The DMV Rant

Today I went to the RMV (also known as the DMV). Twice.

The first time they turned me away because I hadn’t brought my social security card. The RMV website went into excruciating detail (in a huge PDF) about what sorts of documents to bring to verify your residence in Massachusetts, your signature, your birthdate, your star sign…but it didn’t mention that the governor has demanded you show up with your social security card in hand.

For the Aussies in the audience, a social security card is a little scrap of paper with your social security number printed on it by a dot matrix printer with an old ribbon. You can still see the perforations, not to mention my signature from when I was nine years old - like that verifies anything.

Come to think of it, when the woman at the front desk was blaming my wasted trip on our lovely governor (the first governor ever to give birth in office), I believe she mentioned that Governor Swift had made the new rule on September 11th. So now I don’t even get to gripe about how they promised us that social security numbers would never be used for identification purposes. Sigh.

Well, I got back at the RMV - I cheated on the eye exam. Yes, put on that yellow shirt and you too can pass the Kobiyashi Maru… I didn’t break the rules, I did an end-run around them. The story goes a little like this:

Back when I was a young, innocent driver in Rhode Island, they had an eye chart on the wall and you read it, and if you could see, you got a license. But it’s not so simple in the big states.

When I moved to Connecticut, everything was high-tech - they have a fancy hologram thing on the license to keep minors from forging Connecticut licenses. There’s a funky eye test that looks like an overgrown View-Master. One eye gets one picture, and the other eye gets another. Of course, I didn’t know this walking into the CT DMV in Wethersfield for the first time. It wasn’t until the guy asked me twice to read the rest of the line of letters that I figured it out. So I peeked out of my backup eye and read the rest of the line.

I’ve been living in Boston for over two years, but it is only now that my CT license is expiring. When I got (back) to the Boston RMV, I was prepared. They had the same View-Masters, and I did the same thing. Score one against the RMV. Now if they’d only charge $15 like in Rhode Island instead of $70…

This probably doesn’t make any sense to you unless you’re as old as I am and you have a lazy eye that wasn’t brought up properly in your childhood, so is still lazy. It’s a zen eye - it sees all, but is usually unaffected by it (unless I make an effort to focus on what it sees, because I want a driver’s license so I can buy Guinness).

Don’t worry, I don’t drive - the streets of Boston are still safe for pedestrians.

Lego update: A zendomite (reminds me of corbomite) pointed me to the blog where I found the Lego links: common street trash.

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