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The man has been telling me for two months. I need to renew my driver’s license.

He is into that sort of thing — licenses, vehicle registrations, insurance, paying bills.

I can take a more cavalier attitude regarding such, which is why I was feeling like quite the hero when I announced on a Monday morning that I had slated an hour to accomplish the task hubby deemed so vitally important.

“Yup, going to go get that driver’s license!” I said, as if awaiting a medal.

“Do you have everything you need?” he asked.

I squished up my face knowing that if I needed anything more than a tube of lipstick and a half bottle of Poland Springs, the answer was probably, “no.”

“You need your birth certificate. Your Social Security card. Proof of address …” he said, pulling out a list seemingly from his pocket for just such an occasion. “You’ll need your W2 and your old license and this form and …”

We decided it best to get the enhanced license so I could flee the country at a moment’s notice should I become a wanted criminal, or, at the very least, desire to take in the superior view of Niagara Falls.

I gathered all the above, shoved it into a manila envelope and drove to the DMV where I was greeted by a sign explaining that due to a “technical error” they were unable to process licenses. Not going to lie, this threw me.

I did the only logical thing: I took a photo of the sign and immediately sent it to hubby as a “See? This is why I haven’t bothered with this! These people don’t have it together” attitude.

I stood there outside the DMV, pouting. Thinking. Pouted a little more.

Then I figured, I still had that stupid manila envelope. I would persevere.

A half-hour later I was two towns away at another DMV, with a spring in my step, caffeine in my veins and a can-do attitude in my heart. I had overcome hardship and was pushing through.

I walked inside and waited in line.

Waved to the counter, I pulled out the contents of my big manila envelope like a child showing a parent A-plus work. I wanted the lady behind the Plexiglas to be proud of me. Sure, hubby had done the homework, but she didn’t know that.

I gave her my birth certificate, Social Security card, proof of address, W2, old license and please-print-legibly form, as well as a few oddball papers hubby tossed in for good measure.

She pawed through my pile. It was her turn now to squish up her face. I wasn’t making her proud.

“I need proof of name change,” she said.

“What? I haven’t changed my name,” I said.

“The name on your birth certificate doesn’t match your current driver’s license.”

I looked down at the papers, half expecting to see the alias of a Russian spy.

“Well, it’s because I got married … 20 years ago.”

“We need proof of that.”

I gathered up my birth certificate, Social Security card, proof of address, W2, old license and please-print-legibly form, oddball papers and shoved it all back into my manila envelope.

Yup, just wait till he hears about this.

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Martha Petteys writes a weekly column for The Post-Star. Write to her at or visit her on Facebook.


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