Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My DMV Appointment

(no photos for this post - shocking, I know!)

This morning, I had a 10:30am appointment at DMV San Francisco to renew my license. Apparently, it's been 12 years since I've renewed my license in person. You can renew twice in a row (8 years) by mail, but you must go in after 12 years.

I got my renewal notice in the mail about 6 weeks ago, and made an appointment online that day. The earliest day available was today at 10:30am. (I had also checked DMV offices in other cities, but they all only offered the same day.)

So, I went this morning, got there around 10:20, parked my car, and saw a line of people out the door, around the building - probably about 75 people deep. I went to towards the front of the line, near the entrance to the building, and saw that there was another line inside for people with an appointment. I asked the people in front of the non-appointment line how long they had been waiting, and they told me that they'd been there for 1.5 hours.

I was the third person in line for appointments. I made it to the window and got my number (for renewing licenses) in less than 5 minutes. I sat down, and waited less than 10 minutes for my number to be called.

I had my thumbprint taken on a cool little machine, took my eye test, and made sure that my license had my correct address. I also changed my weight, because I don't think that's been changed since I got my license at age 16. (And truthfully, I no longer weigh 115 pounds!)

After that, I went to had my new photo taken.

Here's an interesting thing that I learned today. When the nice lady was getting ready to take my photo, I was smiling as I always do. She told me not to smile, and that they needed a serious photo.


Since when can you *not* smile for your driver's license photo?

Apparently, the Dept of Homeland Security made it a new regulation within the last month. They claim that people's facial features change when they smile.

Um... I guess that's true, but really? I mean, honestly, I'm probably smiling more often than I have a serious face, right?

So, this will be interesting. They said it could be 1-2 months until I get my new license in the mail. Until then, I have a temporary paper one in case I need proof that I've renewed it.

A friend of mine told me that she just got her new license in the mail. She warned me that the photo on the new licenses are very large.

Great - a big photo of my huge head with no smile.

Sounds lovely.

:| <-- Me, with no smile, trying to look serious. ;)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My girlfriend just told me this, after her San Francisco DMV appointment. I couldn't believe they would actually say that. Who knew? There's something ironic here. No longer cool to smile in our homeland?