Saturday, July 03, 2010

License to Grill

Last November we thought we should be good citizens and go get our licenses changed to Washington. The first time we tried, the computers were down. We later managed to find an operating office to get it done at, and we managed to scrounge up the half-dozen pieces of identification required, only to discover we couldn't get licenses because we couldn't prove we lived within the state, having no mortgage or rental agreement. The only way to do it would be to have one of Their Majesties come and swear to our existence. We finally decided if they made it that difficult we would just wait until we really had come to reside here.

So this week DOB decided that, since he had a real job and all, we were really residents and should make the effort. His Majesty and I drove up to meet him at the nearest Department of Licensing. Well, we were supposed to, but first of all I had to find all the necessary pieces of identification, several of which had been placed into a now-unknown safe place since the last attempt. Eventually the right combination of documents appeared and we set off. DOB beat us there, only to discover the power was out at that Department and seventy or so people were ahead of us once the power came back on. Having gotten so far, it seemed a pity to waste it, so we decided to head on to the next town.

That office was by no means overcrowded, and the lights were on, but a sign was posted that the computers were down state-wide and so no services could be provided. He also supplied the cheery news that the last time this had happened they stayed down for two days. However, he did note that when the computers were now back up, they had a new system that enabled them to check out claimed addresses, and thus His Majesty's presence was no longer required. Having come even farther than ever, however, we determined that waiting was the best course.

So we went to the library down the road and came back with a stack of books to fortify us for yet another hour or two of waiting on plastic chairs. As we came in, they were still turning everyone away, but they did manage to help one fellow finish up a license process started before the computers went down. This seemed a promising sign, so we waited. After a while, they announced that the other office (the one with the power outage and seventy people) had managed to get two computers online. And then, at last, they said they could take us.

We came to the counter with our stack of papers, but the attendant never asked for them. He took our old licenses, asked for our social security numbers, and moved on. Apparently the stringent requirements we encountered last fall were the result of a federal audit into the state's free hand with federal dollars towards illegal immigrants. A couple of weeks ago the state decided the feds were no longer watching and relaxed all the requirements again, although the website still lists them just in case someone is looking, I suppose.

Anyway, now that we have proper local licenses I suppose our gypsy stage is over.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on traversing the wilds of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. You're getting to be professionals at working the system (or at least better than the ones paid to be on the other side of the counter).

Think of it as a fallback job . . .