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CA DMV does not know what a CA drivers license looks like

Posted by John Reed on

I got a notice to renew my drivers license. Don’t know why. It expires in 2028. Maybe my age. Had to do it in person because of eye test and written test.
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I checked the hours. It is now at a local indoor mall. To my surprise, they open at 8AM there.
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Relatively efficient for the DMV which is sort of the quintessential example of government worker sloth.
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I wanted my veteran status in the license, but they said I needed a paper I never heard of to prove it. Never mind.
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A year or so ago, I needed to send a SWIFT wire from one of my New Zealand bank accounts. They demanded to see my drivers license. The US said a year or so ago that CA drivers licenses were not good enough for plane travel. CA started letting us change to a new, compliant card called Real ID. I got it a year or more ago.
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The Real ID drivers license said “Senior Citizen Identification Card” in the place where the words “Drivers License” used to be. New Zealand said, “That is not a drivers license. It’s a senior citizen ID card.” “It IS a drivers license,” I said. “They should have made sure it still said that somewhere. It’s a new Real ID card ordered by the federal government for anti-terrorism purposes.” I gave them the federal and state web sites explaining the Real ID card.
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They still refused to believe me.
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Uh. I am an American and a Californian. I do not need New Zealand bank clerks to tell me what a CA drivers license looks like. Furthermore, New Zealand bank clerks do not trump the web sites of CA and the US.
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When I visited NZ in 2013, I handed them my CA drivers license. That was before Real ID. It said drivers license. It also had a number which the NZ banks wrote down. My new CA Real ID has the exact same number!
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I did not say that to them. I kept silent. I was following the advice I give to readers. You have no rights crossing the border or in a foreign country. They are doing you a favor. Don’t complain. Don’t be an Ugly American. I did not write to the NZ bank CEO to point out the insanity of NZ bank clerks claiming my CA drivers license was not a drivers license.
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Also, the issue was my identity, not my driving in NZ. What the hell is wrong with a CA-issued senior citizen ID card for that reason? What if I could no longer drive because of some disability?
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I did not say ANY of these things. I am a guest in NZ. Smile. Say please and thank you. Nothing to see here.
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Later, I called the NZ bank again, but using a different phone number for them—one that was for international stuff. They did not ask for a drivers license. Butta bing the SWIFT wire was done.
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So today the DMV clerk here in CA asks for my drivers license. I hand it to hm. “That’s not a drivers license. It’s a senior citizen ID card.”
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WTF!? This guy is a full-time employee of the CA DMV that issued the card. Same office of the CA DMV actually. We are both in CA. The third time, I said, you cannot see the words “drivers license” because they put the word senior ID card stuff there. They need to find a place to put both senior and drivers license. He went and talked to someone else then came back and processed my application.
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For Chrissake! Maybe it was his first day.
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I could not read his wall eye chart with my left eye. My right eye has a post cataract plastic lens. My left eye needs that same procedure, but not quite yet. They tried me again with both eyes in a machine. I passed.
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I had to take the written exam on CA laws. Last time, I flunked it and had to retake it. This time, I asked for, got, and studied a booklet on those laws. Got three wrong, but still passed. Main new stuff I saw in the booklet was a lot of new bicycle laws. None of my questions were on that though.
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How the hell do all the morons I see on the road pass that test? I wonder if some can even read.
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They tell me I will get the new card in the mail.
Thank God I did not get my veteran status on the card. I would still be there trying to convince him that my drivers license was not my 1973 draft card.
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I once had trouble getting to my health club because I put my expired drivers license in my exercise shorts. My current one was elsewhere when I entered. “This is expired,” they complained. Uh huh. I, however am not expired but thank you for pointing out that irrelevant detail.
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I had to go get the unexpired drivers license. They now use a finger-print reader. The DMV test computer asked for my thumb print, but did not like it. But they accepted details about me as a substitute. With the clerk, HIS thumb print reader DID like my thumb print.
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Imagine me trying to work in such a place as my career. I could barely stand it for an hour.

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