Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Small State; Little Bureaucracy? THINK AGAIN

So it was time to get my New Hampshire Driver's License.
It wasn't THAT long ago that I renewed my Texas one, and I was hoping that fewer people in a smaller state would mean a shorter line.
It did... but we still stood in line for over 40 minutes.
DH and I had carefully read the DMV website about what you needed in the way of ID.  Previous license? Yup. Proof of citizenship? Yup, birth certificate AND passport.  Proof of address?  Yup, Utility bill with hubby's name and a magazine cover delivered to me at the same address.

 While standing in line, we realized there were forms for us to fill out.  We did so. A woman approached us while we were in line to expedite things. She asked to ask for 3 things – my old license (check), a 2nd form of identification (like a birth certificate, check), and a proof of residency (check for DH.)  Not check for me.  "It has to be a utility bill or something that shows you receive "service" at that address."
"That's where I got the magazine.  I also have a homeowners insurance policy bill with both our names on it.  Would that count?"
"No.  You could live someplace ELSE and merely be insuring this (local) address."
"But we're married, shouldn't that count?"
"Did you bring your marriage license?"
"Of course not, we thought we had plenty of identification.  DH will get his today and I'll come back later."

DH, of course, was fuming/steaming around the edges with frustration.

"Well, you could go to the bank-down-the-road* and have them notarize a letter saying you are married."

DH gets his license.
We decided to see if the bank-down-the-road can help us out.
We explain to Christine at the bank.
"Do you have your marriage license?"
"NOOOOOOOOO.  If we had that, we'd be done at the DMV."
"Hmmm."  (This is actually promising because she is trying to help us.  I show her the insurance bill, and my magazine label.) "Okay," she says, "Mr. DH, write a letter saying that she lives with you at this address and I'll notarize that."
"It doesn't matter if we're married, then?"
"No, but a notarized letter will be enough for them to believe that's where you live, and I believe you.

  She doesn't even type the letter.  It is handwritten by DH, signed and dated by him and then, literally, rubber stamped by her.

We return to the DMV and wander towards the front of the line as instructed.
"I remember you.  Patsy will help you next."

Patsy does indeed take my old license, look at my passport, look at and photocopy the notarized letter from the-bank-down the street. 

"That'll be $50.00."
I hand her our credit card.  She runs it through about 5 times.  No dice.  She goes to another machine. She returns to my section of her counter. 
"Is this the same card your husband used?"
"Yup... we simplified.  I guess THAT doesn't pay, does it?"

She over rides something and this is what I get:

A folded paper license... that has the best of 2 photos of me on it, and a photo of "the man on the mountain."  (He has, by the way, since fallen down the side of the mountain due to erosion.

Live Free or Die my ***.

*The Bank Down The Road was TD Savings in Epping.  Yay, them.  They not charge us even though we didn't have an account with them.  And it turns out Christine would have been one of our neighbors if we'd bought the house we liked in Epping.  Small world and no bridges burned.

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