Sunday, February 10, 2019

Val's Six-Year Sentence Has Been Served!

With my birthday looming on the horizon, I went to renew my driver's license Friday. A couple renewals ago, the state of Missouri decided that a license would last SIX YEARS, and expire on your birthday. At least that's rememberable. Last time, in 2013, I never got the little postcard reminder, despite having lived at my current address since before The Pony was born. Oh, I knew when my birthday was, but it slipped my mind that I'd just renewed it in 2007. Thank goodness I had my license out (probably packing my gambling purse for a casino trip) and noticed that it was going to expire.

The renewal in 2013 was a nightmare! Since I didn't have the renewal card, I needed proof of my birth. That meant a trip to the county health center for a copy of my birth certificate embossed with the state seal (since who needs something like that on a regular basis, and remembers where you put it). Also, a trip back home for a utility bill to show proof of residence. Which turned out to be no good, because it was in HICK's name! (As if he ever wrote out a check to pay our utilities!) So I made another trip back home for a copy of my paycheck. THEN there was the whole issue of the worst picture ever taken in the history of driver's license pictures.

Are you sitting down? Do you have some garlic and holy water on the end table. A crucifix, perhaps? Or a wooden stake? Silver bullet? Even the Coors version might help. I can't show you the whole photo. I will not be held responsible for causing a fatal coronary. But I'm going to give you a sneak peek at that old license photo. This is one peep show that nobody, ever, would get excited about. Hold onto your hat! If you're not wearing one, you might want to raid the hall closet. Here it comes. Brace yourself...

Are still with me? Do you need some smelling salts? Don't try to get up. Here. Let me put your feet higher than your head. Take some deep breaths. In through the nose, out through the mouth.

Back then, I got quite a bit of mileage out of my misfortune.

The Face That Launched a Thousand Quips

The Journey to Renew One's Driver's License Begins With a Single Trip to Town

The Face That Even a Mother Can't Love :(

Who knew that being despondent over the worst driver's license photo in the world could bring others such joy? Not this ol' Val, that's for sure.

Anyhoo... this time, I had my reminder postcard from the MO Dept of Revenue. That should tell you something right there! The main purpose of a driver's license renewal is to generate money for state coffers! Seriously! How often do you need one of those things? It's not like you go to the casino and win more than $1200 on a single machine every day. Or get pulled over by the cops. Or vote.

It was deceptively simple this time. All I had to do was TELL the gal my social security number to prove that I was born. Show her that reminder postcard for my address. Then step over to the ViewMaster thingy to read 3 blocks of letters, identify 8 road signs, and tell which side of my head the lights were flashing on. Easy peasy, will wonders never cease-y! Then I moved back to another chair and had my picture taken. Then paid $20, and got a paper printout to use for my license, while my old one was punched out with a VOID hole-puncher. AS IF I was going to want that thing back!

This process was not without some disturbingness. Those 3 blocks of letters? They were the biggest letters. Across the top line. I could NOT SEE ANY OF THE FIRST BOX. I only knew there was a box, because I figured they wouldn't start in the middle of the screen, and if I squinted both eyes, I kind of saw an outline of the box.

"I can't see any in the first box. But the others are blah blah blah."

Yeah, I could see the middle and the right side just fine. The gal asked if I wore contacts.

"No. I have glasses. But I don't wear them to drive."

"Well, on your last license, it says RESTRICTED, and that you have to wear your glasses."


"You passed this test. So there's no restriction. But if you ever break off your left side mirror, you need to get it fixed right away."

WHAT IN THE NOT-HEAVEN??? Did she get a kick-back from a car repair shop? That's the most unwanted and inappropriate advice ever to be spouted by a minimum-wage private-contracted employee of a local license office! Okay. Maybe that's a bit of faux outrage. This license office is the least unpleasant one I've ever patronized. Perhaps because back in 2009, Missouri started taking bids and assigning offices semi-fairly, rather than by political appointment.

Anyhoo... after taking my picture, that gal SHOWED IT TO ME on her computer screen. "Is that all right? Do you want to take it again?"

"AGAIN? You mean, if I like the first one better, I can go back to it?"

"No. If you don't want this one, you get another shot, and this one disappears, and you have to take the second one."

"Um. I think I'll stick with this."

Val is not a gambler! At least not where her six-year picture is concerned. This one wasn't great, but it could turn out worse! What if I smiled, and looked like a deranged clown? What if my eyes were half-closed? Because that gal had made it clear that the only picture they couldn't use was one with my eyes completely closed.

You're dying to see it, aren't you? The new picture. Which I thought was perfectly okay to use for the next six years. Let the record show that when I got outside, and looked at that black-and-white temporary printout in the cold, cold light of day, I wondered WHYYYYY? Crybaby Nancy Kerrigan had nothing on Val! So here it is, in part. Comparable to the old one. Get ready to lean your head over between your knees if you feel faint.

I sent a picture of my old photo to Genius (as if he doesn't have it set to pop up when I call), and also the new picture.

"Remember this? I've served my six years. Now I have a new mugshot. Not sure it's an improvement."

"I think it's probably better haha" Said Genius. Knowing who gives him drink money for CasinoPalooza.

I sent the same message and photos to The Pony. His reply?

"I'm not certain either" The Pony seems to forget he has a birthday coming up, four days after mine.

Not responsible for nightmares, chipped teeth from fainting, or rescue calls to deploy a defibrillator.


  1. When SWMBO went in to renew her license before the most recent renewal so that was probably 3 to 5 years ago when the photo gig came due the clerk said "did you realize you are wearing the same top?" So this most recent time, as a joke, she again wore the same top. (Obviously it's one of her favorites.) But this time the clerk either didn't notice or didn't care.

    1. Heh, heh! A few years ago I read about a teacher who wore the same shirt every year for his yearbook photo. I think it was an accident the first time, and then he did it on purpose.

  2. Replies
    1. I think this one has improved to purgatory level.

  3. Our DMV has run pretty well ever since it was privatized...imagine that.

    1. The guy who sold us SilverRedO said he prefers this license office, and will drive 20 miles out of his way to avoid the other one.

  4. I think all licence and ID photos are made to look not-so-good deliberately. Why else would I be asked to remove my glasses for my photo so that I came out looking like Roseanne? With my big round cheeks and my mother's downturned mouth. At least a photo with glasses like the previous one would give people something else to focus on.

    1. Hopefully, nobody told you that your head was bloated, and you looked like you were off the wagon!

  5. When I had to renew mine, I KNEW the sign was for no left turn, but I said, NO RIGHT TURN> The girl said, "Almost all of you older people say that, so you passed." What the what? My license pic is better than my passport photo. At least your mug isn't hanging in the post office.

    1. Dang! Why didn't she just call you senile? No, my face isn't hanging in the post office. Yet.

  6. I think you look like a human being!!

  7. I think most women hate pictures of themselves. Especially candid shots and DL photos!

    1. Yet other people find such joy in seeing them!