Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

The Quest for a Florida Driver’s License

I thought it would be a piece of cake.

One of the hardest driver’s licenses to get is a German one, unless you are a driver’s license holder from select states who have an agreement with Germany. I was not a resident of any of those states, but my husband’s company was located in one of them, so as I went through one year, I exchanged my current state license for that state’s license by showing my license and letting them punch a hole in it, getting a new photo and a new license from the needed state – it took like ten minutes.

So AdventureMan and I show up at the Florida Driver’s license place with our old licenses. The man hands us a check list of items we need, and it is like a scavenger hunt! You must have one from column one, one from column two, one from column three and two from column four.

Aha! The Queen of Paperwork, one of my aliases, assures AdventureMan we can cobble together what we need. I have utility bills! I have a 1099! We have passports! We have a deed to our new house, with our names on it!

We walk back in and meet a very nice Florida driver’s license guy and discover our paperwork is not quite so adequate as we thought. My 1099 does not have my FULL social security number on it. I haven’t seen my social security card for – decades. No one has EVER asked to see it before. I know my number, and it isn’t enough that it is on the several other cards I pull out to verify who I am.

We have 9/11 to thank for this, and the Orwellian Patriot Act, life has gotten a lot more complicated.

AdventureMan does not have exactly the right papers either, but very close, so the attendant allows me to write out a statement verifying that I am responsible for him and verify he is living at my address with me (the utility is in my name.)

On our way down to the Social Security Administration, which, by the way was amazingly efficient for a bureaucracy, AdventureMan started laughing and said it’s not unlike when we first got married and he, being four months younger than I am, was not old enough to rent a car, so I rented the car in my name. I laughed and told him he was lucky that when I vouched he lived with me, I did not check the block where I said I was his guardian!

Less than an hour later, I have a letter verifying I have a social security number, and will have a new card, and we are back at the Driver’s License office for the third time; the third time’s the charm, and now I am a legal Florida driver, a registered voter, and an organ donor.

I still have my lifetime-good German driver’s license, which has been handy many a time, and my Kuwait driver’s license, valid for eight more years, and a valid Qatar driver’s license, although maybe now that we are no longer legal residents, we no longer have valid licenses, either, LOL!

April 12, 2010 - Posted by | Adventure, Aging, Bureaucracy, Community, Cultural, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Florida, Germany, Kuwait, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Qatar, Social Issues

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