Small Things

You all know how much I love Texas.

But Texas and I got off to kind of a bad start when I went, the first or second week I lived there, to get my new driver’s license.

Bart and I had only been married about 8 months at that point, so I’d gotten a new driver’s license the week after we were married. My new Utah license was glorious. The picture was good, my hair looked terrific, and I had no problem whipping it out when requested. It was a glorious replacement for my first driver’s license in Nevada where I had braces, looked about 8, and had my head turned to the side (you were required by law to do that if you were under 21, but anyone outside the state thought I was just too dumb to look straight at the camera).

Texas not only demanded my perfect license, but then handed me over a new Texas license that was, in short, heinous. As if the horrible cream-yellow background color wasn’t bad enough, the picture was unflattering in every possible way. My hair looked terrible. My face looked round. You could almost see the photographer in the shine on my face. It was horrendous.

Two years ago, I went in to the doctor’s office and when they pulled out my file, I saw a copy of my Utah license that they’d made when I came in the week I’d moved to Texas. I wept again at the loss.

Last Friday, Bart and I went to the DMV and I got a new drivers license (I know, I know, I’m not the only one who thinks this is an absurd amount of drivers licenses in just a few years). When the woman at the desk flipped the screen around so I could see my picture, I almost hugged her. It was a good picture. One I won’t shudder at every single time I’m asked for ID (which, granted, is not that often).

Massachusetts, you’re already winning me over.

Of course, if you hadn’t charged me ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS for a new lovely license picture, you’d be winning me over a little faster.

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  • Reply craftyashley August 24, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    I can so relate. I used to have a good one too. I almost begged the lady to let me keep the picture. I would not suggest trying to bribe a DMV employee. lol

  • Reply Stacy August 24, 2009 at 5:30 pm


    $100 for a new license is absolutely insane.

  • Reply Kristi August 24, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Wow, I was married two years before I changed my license, and lived in Texas a year before I changed mine there. You are such a law abiding citizen : )

  • Reply Emily August 24, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    I gotta tell ya, I'm surprised you're so quick to get a new license! I got a new one a month or two after we got married, mostly because I needed the accurate ID for my job. But I didn't get a new one in NY and have no intention of getting a new on in NV if I don't have to (actually I think mine will expire while we live here.)Jacob still has his WI one from when he was 16 because they don't expire for 10 years. Is there a reason to get one every time you move?

  • Reply Becca August 24, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Ugh – people always thought I was handicapped when they saw my original NV one. "What are you looking at? Get distracted?"

    I still have my 2nd NV one – I never changed my residency to UT or PA or anything, and I LOVE it. The picture is great (I can't figure out how to do my hair that good again). I'm going to cry when I have to get a CA one. And knowing CA, they'll probably charge me a hundred dollars or so.

  • Reply Science Teacher Mommy August 24, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Oo. . . . I love my Oregon license too. WAY better than the one I gave up from Utah.

    However, my Texas license, though perfectly adequate, required that I wait in line approximately 3.6 hours in a barely air conditioned DMV which resemebled an old trailer. It was one of TWO in Harris County–the most populated county in the WHOLE COUNTRY.

    In short, the Texas DMV is pretty much my definition of hell.

  • Reply Chelsea August 24, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    $100??? That's absolutely insane! I'm glad you like your picture. It's never fun to have a picture you don't like that you have to show people.

  • Reply Jess August 24, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Holy CRAP that's a lot of money. I thought DC was expensive–they charge $39!

  • Reply KT August 24, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    $100 is absurd! We had to pay $20 each to get our new KY licenses. Yay for a nice picture though!

  • Reply Packrat August 24, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Note to Emily – yes, you need to update your license – for banking, for voting, for being involved in church and/or school activities (if you ever have charge of children), getting a library card, etc. etc. etc. Some states have an expiration date and will fine you and/or make you take a driving test if you don't change your driver's license within a certain amount of time living in a new state.

    Change plates quickly, too. (Washington State is so bad about license plates that when I used to go into the state one or two times a week and park at a private house, police would follow me around town to make sure I left the state. I was lucky and never got stopped. Others people tell of horror stories and having to go to court to prove that they were just visiting for a week! If you live in Idaho and work in Washington State – watch out!)

    Janssen – $100. Crazy. Insane. Ripoff. At least the picture was good.

    My first driver's license picture (from the state of Michigan) was probably one of the best pictures ever taken of me. sigh

    Sorry for the book.

  • Reply Kelly J. August 24, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    I am NOT changing my license until I need to, especially since we'll likely be moving from IL to WI. Why spend all the time, money, and frustration when my Texas license is perfectly fine until 2013 ( 2013!! ).

    For the issues of paperwork, that's the beauty of a passport.

    $100 is purely criminal.

  • Reply lacie tidwell August 24, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    AMEN! I had a wonderful license pic too- then I had to renew it and it fell about when
    I was SIX MONTHS PREGNANT- my face was fat and bloated- it's awful- and I had a beautiful pic before!So annoying- and $100- annoying- at least it'sa good pic though!

  • Reply Kait August 25, 2009 at 12:26 am

    I totally understand the ID picture hatred.

    It would be worth it to move out of state if only for a new ID.

    I wish I were exaggerating.

  • Reply Sherry August 25, 2009 at 5:36 am

    $100 is crazy talk.

    I learned yesterday that in Arizona licenses expire after THIRTY YEARS! THIRTY! Imagine showing people your 24-year-old self when you are 54.

    My Texas license still hasn't expired. Of course, the Utah license people punched holes in it to make it invalid. Plus it has my old name. But it was a great picture. I still carry it with me.

  • Reply Miriam August 25, 2009 at 10:25 am

    My last Idaho license was my "favorite" photo – I'm standing there smiling, waiting for the lady to snap the picture (in front of throngs of people who are looking on,waiting for their turn)…waiting….waiting…waiting….finally, I go to say "Humm, are you going to take the picture?", that's when she snaps it. Naturally, my mouth is open, face befuddled, eyes looking off in some odd direction – I think they do it on purpose and then sit and laugh over the worst photos on their lunch breaks!

  • Reply nancypearlwannabe August 25, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    I'm impressed that you actually got new licenses so quickly! I still have a NH license and I've been living in MA for… oh, I don't know, 6 years?

  • Reply Bean August 25, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    $100?! Whew! Does that new license come with a small bit of gold perhaps? Some food samples? Free gas? Sheesh!

  • Reply Amy Sorensen August 25, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    COUGH! $100 for a driver's license? Painful. However, I totally understand! My current photo is AWFUL because I thought I was just getting a renewal sticker when I went in, but no: I had to get an all-new card, and I totally wasn't prepared. I seriously have people question whether or not it's me on my DL because the photo is so bad.

    I'm glad you got a photo you like!

  • Reply Anonymous August 26, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    I'm going into BW (blog withdrawal). I was so used to you updating everyday while you weren't working.

  • Reply Anonymous August 26, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    I'm going into BW (blog withdrawal). I was so used to you updating everyday while you weren't working.

  • Reply Monica August 28, 2009 at 3:22 am

    These small things really do matter though, don't they.

    Brad has been missing his license for three weeks. And his debit card and temple recommend. Everything is enclosed in his duct tape wallet which is also missing somewhere in our two-square-feet apartment. I'm beginning to think that it fell on the ground and threw it away thinking that it was a useless ball of used duct tape…

    Long story, sorry!

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