Wednesday, September 12, 2007

It's Good to Know All State Governments Are Equally Inefficient, In Their Own Ways

We go to the Midtown Services department!

This is, strangely, where we will register our cars and get our driver's licenses. Of course, the lines are long and the employees are disgruntled, so despite the name we feel right at home.

We have to take a written "knowledge" test to get our licenses. We knew this, and I took time to read through the Driver's Manual to review. The DNB did not, and he looks at me nervously.

"What do I need to know?" he asks in a low voice.

"I don't know," I respond truthfully. "It's all pretty much common sense."

"This is why," he reveals, "I've delayed coming to get this done. This is too stressful! I'm not a good test-taker!"

I'm surprised that he's serious. And I thought the reason was his RAMPANT ADD.

My studying pays off - I get one wrong and wait for my turn to get my picture taken. The DNB sits at his station for a long time. I start to get nervous for him. He finally emerges, face expressionless. He sits down beside me.

"I passed," he breathes. "Barely. I got an 82%." I'm glad, especially since we've planned to go out for happy hour afterwards. Mommy needs her medicine.

When our numbers are finally called to complete the process, the employee cuts the corner off our Indiana driver's licenses and hands them back to us, along with a small stack of paper.

"You are legal to drive until your new Minnesota license arrives in 6 weeks," she instructs. "But only if you have these papers along with your I.D."

I try to fold the papers up and put them in my wallet. They don't fit. 6 WEEKS? Dang, Minnesota.

At the bar, later, our server cards us. When she notices the corner of my license, she demands, "Papers please."

It feels very World War II, and I don't like it.

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