It can be an interesting pastime. Especially if you’re stuck killing time waiting for something you absolutely have to have. Say, a new driver’s license.
I arrived early, at an hour when I normally would be just crawling out of bed, took a number (literally) and a chair, and settled in for a long wait. With no other way to pass the time, I started people-watching.
There was the silent, frail, saffron-robed monk in the back corner. The mentally challenged teen occasionally shouted “Where’s Coco?” and ran around the room looking for Coco before being quieted by an elderly guardian. (I hoped he was there only for an ID and not a driver’s license.) The girl with the adorable patchwork hoodie was at the counter forever getting both a driver’s license and a passport. The career woman was regal her chic black suit and miserably high spike heels. The sickly looking, heavily tattooed man would have been lost without his girlfriend leading him around. The Asian girl apparently couldn’t comprehend the difference between “left” and “right” when identifying the flashing lights in the vision test. The girl sitting next to me had schlepped in wearing big pink fluffy slippers and seemed to be in a stupor. About 30 other forgettably average people blurred into the background.
I was there, and very unhappy about it, because I’d managed to let my license expire — 3 months ago. As it turns out, the State of Colorado doesn’t send out renewal notices. Shabby way to treat the natives, I’d say. I’ve never lived anyplace that didn’t send out renewal notices for something as important as a driver’s license. The state is efficient enough to let you renew online if your license is still in good standing — but they can’t be bothered to send you a renewal notice? Not even an email?
To make matters worse, in Colorado they issue 5-year licenses. Five! I don’t think I’ve ever had one that was good for more than 2 years. Five years seems like forever when you get your license. Turns out it’s not. And it’s up to you to remember five years down the road to renew the damn thing. At least I didn’t have to spend up to 7 hours standing in line, as news reports had led me to fear. And thank gawd I didn’t have to take a written test, which I haven’t done since I was 16. Nope, a quick vision test, a couple of questions confirming my address, etc., and I was out of there in about an hour.
So, when was the last time you looked at the expiration date on your driver’s license? Do you know your renewal date? If not, I suggest you sneak a peek at it sometime soon. Or you may end up people-watching at your local DMV.