Thursday, May 17, 2007

Legal things

I am now, officially, a legal resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Once again, I had to prove I am not a terrorist who lives in a post office box.

Wednesday, I took 1/2 off to go to the DMV and attempt to get my license. I had all the paperwork I used to get the loan at the credit union a month ago, so I thought I had all my bases covered. Wrong.

At the DMV, I whipped out my birth certificate, my social security card, my NC license, and the statement from the post office linking the PO box to the physical address of the house. Not good enough. I was told to go to the post office, and put in a forwarding order. Once I got mail that had been forwarded to the physical address, I could bring that in and get my license.

At the post office, I filled out the form, and handed it to the guy behind the counter. He said, 'No problem, a forwarding confirmation will be delivered in a few days." "To the PO Box, right?" I ask. "No, to your mailbox on the street." "WE DON'T HAVE A MAILBOX ON THE STREET!!" "Oh, well - you need to get one." Grrr.... "OK, not gonna happen. Can't you put the confirmation in the PO Box that is linked to that physical address?" "Yeah, I guess that will be alright." We'll see..

One other way I could prove my physical address to the DMV was to bring in a voter registration card. I picked up that application, and read over the requirements. You guessed it - I needed to provide proof of residency before I could get a voter registration card. Just because, I went by the Board of Elections. One lonely lady sat in there - very glad to see me. I told her what I was trying to accomplish. She looked at my documents, said "These will do", and printed up a voter registration card - - on the spot. What? A person with sense? Is that it? Am I really able to prove I live there?

The acid test: I drove back to the DMV, and once again presented all my documents - including the voter registration card. Things are looking good! During the process, the lady helping me got called to the telephone. When she came back, she said, "The only thing you're missing is your proof of legal residence." "NO! I gave you my voter registration card!" It's not in with my other stuff - as she went to answer the phone, she evidently laid it down somewhere. She retraced her steps, and managed to find it on another counter. Then, she called another woman over and asked, "Don't we need her marriage license as well - to prove her married name?" You have GOT to be kidding me!!! Finally, I get to the eye test. I'm sorry, no one can read those letters in that little binocular box. I passed, however, and walked out with a VA license. Finally.

Then, I drove to the car dealership to get my VA tags. I couldn't officially register my new car in VA until I had a VA driver's license. After they copied my new license, and a little wait while the salesman found someone who was authorized to give me my permanent tags, I had VA tags. I'm official. I can vote, I can drive, I can serve on a jury, I will (eventually, I suppose) get mail forwarded from my old address, I can write a check on my VA bank account at the grocery store, I can pay VA property tax, and I can infiltrate all of VA's most secret societies. (Oh, wait...did I say that last part out loud?)

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