It was nearly two years ago that I lost my credit card and driver’s license on a bike ride. I was on my e-bike in Tucson, riding with my friend Ellen, and somewhere along the Loop the documents fell out of my pannier. At least I think that’s what happened. I searched the bike, then the car, then my house. Couldn’t find them anywhere.
I had a lot of autopays on that credit card, so I decided not to cancel it unless something showed up that I hadn’t charged. Then I’d dispute the charge and have the credit card replaced. I wrote the number with a Sharpie on my laptop lid - except for the last four digits - and I have used that credit card for 18 months without incident.
I sent away for a copy of my Washington driver’s license, and it arrived within a week or so. Everything was just like the old one, but there was no photo on it. So I couldn’t use it as a photo ID. For nearly 18 months I carried my passport with me so I’d have proof of who I was. Recently someone reminded me that my photo was also on my Costco card. That would probably have been easier.
Then, this summer, I decided to get a new driver’s license. I’d read somewhere that if I went into a DMV office I could get a new one, and that they’d use the most recent photo in their system to put on my new license.
I made an appointment for three weeks out - this was Covid time, and staffing was light. So I showed up for my appointment about two weeks after my hip replacement surgery. My husband Art drove me to the place. When my name was called, I went up to the window. The lady said, “I can’t give you a new license today because you’re using a walker. You’ll need to come back when you’re just using a cane. Maybe just a week or so. Come on a Saturday morning - there’s not usually a line and you can get in without an appointment.” I was a little annoyed, but I’m fairly compliant by nature, so I left without complaint.
It was nearly a month before I graduated from a walker to a cane. Then I showed up at the DMV on a Saturday morning. There was a long line for people without appointments. I stood there for about 15 minutes and the line didn’t move. We had another commitment elsewhere, so we left.
The next Saturday I showed up again. Another long line. This time a woman in front of me started yelling and cursing at the DMV line monitor. He called his supervisor who was unsuccessful at getting the woman calmed down. I’m thinking she was homeless with a mental illness of some kind. Most of us in line were watching her, appalled at her behavior. Once she left, the line had grown long and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t get in before the office closed at noon. So, once again, I left. We were due to leave for Tucson in a couple of weeks to spend the winter. I figured I’d just use my passport and Costco card for my picture ID.
When I got home, I decided all of a sudden to see if there were any appointments available at the DMV before November 1, when we were leaving. To my amazement, there was one available that afternoon at 3! A cancellation, I’m sure. I took the appointment and showed up yet again - my fourth trip to the DMV in six weeks.
At the window, the DMV person asked the usual questions and THEN he said, “Okay. Time to take your picture.” I hadn’t expected that, so I hadn’t combed my hair or put on any makeup. Just a T-shirt and a hoodie, with wild curly hair from standing outside in the rain for ten minutes.
I got my driver’s license in the mail the next week. The photo was the best I have ever taken in 55 years of driver’s licenses.