The journey to a driver’s license |

The journey to a driver’s license

Mike Bennett
Staff Photo |

Last Friday I figured it was time to trade in my Michigan driver’s license for a shiny new Colorado version. They were taking number 45 and my ticket was number 59. Little did I know that it wasn’t too bad, but I decided to come back on a lighter day. I didn’t realize such days did not exist.

So I ventured back on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. This time they were on number 19 and my ticket was number 50, but I figured it could be worse. I could be in the Philippines waiting for government officials to remove decomposing bodies from the streets after the recent storm. I counted my blessings and took a seat.

Twenty minutes went by and number 23 was called. Number 23 had been waiting two and a half hours. An idea popped in my head. Would anybody care if I went back to the office, grabbed some lunch and then got a haircut? An hour and a half later I’m back to the same familiar faces in the waiting area and they were only on number 38.

My buddy John Haines stepped in and out faster than I could say hello. Others just couldn’t wait, and numbers began to be called more quickly. A smart entrepreneur could make a decent living being a placeholder for those that don’t want to wait their turn. I would have paid someone $5 … maybe $10. Heck, it could require a full day’s vacation to get a license.

In my case it took only just over two hours before it was my turn. I had my proof of residence and everything was going well until I was asked if I’ve ever been to New York. That sounded like a harmless question. I’m originally from the East Coast. I’ve visited my brother in upstate New York many times. A year and a half ago I did the tourist thing in Manhattan.

Yeah, I’ve been to New York. Unfortunately there is another Michael Bennett about my age in New York that must have had some issues. I was given form number 2663 and a reference number to get clearance for that valuable Colorado driver’s license. It was 10 minutes before closing time in New York. I had still had time. So I called the automated number and my eighth choice was “other,” which was mine. That led me to six more choices, and the last was mine. Seriously I was given yet another set of three choices with the last being mine. And that led me to a recorded message asking me to call back during regular business hours. I looked at my watch and with dismay I saw it was 4 p.m. EST on the dot.

Now I’m told that I won’t have to wait in line once I get the document faxed to the Glenwood DMV. So, tomorrow I will pessimistically continue my journey. Will New York easily provide me the documentation I need? Will I really be able to avoid another long wait?

I must say the staff at the DMV seemed unfazed with the high volume and were pleasant enough, even though the 50 or so waiting customers were a bit vexed.

I give thanks this Thanksgiving that I am healthy and able to stand in line to be able to get a Colorado driver’s license once again. As my dad used to say, “Things could be worse.”

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