I expected no problems settling into life upon moving back to Mississippi. So, with hope in my heart, I toddled over to the local DMV office, passport in hand, ready to do the deed. Ha! That didn’t work. They couldn’t take my passport and I needed a long list of other paperwork to reach compliance with their requirements. They needed a social security card, two pieces of mail showing my current address and a long-form birth certificate among other things. I had none of that.
All my personal papers were locked in a fireproof safe in storage. Plus, I wasn’t even sure that my Social Security card was in there. And my birth certificate was old enough that there wasn’t the required specific number on it. This completely threw me. I had no idea what number they were talking about since I hadn’t seen one like that. Thus, I procrastinated while the months flew by and before long I was sitting in my new apartment and the expiration of my license loomed large.
I sent the North Carolina form overnight with extra funds to expedite it since six to eight weeks is their usual turnaround. I could finally relax. Except that within a week, it landed back in my mailbox. The letter said that I hadn’t completely filled out the form so it was returned. Once again, because I’m persistent, I overnighted the completed form back to North Carolina. In a week, I had my new birth certificate, my new Social Security card which I had ordered earlier, two pieces of mail with my new address, and all their other requirements. It was going to happen. I would have been excited, but the hour and a half wait left me pretty much numb.
So, I’m there at the window handing over all the docs waiting with bated breath to hear the good news. However, the guy looked at my two pieces of mail and then, looked up at me and I knew there were more problems. One item was a bank statement, the other a bill that I grabbed out of the opened mail stack. The bank document was approved, but the bill was denied. I was quick to tell him that the online requirements merely said that two pieces of mail with current address were needed which was what I had provided. He replied that when I came back, I wouldn’t have to wait in line. I smiled and left. Once again rejected.
As soon as I got in my car, I called the apartment complex office asking them to email me a copy of my lease which they did. I knew that would satisfy DMV needs. The following Monday was a holiday so, of course, the office was closed. By Tuesday, I couldn’t care less about DMV and their requirements, but Wednesday brought guilt and the fear of a ticket with an expired license propelled me out the door and to their office. Back into the uncomfortable plastic seat, back to ignoring all the people around me.
This time, I strode up to the desk, when called, all defensive daring them to turn me down. I started handing over documents and it’s all going smoothly. I even passed the vision test. The lady who was helping me was amiable and I had high hopes so we chatted while we worked. I was sure that all this rigmarole was instigated due to ISIS, or ISIL, depending on whom you talk to, but, according to the lady, it’s due to the prevalence of identity theft. Adding insult to injury, we are finishing up and their computer system went down. Back in the uncomfortable chair, I’m thanking all appropriate parties for the Kindle app. A half hour later, the system came back up and within fifteen minutes I was back in my car. My advice to both Mississippi and North Carolina is to be come more user-friendly. I recognize my own failings in this whole process; however, their systems could use a lot of improvement.