It had to be done. I was eventually going to HAVE to make that trip down to the DMV to get a new ID card. I'd been dreading this for oh...about 3 years now, ever since I lost my state ID card.
After I got married, in December for 2003, I went in to get the new ID with my name change. I didn't think this would be complicated, seeing as I had all of the proper documents, including my shiny new Social Security card. But ohhhh, no...not for a DMV employee...someone who can only think within very narrow parameters.
I was waited on by a state employee I will affectionately refer to as Crusty, because he was a crusty ole grump. Well everything was going along fine until I had handed over my United Kingdom marriage certificate and his gears immediately downshifted. The rules state that when you are changing your name due to marriage, you have to bring in an original of the certificate with a raised seal. Well, Crusty didn't know how to process the fact that UK marriage certificates doesn't have a raised seal and further more are not officially typed out. That raised seal really stuck in his craw. Ours anyway, was handwritten by the registrar who proceeded over our marriage and contains the words spinster (GRRR) and bachelor and carries the royal emblem...stamped, not raised. Good old Crusty wasn't going to accept this ORIGINAL, CERTIFIED copy of my marriage certificate. I asked quite level-headedly and calmly what was it he proposed I do in order to prove it is a valid document? I wanted to shout..."YOU WANT ME TO GO GRAB 'LIZABETH, AND TROT HER AND HER CORGIS IN HERE SO SHE CAN VALIDATE IT...MAYBE SHE'LL KNIGHT YOU WHILE IN THE PROCESS FOR BEING SUCH A DAMN FINE DMV EMPLOYEE"? Crusty grumbled off to talk to a manager, or fifty, and they umm'd, ahh'd and pointed. I think they all rubbed their thumbs across it looking for that damn raised seal. Then Crusty came back and in a tone that was meant to convey severe apprehension, he said he'd accept it, but I had the feeling I should be REAL damn lucky he did, and should bow in gratitude or something. I'm guessing no one in my great state of Illinois has ever married outside the country before.
Anywhooo...this so rattled Crusty's cage that he made just a lil tiny, eensy weensy booboo, one which I didn't noticed until several months later, and one I didn't want to even think about having to go back to the DMV to get corrected....he entered my sex as MALE!!!! Secretly I think he did it on purpose. And then at some point, I lost the ID.
So I walked around for a few years without an official state ID, using my passport or work ID when I absolutely needed one, which really wasn't all that often...really only when the Hubs and I went to a bar that wanted to harass women that are clearly over the drinking age. I needed a new ID though, so after enough nagging from the Hubs, I finally decided, that's it, I'm going to just get it over with.
I checked the DMV web site to see what are acceptable forms of ID and gathered together my birth certificate (proving that yes, I was indeed born FEMALE), marriage certificate (EGADS, there is no way of getting around the fact that I have to show how I got from maiden name to married name), social security card (natch), and lease to show proof of address. I merrily skipped on down to the DMV, arriving at 7:20am, knowing they opened at 8:00am, but determined to be in and out of there like greased lightning. I pulled out my book and watched the line grow behind me...I was first in line...hurrah! Then at about 7:50am, a compact lady with sensible shoes and a very swift, efficient looking manner about her...and a clipboard (the sure sign of authority), unlocked the door and asked that we form an orderly line outside the door and gather all of our documents together so she could check them out prior to entering. She wanted to make sure we had everything we needed for whatever our desired service was. I remembered this from last time and whipped them out, all..."AH HA"-like. She hesitated at the foreign marriage cert., only asking if I'd had another state ID at any time. Nope...ok, she said I was good to go. She went through the line and informed us she'd be back to give us numbers. Being first in line you'd think I get the first number right? WRONG...three seniors got the first numbers, because well, they are seniors and they can't sit around waiting all day. Those of us who have to go to work can...
No biggie, once we were allowed to officially go into the DMV office, the seniors were called up, two of them were a tad thrown off by the booming electronic voice telling them which desk to go to. Then it was my turn!!! E-gads, I was being waited on by Crusty's friend Grumbly. He asked what I was there for. I told him a new card, to replace a lost card, that wasn't due to expire until next year on my birthday, and a correction to the card. And what was that correction he inquired. I told him it said "male" and kind of heh-heh'd, saying that I could assure him I was born female. What I wanted to do was spin sideways, narrow my eyes to a glare and point accusingly at Crusty (because oh, yes he was there just 2 desks down) and yell... "YOU! YOU made this mistake, you imcompetent Crusty fart!" Grumbly didn't react much...Grumbly didn't seem to have much of a pulse. Whenever he asked a question, he cut me off, so I just stood there, waiting for him to finish tap-tapping...FEMALE, Grumbly, FEMALE...get it right. He printed off a form for me to sign and I noticed something, it said expiration date of 2009. WHAT??? I said, ahem, why is this only good for one year? Well, silly me, because it's a duplicate and had I noticed the error immediately, they could have replaced it for free, and if I came back next week on my birthday, it could be valid for the 5 years. I couldn't take it...I signed the thing, with full realization that I'd have to return in one year to do it all over again. WAAAAAAAAH!!!! And with full realization that I'd have have to pay another $20 bucks next year. But I just couldn't bear it, I couldn't bear the thought of going back into the office again next week. I just wanted to be done with it and I'll worry about next year....next year. As long as I don't lose the thing again...ahem...I won't have to produce ALL those documents (including the evil marriage cert) next year. Oh, and here's the other thing, not only do I NOT want to go to the DMV again next week, you gotta be crazy if you think I'm going to spend my birthday with either Crusty, Grumbly or any of the other DMV dwarfs.
The rest was a breeze...paid the cashier $20, went to the photo area, got awful picture taken by very pleasant lady who giggled when I said I just wanted to make sure it didn't say "male", like last time, and she said, no, it's too early in the morning for sex changes.... She's alright! Too bad she can't spread her personality to Crusty and Grumbly.