In an uncharacteristic effort to get everything in order I went to get my Texas drivers license last week. This only reminded me why I always put off doing things like this, i.e. having a Texas plate on my car for the 2 years I lived in Canada. I'll run you through the process so you can have full appreciation.
First time - drive out to the DMV in Richmond, TX, a good 20-25 minute drive from home, because there is never a line at that one and I can just breeze through. I walked into the building to at least 60 people standing in 2 lines. OK, maybe the line for renewals and transfers will be faster. As I listened to and chatted with the people around me I heard that the person about 10 people in front of me had been there 2 1/2 hours! The person in another line, at about my place, had also been there 2 hours! "See ya!" I left and decided to meet my friend for lunch. A much better way to kill 2 hours don't you agree?
Still, day one, my friend told me about another DMV office that might have less traffic. OK, I'm game, after all...I did my hair, wore a nice shirt and had make-up on in anticipation of the "photo".
Second time- drive to the other office, only 15 minutes from home...in the other direction. Yes, Houston is big. Walk in to the building to very short lines! Whoo hoo, success! I explain my situation, returning from Canada, lived here before we moved. I am still in the system! I am within the expiration period of my old license! "Here, fill out this short form and have a seat and we will call your number." I turn the corner to see 50 people holding numbers, crud! I wait patiently and it only took about 20 minutes (wish I had my book with me)to be called to window 12. Hang in there, it is getting good now.
Window 12 lady- "So you are moving back from Canada?"
Me- "Yes, but we lived here before and I am still in the system and within my expiration period."
#12- "Are you Canadian?"
Me- "No, if you look at my information it says American citizen."
#12- "Oh, but did you immigrate back?"
Me- "?" "We were there on a temporary work permit, there was no immigrating."
#12- " I think you need to redo everything, you need to fill out this form,the long form, did you bring your passport?"
Me - " No" (I carried that thing with me everywhere in Canada, just in case, go figure I need it now!) while I'm at it I am thinking, TJ told me he just walked in, gave them his Ontario license and got his Texas license, he said it took 15 minutes. What is happening???? Did they see me coming????
#12 to #11- "She is moving back from Canada, doesn't she need to fill this out (Long form )and bring her passport, birth certificate, Social Security card, first born......before we can process this?"
So....I get the long form and the list of things I need to bring back.
Me- "Can I get a fast forward pass when I come back so I don't have to stand in line again?" What the heck it couldn't hurt to ask, right?
#12- "Here (writing something on the form), I am working all week, just skip the line and come to me."
I left and went shopping. Something I am getting very good at.
Go back to the 15 minutes away DMV armed with every form of documentation I can find and the long form completed and go to the front desk ( I thought I might just try to avoid #12 on the off chance that she was clueless). The angel from heaven behind the desk looks at everything and checks me in the computer and says....."Oh, you are still in the system and within your expiration period, you need this form...." and hands me none other than the short form! At which point my head spun around and flew off my neck.
In the nicest way possible I explained my last visit here to the angel from heaven and she made sure that all I needed was the short form, no passport, first born, or birth certificate. She apologized for the run around I was given and sent me directly to the processing at #5! Do everything, take the dreaded picture and then.....wait. Computers are down! Oh yes, a statewide computer failure. I can't make up stuff this good! The fellow asks if I want to wait or just come back. hahaha! I am staying if it takes all night, I am not leaving without a Texas drivers license. A mere 5 minutes later I walked out with my paper Texas drivers license and it even had a good picture. The third time is a charm.
I can't help but think though that it only took TJ 5 trips to the Ontario license place to get his Ontario plates, at my rate of 3 times for his 1, it would have taken me 15 tries to get Ontario plates for my car. Thus, totally justifying keeping the Texas plates.