his sweet time getting things ready. As Ben sat there his neck started hurting him (he works in the coal mine and has lots of problems with his neck) Anyway Ben scrunched his shoulder up to his ear trying to make it feel better. Well just as he did that the guy took his picture. and printed his card!!! Ben looked like the hunchback of Notre Dame!!! Ben told him that wasnt acceptable and the moron told him Oh well its out of my hands unless he wanted to pay for yet another card. Ben went straight to our state rep office and complained thankfully they got it taken care of.

Now on to my recent experience. My daughter who is 17 went into our office to try for her drivers license. The gentleman took her our for the road test and about 1/2 later he came back in looking quite shaken which threw me into panic mode he came over to me and said Kadie failed because of paralel parking He said um Maam shes sitting in your car crying. I tried talking to her but she is crying so hard I swear I thought she quit breathing for a minute. Bring her back and have her test again. So the next week I took her back this time she failed because she didnt stop at crosswalk before stopping at stop sign. The next week we went back in again and had another guy. Third guys a charm. By now the people at the DMV were really taken to Kadie. They all talked to her when she walked in and in fact fought over who would take her out. This time when they walked in Kadie had passed and all the workers got up and clapped for her. For some reason the photo part was down and we sat there waiting for it to start working again. One guy said OMG looking at Kadie squiriming in her seat. I swear to god Kadie is going to make me go buy a box of crayons and draw her picture for her license. Sooooo this just shows they arent all bad LOL.
How many more years before you have to take a kid to get their license> Its tons of fun.

Knick Knack Paddy Whack, Throw This Mom a Bone said...

Back when I was dating, I would tell guys my name was Jenny - 867-5309. They never got it....

heh heh heh.

I am in IL and recommend next time that you head south to Roanoke, IL to get your license renewed! There is never a wait there! :) Probably it will still take you 4.5 hours with the drive, but at least the people are friendly and there would be no waiting. :)

Valerie G said...

The DMV is the same here in GA. But now we can go online and get 10 year lisences for like $30. So worth the money. Maybe you should check and see if IL does that, save you the trip for quite sometime and you'll get to keep that great pic of you.
Happy early bday! Hope it's great.

Wildsissy said...

do yourself a HUGE favor.. next time take a drive and go to Woodstock or even Northbrook... seriously.. Woodstock, yes it's a farther drive but the people there are very nice and you can be in and out for a renewal in less than 10 minutes. Then you have time to take the kids to the square for lunch or to one of their museums or the movie theater and drive home in less than 4 1/2 hours. STOP THE INSANITY! lol!

ScrapSmith said...

Sorry you had to have such an experience. It reminds me of the Ellen "pilot" episode of years ago. It is hilarious!! I tried to find it on the web for you, but had no luck. She tries her best to get the perfect photo - but things don't go her way. Happy Birthday - hope it goes peacefully!

mnhyrkas said...

Happy Birthday!

Cat said...

In case I forget to post tomorrow....Happy Birthday :)

Heidi said...

Oh, I like your picture, too, Dawn--you look so pretty!

Holy smokes, Mary--I looked up that ebay item you mentioned and was NOT expecting to see that for sale. It would be quite an experience to live in a place like that! You're right--definitely plenty of room. :)

Anonymous said...

5-8-8-2 3 hundred.... Empiiiiire..... even my 3 yr old knows that darn commercial we have the same one here in MI.... too much TV for him maybe? Sorry it takes so long to get your license.... I have to get mine done this year too. I plan to be there about one hour, but ours is a one stop shop type thing, same person for the whole process. I could do it by mail but I am hoping to get a better pic!!! lol!

Anonymous said...

I haven't lived in Illinois for about 8 years....but the last time I renewed my license there this is what happened when they were passing them out: The employee looks at the person's DL and exclaim's 'what a great picture!' and hands it to the owner. Then she looks at mine and just hands it to me. Slam! I didn't think it was that bad but obviously she did.

I wish I had had your photographer!

Anonymous said...

thought i'd advise we have similar license brach difficulties next door in indiana. when the renewal forms arrived it contained a enclosure stating a $5 per plate savings if renewed online . being ( the cheapskate i am ) frugal, i chose to persue that option .
i am a amateur ( ham) radio operator that has call letters on their plate .the website had a list of items that could NOT be renewed online . amateur radio plates are not on that list . i proceeded with the renewal process to be halted by the call plate .
it was stated that it must be renewed at the local bmv branch.
fine , saving $10 is better than nothing ....the remaining plates arrived from Winchester , IN a few days after the online transaction.
a week before my call plate was to expire , i went to the bmv branch to get my plate ....
well, they didn't HAVE my plate .
nevermind the fact it was reserved a year in advance. after MUCH "hoobadoo", i was issued a temporary paper plate in hopes the proper plate would arrive timely.
2 days before the temp plate was to expire , the call plate arrived .... from , you guessed it . Winchester , IN.
it is somewhat amusing to note, that there was little difference in what was asked at the branch verses online.... go figure ??

by the way , great pic on ur license !! but, isn't there a law against that ???

73 de a "9-land " ham

Two under two said...

WOOHOO for being a organ donor!!!!!!!!!!!

cute post by the way on the experience!

Anonymous said...

OK, you don't know me, but I found a link to your blog on my sister's blog (Alicia). I assume that she knows you from BBC or something like that. Anyway, I must say that your avatar at the top of the page caught my eye and got me curious, so I started reading. You are HILARIOUS! Have you ever thought about writing a column for the paper? You could totally be a journalist or some sort of speaker. You are a natural storyteller. You should compile all of your posts into a book or at least publish some of them in Reader's Digest.

Anonymous said...

Dawn...

SUNDAY NIGHT SHOUT OUT QUESTION:


@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @
> > > >
O O O O


What do you REALLY want for your birthday...I mean, besides world peace? (Might as well have it WRITTEN here in black and white so there's NO "I didn't know what you wanted" EXCUSE from anyone!)

Sincerely (hoping this helps)
Nancy Binky

PS...HAPPY BIRTHDAY to THE BEST BLOGGER EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Betsy Bird said...

Three weeks ago I was all prepared to have a truly horrible experience at the DMV when I went to renew my long-expired license. It took less than 10 minutes! I left there thinking I was suddenly leading a charmed life. Then I looked at my picture. Now I'm thinking of asking my state legislator to sponsor a bill requiring each renewal station to hire someone to check each license renewer individually to make SURE they don't have any hair sticking up like devil horns. For the next five years, every time I show that license to a store clerk or an airport security person, they're going to think they're face to face with Satan.

588-2300-EMPIRE has suddenly appeared on TV stations in the deep South. What next?

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh. I couldn't figure out what the "GRN eyes" was. Am I stupid or what?

Beth said...

I am a fellow Illinois resident and I FEEL YOUR PAIN!
I completely understand what you went through and I wish my picture looked that good. :)

Anonymous said...

About 20 yrs ago my brother went to get his driver's license renewed and actually had a fly land on his nose just as they snapped the picture. He decided to keep it, it made for alot of great conversations!

Hope you have a Great Birthday!

Chrissie

Anonymous said...

Great license picture. I'm still waiting for my passport to expire so i can get a new one. I look like a deer caught in headlights because they take that picture just millimeters away from your face. My favorite number to give out when shopping so you don't get all that junk mail is 867-5309. Only those who grew up in the 80"s would recognize that number. Jennifer

2 crazy kids said...

*singing* 588-2300 Empire!

OMG That commercial airs here in Florida...My 3 year old son memorized it shortly after he turned 2...and sang it everytime it came on. I hear the harmonies in my head.

"Call Empire today. We'll bring the samples right out to your house, and we'll install your carpet the very next day. 800-588-2300 Empire!"

NeedleDancer said...

wow, licenses got cheaper...
but what's with the double picture thing? that's new.
And aren't you glad yours was nice (in the end).
I had a nice license picture once. I was sick as a dog, and it was the last day before my license expired.. so I put on full face make-up and did my hair, and prayed I wouldn't look dead. It worked.
I've never taken the time since. It shows.

NeedleDancer said...

wow, licenses got cheaper...
but what's with the double picture thing? that's new.
And aren't you glad yours was nice (in the end).
I had a nice license picture once. I was sick as a dog, and it was the last day before my license expired.. so I put on full face make-up and did my hair, and prayed I wouldn't look dead. It worked.
I've never taken the time since. It shows.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to You!
Happy Birthday to You!
Happy Birthday Dear Dawn!
Happy Birthday to You!!!!

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

Hi Dawn!
Just wanted to say that I'm 5'3" and wish I were only 150 pounds too... :)

Jen said...

The DMV in Michigan sucks too. Sorry for your crappy visit, nice picture though.

Nekaya said...

Happy Brithday and as they say in Greece, "Na Ta Ekatostisees!"

fremd student said...

you know, if you went to the office by the old Tower Records place on Golf there's this ONE nice guy named Howard.

sorry you didn't see him.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn. Just have to say I laughed out loud about your DMV visit, just 'cuz it reminded me of the US Postal Service employees in Dallas! I honestly think they must BRAINWASH THESE PEOPLE to work that slowly! They would have to pay me SERIOUS money to be that apathetic--I'd go crazy! Seriously, they get paid the same whether they're curtious or not, friendly or not, fast or not, so why should they care? It's amazing to me how they can actually call this "customer service" when it's ANYTHING but. Thanks again for making me laugh. Your Driver's License picture is great, BTW--and love the sleeping (though wish they weren't) sick kids!! :) Blessings from Dallas!

Sarah said...

Happy Birthday!

Anonymous said...

Happy belated Birthday!

588-2-300....Empiiiiiiiire! Lived in So. California my whole life. It's been seered into our brains too.

darling_nikki said...

Empiiiiiiiire - it's in NJ too...the secret out here is to go to a DMV that is never busy...my dh had to renew his last month and he went on a Saturday to our little local one and was in and out in 20 minutes....Now car inspections are a different thing....it seems like we get a new car before the inspection is due, now that it's every 4 years.

Nikki from NJ

Chelf said...

I haven't seen 180 since High School. I am just thankful that my size 10 is so well-protected in all this... insulation.

When I got my very first license, I was in NM. The lady behind the box said, "Smile for me!" and took a picture. My dad, sarcastic I learned from, says, "WHY? If she gets stopped by a cop, she isn't gonna look HAPPY."

On the back of mine: "Class D - All vehicles or combination of vehicles except Class A, B or C." So I can pretty much drive anything. Except yacht, NASCAR race, or Space Shuttle, of course.

Our organ donor is a little red heart on the front of the license. As in, I love Oklahoma so much, I want to show my affection by putting this tiny childish note on my permanent record. :-)

I love your take on the mundane things we all do. You keep me laughing. Keep it up!

Becca "Gater Mom" said...

Happy Belated Birthday! I am way behind in my "reading". But I had to commiserate with you on this one! NJs DMV got a "facelift" several years ago and they now call it the MVC (Motor Vehicle Commission) - I gues they thought that a new name would help do away with the bad rep that the DMV had. Although 98% of NJers still call it the DMV! But it still operates like IL and everywhere else! You have to bring 1200 forms of ID and get numbers and hurry up and wait... Only ours cost way more than $10... Do you get a new one each year or every 3-4 years?

Thanks for adding some levity!

Colleen said...

You would not believe how tickled I was to hear the Empire Carpets jingle when I first moved to DC. Yep...we have them here and it "800-588-2300 Empire! Today!"

I don't miss the DMV though. Found out that Virginia actually has a decent one...once you get your initial license after moving here, you can renew via the web and it's good for many years. They just keep the same pic unless you'd like to come in a wait forever to change it.

PJ said...

Here in Illinois our public servants aren't allowed to smile. I think they get fined or something. If you find one smiling, watch out you probably have toilet paper hanging from the back of your skirt/pants! And ALL Gov't officials want their name anywhere they can get it put. Jesse White--it's a wonder his picture isn't on your new license!!! If not there, them all of them get their names in the headlines with words like "Fraud" "Investigation", etc. It's a way of life!!! (I've Been here for longer than I care to admit...but I still remember the gentle "How're Y'll?" and smiles from the South)

Cort said...

I'm sure being Comment Number 172 on an older post isn't going to get this read, but I felt the need to share:

My aunt, who is the most bubbly, friendly, smiley, just sickeningly sweet person you will ever meet in your life, works at the DMV (we live in Iowa). About six months after she started, her supervisor pulled her aside and told her she had to "stop being so friendly. People HAVE to come here anyway, so it doesn't matter if you're nice," or some such nonsense. l;

Apparently, they train DMV employees that way. Go figure.

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