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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

At the Department of Motor Vehicles

cartoonOur oldest son has been driving for almost two years. In the tiered system of driver’s licenses in the District of Columbia, a student driver slowly works his way up to full privileges. During the first year or two, only so many other young people may be in the car at the same time, usually siblings, the student driver may not drive at night, and then only with an older driver supervising, etc.

It’s a process, but I think a good one.

Never mind that I started solo-driving the day I turned 16, and took myself and a girlfriend all the way to another city thedmv next night for a concert. We were young and we were responsible. Apparently, that combo doesn’t always happen these days.

“He got into trouble,” our son, Petya, shook his head.

“What happened?” I asked.

“He was driving 80 miles per hour in a zone for 35,” he related about one of his tennis buddies.

dmv1“What-?!”

“I know, it’s stupid. He could have hurt somebody.”

Fast-forward to now. Petya had lots of experience driving and it was time to move from his provisional license to his permanent one. Then he could drive solo to his golf course job early in the morning, before the break of day.

We gathered our 101 documents to give proof of identity (Passport), proof of Social Security number (he had his card), proof of lawfully residing in the US (Certificate of Citizenship), and two proofs of DC residency. As a minor, he had no house deed, gas, electric, or water bill, but the DMV website listed pay stubs and bank account statements as possible proof. As his parent, I could present DMV-48277936016documents.

Which was all well and good until we battled morning rush hour, construction detours, broken water pipes, limousines, and schoolbuses, arriving at the DMV by 8:15.

“We don’t accept bank statements with your address on them,” the clerk shook her head at him after we had found parking and stood in line for almost 30 minutes which was a good day at the DMV.

“But, that’s what was listed on the website,” I interjected.

“No, it’s wrong,” she said. “Here’s our current list of residency proofs. You need to go home and gather two of these documents. Or, you can e-mail them here.”

geico-pig-at-the-dmv-commercial“Right now? Can I have someone at home e-mail them?”

“Yes, sure, here’s our e-mail.”

Only problem was, Bendetto was half a world away. We called him anyway, and he got a slow internet connection in the middle of nowhere, pulled up a water bill and e-mailed it.

The clerk pulled her glasses down on her nose and looked over the top of them at us. The head-shaking began again.

The bill was in Benedetto’s name, not mine. What?

“You can’t have one proof in your son’s name and one proof in your husband’s name. You’re the certifier that’s listed on the paperwork.”

And thus, we ended up calling my husband yet again. Within a minute, his volume was rising and I held the phone away 689afd91b9f14e71bf83ceee2e029a22from my ear. The clerk looked at me while I smiled in her direction and answered his rantings.

I totally agreed with him. None of it made sense. It was all ridiculous. But that and 25 cents was not going to get me a cup of cofee today….

“No, we do not live in a Third World country,” I assured into the phone.

“Yes, we can move to another country one day soon, but for now, our son needs these documents in order to move forward….”

We thanked the clerks for their “help” and went on our way. Only when we were almost back home did I remember that I needed to visit a police station about a parking permit. Of course, this was halfway back toward the DMV….

It was going to be one of those days. Thankfully, life frequently offers a rewind button.

We would try again another day and make the best of this one.

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