Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dialog at the DMV

My dilemma with telling my DMV story is three fold 1) I really have worked hard at putting it behind me 2) it really puts a negative spin on getting married, the most wonderful day of my life and 3) I don't want to have a bitch session post. 

However, the story is almost surreal so I feel obligated as a blogger to tell it.  So I thought I'd give you some background info and then share some dialog that occurred that day.


We got married in Camden County Missouri.  After going to get our marriage license at the County Recorder's Office I wanted to put all the ladies there on our Christmas card list.  They were so sweet.  After we got married and returned home I sent in my $9.00 to get my certified copy of my Marriage License.  This was in accordance with the instructions gave to me by the recorder so, as she said " you can have an "official" copy so you can get all your documents changed".

I went to the social security office and changed my name with the federal government,  BTW the lady at the social security office is also now on our Christmas card list.  She told me "in a few days you will be in the DMV database so you can go get your drivers license before you actually get your card." 

To be on the "safe" side I waited to get my card.

Went to the DMV on a very busy day.  Due to budget cutbacks they are now only open from 8:00 - 5:00 Monday through Friday so I needed to go on a day that I didn't have school.  Little did I know that it was a day that no one had school.

I waited 45 minutes just to get in the door to check in and another 45 minutes to get to the counter.

Dialog with DMV lady at window number 10:

After a bit of small talk with the lady at the counter

Her:  Can I have your marriage certificate and your driver's license?
Me:  Here
Her: We can't accept this document as it doesn't say "marriage certificate".
Me:  It is the only thing Camden County issues.  It has the official raised seal and it is signed by the recorder.
Her: Just a minute
she goes back to talk to another lady and shows her my document
Her:  I am sorry we can't accept this because it is a marriage license not a marriage certificate.
Me:  The social security office accepted it and I have my new card with my new name on it.
Her:  It isn't my fault that the social security office has lower standards than we do.

What??  The federal government has lower standards than the Thousand Oaks local DMV??  Are you kidding me??  So I can pay taxes under my new name, but I can't write a check??? Seriously???

Me:   I don't know what to do that is the only thing that Missouri issues.
Her:  That is not my problem

Dialog with Camden County Recorder's office (after calling in tears to Rich who calmed me down enough to call Missouri):
Me: I got married in Missouri and I am having trouble with the DMV in getting a new driver's license.
Her:  I am so sorry, let me look up your information.  It seems as if you have done everything that you need to do and we have sent you the most official document that we issue.  Are you in Missouri?
Me:  No I am in California.
Her:  Oh dear, I am so sorry.
Me:  Yeah me too.
Her:  Is there anyone I can talk to to help you out?
Me:  Not at the moment thank you.
Her:  I am so sorry that you are having trouble.
Me:  Thank you...Good-Bye

I march back in right up to window number 10

Dialog with original DMV lady at window number 10:
Me:  I called Camden County and they can't issue me anything else.  I need to speak to a supervisor.
Her:  nothing...she said nothing but heaved a big sigh and walked away

Dialog with new DMV lady (whom I thought to be a supervisor):
Her:  From what I understand I believe that we have already told you numerous times that we aren't going to accept your document. (subtext: what part of no did you not understand)
Me:  now in tears  I called Camden County Missouri and this is the only document that they will issue me so now I am stuck.  According to the federal government I am one person, but I can't be that person on my identification.  How am I supposed to live like that?  So no one who gets married in Missouri can have a driver's license in California???
Her:  Let me see the document.
Me: Here
Her:  Well it does have the official seal, and it does have the recorder's signature, but it doesn't say the word certificate only license.

Are you kidding me...we are arguing over the word certificate vs. license???  But it was her next sentence that about sent me over the edge.
Her:  If you would have come to my window I would have accepted it, but I don't have the authority to accept it now since our supervisor already denied it.
Me:  sobbing in total frustration
Her:  I'll be right back. 
Her:  We are going to accept it.

And Scene.

Just writing that post has caused my heart to palpitate and my stomach to churn.

I am now officially one person.

Luckily I still get to be A Ro.  Believe it or not.

More Later

- A Ro


  1. Oh my word. Surreal is absolutely the word I would have used, as well. I'm glad you felt obligated to tell us... I wanted to cry for you. Glad you are officially one person again. :)

  2. What a headache! Glad you finally got them to accept it!

  3. Unbelievable. Too bad you didn't know to go to her window first, huh?

  4. Sadly I do not find this story hard to believe. I'm glad you cried or else you might still be standing there. Sometime I will share with you the ridiculousness of getting my name on a bank account in the UK. I need at least two glasses of wine to even begin to talk about it.

    Have a great weekend Mrs. A Ro : )

  5. When I worked in HR I tried to not be QUITE so legalistic - it was hard, but I did NOT want tears so I tried to work with what people had. But seriously, this is crazy!