I now have a Texas driver’s license. Not so for David. If you’ve not been following the licensing fiasco, read my posts from February 22 and February 29. Let’s just say that he’s spent the last two weeks trying to work his way through the red tape with the goal of securing his Texas license.
After finding the infamous “Closed until further notice” sign on the door of the licensing office last week, David decided to let the matter rest over the weekend, and I decided to get an early start on the process before my license expires in April. I dug out my Social Security card, my birth certificate, and just for good measure, my passport. This morning, clutching every piece of identification we could find, we headed for the driver’s license office in Sulphur Springs about 25 miles north of Emory.
When we arrived at the office, the line was so long we could hardly get in the door. Once we excused ourselves and squeezed inside, we saw that it wasn’t such a long line, it was just a really small office. There were six people ahead of us, and a couple of them were parents with teens waiting to take their written exam. Only one clerk was working, though, so the going was slow. When David made a comment, the lady ahead of us turned and smiled.
“The computers were down most of the morning,” she said. “It’s been a really interesting day.”
David looked toward the door, and I saw that wild look in his eyes, the one you see just before a trapped animal makes a break for it. I put my hand on his arm and gave him what I hoped was a reassuring smile. He gradually relaxed and turned back toward the front of the line, the wild look replaced with a look of resignation. As we inched forward, a woman came in with three adorable little girls around 5 years old, all dressed alike.
“Are you girls here to get a driver’s license?” I said.
They giggled and ducked their heads. David muttered under his breath.
“If they start now, they may have their license by the time they’re ready to drive,” he said.
When we finally got to the front of the line, I stepped aside a little bit.
“David, you go first,” I said. “It may take you a little longer, and you can get started on the paperwork.”
Did I mention that in the confusion, David’s Florida license expired? He stepped up to the counter.
“I need to get a Texas license,” he said. “Here’s my Florida license and all the documents I think you’ll need.”
“Have you had a Texas license before?” she said. Then she looked at his Florida license. “Oh, this has expired. You’ll have to re-test, both written and driving tests. You can take the written test today, but you’ll have to come back tomorrow for the driving test.”
“But it just expired last week.”
“I know, but it’s State law.”
The air of resignation was approaching the last straw point. He took the application and sat down to fill it out. I stepped up to the window and handed the clerk my Florida license.
“Same thing as him?” she said.
“Yes, except mine isn’t expired.”
“Do you have your Social Security card?”
She entered the numbers into her computer.
“You’re Texas license actually expired less than a year ago, so we’ll just renew it under the same number.”
She confirmed that I’m blind without my glasses, took a picture that will scare small children, took my check, and gave me a temporary license complete with motorcycle endorsement. By then, David had finished his application. He stepped back up to the window and handed the clerk his paperwork.
“Oh, you have a motorcycle endorsement. You’ll have to re-take the motorcycle safety course again, too. That costs about $250.”
I’m not sure, but I think David growled. The clerk continued.
“If you could get your Florida license renewed, I could issue a Texas license with none of the re-testing.”
After we got home, David went on-line and renewed his Florida license. In a week or two when the renewal comes in the mail, we’ll probably make another trip to Sulphur Springs, and then we’ll finally be fully registered Texans again, except for the motorcycle and the motorhome.
On Saturday David posted a picture on Facebook. It showed a map of the United States showing “Texas” and “Not Texas.” His caption was “A great place to live.” It may be a while before he feels that way again.