Sunday, February 01, 2009

Let me get you up to speed.

Look, the thing about blogging every day for over a year is that when the year is up, you feel the need to get some stuff done that you didn't do because hello? you were blogging every day.

So the past few days have been ACTION PACKED.

First of all, I had been driving without a valid license since my license expired on December 12th, known far and wide as The Feast of the Venerable Poppy, or "my birthday" to you pagan/Wiccan/Unitarians. This is a day when right-thinking people the world over eat birthday cake and give me presents.

Some of you really fell down on the job, so please remember: it's December 12th. Mark your calendars.

This is also the day when every four years, driver's licenses expire. At least, that's the way it is in Illinois. Way to go, Illinois. Ruin every fourth birthday. It's like Leap Year for bureaucrats.

Well, I realized that I was not going to be able to get onto the plane that was taking me to Nashville for Mrs. Fussypants's blogging conference unless I had a valid license. Plus I had to drive like a police patrol car all the time because I was so afraid I was going to get pulled over.

So I drove out to Niles, Illinois, which, as it turns out, is a lot closer than the facility I'd used the last couple of times I had to go through this. Thank God for Mapquest and GPSs and my iPhone which not only informed me where the closest facility was, but got me there without the usual panicking, palm-sweating, and swearing.

OK, so I walked in armed with my old license, my passport, a handful of credit cards, and my Social Security card, thanking my lucky stars that this is not Massachusetts. If it were Massachusetts, a scoff-law like me would be put in the stocks to be pelted with Dunkin Munchkins and lahge cups of regulah coffee by packs of jeering Mayflower descendants.

Instead, a very nice police officer told me that I didn't need all the I.D.s because when you looked at it from the cosmic point of view, my license had barely expired. And the lady who checked my vision was really nice and talked my head off about her uncle who had lived on my street in Newtopia. And then I passed the written exam with a point to spare, yay me, and got a not all-that-unflattering picture taken.

In every case, there was no waiting in line. There might be one person in front of me, but that was it. The whole thing took maybe 30 minutes start to finish, including the time I spent looking at the shapes of traffic signs trying to remember what the red octagonal one means.

So this just goes to show you that cleanliness is next to Godliness in Illinois. Because if Rod Blagojavich hadn't been about to be convicted, I would have been standing in line behind dozens of illegal immigrants who are unqualified to drive.

And then I would have had to waste a ton of time palming $20 bills to everyone to try to get them to pass me even though I don't know what the red octagonal sign means.

And then I would have had to spend another half hour and $20 more to get the guy to photoshop about a decade off my face.

So yay, Illinois!

And that's what I did on my blogging vacation.


  1. Did you, like, at least get the T-shirt?

  2. Congratulations! I'm hoping for a good picture next time.

  3. Wow. Can you guys tell the Michigan Secretary of State your secret? I don't care where you go or who you are, plan on spending an hour with a crab-assed old woman waiting for her state pension to kick in.


  4. Oh, how I miss the DMV.

    So many good memories of time well-spent.

  5. Here in Mississippi, all you have to do is hand over $25 and let them look at your social security card. Mine expired Jan. 21st and getting it renewed was surprisingly painless.

  6. I found out a couple of years ago that my license had expired when I went to fly somewhere. The TSA guys were very nice about the whole thing, and fortunately I had another gov't issued photo id with me. The funny thing is -- it was the 3rd flight I was taking after my license had expired. Go figure.

    Your birthday is our wedding anniversary.

  7. In an effort to save money the governor of this fine Commonwealth decided that we would no longer get reminder notices when our licenses were set to expire.

    Let the Munchkin pelting begin!

  8. Illinois here, too, so I feel your pain, lol. I'm happy for you that you got in without a line, though...that's always the worst part!

  9. All I can tell you is, be glad you don't live in Texas. This is what I went through...

    Hope to meet you at Blissdom!

  10. My UK license doesn't expire until 2024 -- on my 70th birthday.

    Until then no eye tests, no written tests, no queues.

  11. So, where do we send the presents if we are being "good" blog readers next year when the time comes?


  12. I once let my license expire for, um, TWO YEARS. I had to take the DRIVING test again. But I did get an entirely new driver's license number which meant a totally clean slate as far as the recording of traffic infractions goes. And I have kept said record intact thus far.

    I have to go get a new NEW YORK license, though, and I'm dreading it.

    Next year, though, I'll be renewing ONLINE.

    (I have had a LOT OF COFFEE. Sorry for all of the capital letters.)

  13. Illinois is rough, that sucks that you have to take a written test to renew your license.

    In Washington, we are so high tech, that you can renew your license online. No written tests, vision tests or anything. AND you get to keep the photo from the last time. If you go in person like I did because I forgot (mine expired Dec 18th, only a vision test where you stick your head on this weird projector and look at the red dots is required. Tests are only required when you first get your license and when you turn 65.


Gentle Readers:

For the time being, I've turned off comment moderation. Please don't spam; it's not nice.

xxx, Poppy.