Saturday, September 29, 2007

License to drive: or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the DMV

I never really committed to living in LA. I enjoy holding on to my NY roots and my Prius didn't want Cali plates, regardless of the cushy "car pool lane" benefits it was entitled.

Never really...till yesterday.

My registration expired months ago and my NY license was soon to follow. Monday to be exact. I had to do the dreaded deed. Switch to Cali info...and I had to go Satan's hellmouth to do it.

FACT: I'm a horrendous driver. I'm a danger to anyone and everyone around me. Its been documented in previous blogs but allow me this brief chance to reiterate: My poor vision coupled w/ my lack of an attention span makes me a 4 wheeled missile...that gets really good miles per gallon...but a missile none the less.

Knowing this, I decided it was in my best interests to get to the DMV before my license expired. The shame of retaking the driver's test...and failing as countless teenagers snickered as they waited for their passage into adulthood would have been too much to take.

The car inspection went smoothly, as I actually had my paperwork in order. I'm fairly neat, but when it comes to "important paperwork" I'm a disaster. It should really be the other way around but I haven't been able to pull off that switch. Fortunately by some stroke of luck I had my title in my important paperwork bag

SS card, Birth certificate, & car title all in one easy to lose bag. Genius.

Not so luckily it seems to be missing from the bag now. This isn't the worst thing however as I'm sure its at the DMV. We'll find out on Monday. I left it there( i think) in a panicked rattle after I took my written test. That's right, I, as a new driver to California, had to re-take the written test.


How hard could it be. All I had to do was get 6 or less wrong and I was golden. The girl with the braces and the old mexican lady w/ the cataracts next to me seemed to be breezing through it so why shouldn't I?

When a heavy fog occurs you should:

a)use high beams for best visibility.
b) park off to the right side of the road with you parking lights on.
c)park at a rest area or truck stop until the fog has lifted.

It's a pussy answer but clearly C is the way to go. I was on on my way. I breezed through the questions like my name was Chris Knight.

Feeling quite good about my answers I gave the lil old Mexican lady a wink (i can't be sure if she saw it..what with the cataracts and all) and walked to the desk to hand my answers in. Imagine my horror as I watched the DMV employee red mark answer after answer. Once she got up to seven, knowing full well the limit was six we had this exchange:

Del: (rattled) Ummm, are you marking off the right ones or the wrong ones?
DMV: The wrong ones...did you read the book?
Del: No, I already have a license.
DMV: (while checking off two more incorrect answers) you want to take it again?
Del: Yes, can I do that now?
DMV: Sure, I'll give you the easy one.
Del: sounds good.

I sat back down and hoped to find redemption. Hmm, many of the same questions...I wonder which ones I got wrong. Which way do you turn your wheel when parked on a hill? Crap. Easy one my ass. I don't know what the hell a C1 form is. Bastards. I took my answers back up sheepishly and hoped for the best. The DMV clerk pulled out the red marker and went to town. I think my test gave her carpel tunnel syndrome. 7 Wrong. WTF. Was I getting punked? Please tell me that that ass clown Aston Kutcher was right around the corner laughing his ass off in a trucker hat. Then I remembered I wasn't a celebrity and I would not be saved. Time to turn on the charm:

Del: This is nuts, lets go take a drive right now. I'll make sure its extra safe.
DMV: My goodness, how long have you been driving for?
Del: Listen, I'm here because my ID expires on my birthday which is Monday...You wouldn't want to spoil my birthday would you.
DMV: OK honey...I give you passing grade.

That's right. I stooped to a new low. The charm worked on my lil dmv lady friend, even though I was covered in the stench of shame. I still got it.

Sidenote: When getting my birth certificate examined the DMV clerk brought it over to her supervisor to inspect. On her way back she said as she pointed to my name on my birth certificate : "That lady told me to tell you not to name your son that!"
I wanted to yell out "what the hell is your name!?" but since I had just been gifted a passing grade I dialed my retort down to "Its the same exact thing as Robert. Is Robert a weird name to you?" We all had a great chuckle...and I cursed them under my breath.

I hate the DMV. (The hate will subside if they find my Title)

Sidenote II: What was my reward for getting my Cali License and Cali plates you ask? My dashboard yesterday lit up like a Fourth of July firework show. Three different icons that are Greek to me. The good people of Toyota were kind enough to let me know its most likely not going to be covered under my warranty..and that they'd need to keep my car till the very least. I wonder if the DMV put in an emergency call to them to keep me off the roads. I could hardly blame them.

Time to head out for some blacking out. Taking a cab.


that guy said...

true confession: I called the lady at DMV a cunt. She went to the next number/person because I was not quick enough getting to the counter. Reprecussion: I was not allowed to take the GMAT as my license was expired and no longer a valid form of ID...karma is a bitch!

that guy said...

I too harbor a hatred for DMV

Stephanie said...

this sounds awful, regardless, you are a horrendous driver. glad your charm could bring you one step closer to God.

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