My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Saturday, October 25, 2008

my drivers license

For those who ask me why I'm "still" a Gator fan after leaving my Gator man... 1st quarter vs. Kentucky and Florida leads 28-0... that's some awesome football! It's not always easy for I am living in Bulldawg country... everything is plastered with those ugly "circle G" emblems... but I love my Gators and I love Tim Tebow and I'm not changing sidelines any time soon.

Stubby the three legged wonder cat and nurse woke me up at 4:30 this morning licking my fingers. I'm not sure why he wanted to lick my fingers... maybe he thought he needed to revive me. Maybe he was bored. Maybe he was hungry. I don't know... but he definitely got me to wake up. Ick! Now he is licking my elbow. I am not wearing any mouse flavored lotion, I promise. A few minutes ago I was on the phone with a friend and he was trying to insinuate himself between me and my cellphone.

Sooooo... this morning I went to get my Georgia drivers license. If you've been following my redundant saga, I have needed to get a new tag for my car since... um... April. Between my health drama and my relationship drama and lack of time and lack of interest... I didn't manage to even TRY to move my tag to Florida until the beginning of June... which was AFTER I got a warning in Georgia for the expired tag while I was there for Cody's graduation... and I wouldn't have been noticed at all had Michael not run into the back of my car "jokingly" at a stoplight... with an undercover policeman in the next lane. The policeman pulled beside me and said, "I'm a cop - don't worry, I saw everything"... I said, "Oh, that's ok... it's my husband" and the cop assumed domestic violence. *eyeroll* And of course, it was the day after Cody's high school graduation so he, Stephen and Ryan were all Cheech and Chong paranoid in the car with me... Michael got a lecture about safe driving and I got a lecture about my tag and so when I got back to Florida, I went ahead and applied for my Florida tag.

Except... my lienholder never transferred the title to Florida. I should have gone back to the tag office by the beginning of July and ... as I have mentioned previously... between health issues and depression and just not really caring and assuming that Florida cops wouldn't be so mindful of my expired Georgia tag... I just didn't worry about it. And then... it was time to move back to Georgia and when I went to finally do the right thing about my tag... well, the title had never been transferred.

So then it became a matter of having to establish residency in Georgia to be able to renew the old expired Georgia tag... and then it became a matter of being able to afford the tag renewal... and when I finally went this week to get the tag... I needed to have a Georgia drivers license before they could issue a tag. The nearest drivers license bureau is about a half hour away in Gainesville (there is also one in Toccoa and one in Blairsville, all a half hour or more away) and since I was going to have to miss a few hours work on Friday to take Austin to his retreat, I didn't want to miss time going to get my drivers license. So this morning was the appointed time to get a license.

Since Stubby the 3legged wonder cat and nurse decided that my wake up call should come at 4:30 this morning, I decided to go to the drivers license bureau as close to their opening time as possible... for the office in Gainesville, that meant 7:30 this morning. I made it there around 8am... I mean... I wasn't exactly PUSHING myself.. and I did have to put on a little makeup since I knew there would be a photo taken... but I was there not long after they opened. There was no wait... and I went immediately to the counter to begin the transaction.

I gave the lady my Florida license which lists me as "Heather Gant Darby" and my birth certificate which lists me, of course, as Heather Gant. I also had a copy of my marriage license from where I married Michael. Now here's the problem... I could show a paper trail of being born a Gant. And I could show that I was currently a Gant Darby. I could show going from Sauls to Darby... But I could not show the transition between Gant and Sauls... which is how the 2nd marriage license lists me. What the drivers license bureau wanted me to do was prove Gant to Sauls, Sauls to Darby... which is stupid... they had picture ID showing me as Gant Darby... I don't know why the Sauls should matter. So this woman tells me I'm going to have to get my marriage license from 22 years ago when I became a Sauls... so they could use that along with the marriage license showing me going from Sauls to Darby.

Now... I've had to deal with a lot of details in the past five weeks. I've had to bite my tongue and be patient and accept that some things are a process. Getting out of the hospital was a process. Moving here was a process. Finding a place to live - a process. Getting a job - process. Getting Austin registered for school took three attempts. Getting the utilities turned on was a process and an aggravation. I get it. I get that there are requirements and documentation necessary... but this last detail was so stupid... and the potential implication so overwhelming that I started to cry, standing right there at the counter of the DMV. That was the thing that did it. I also panicked a bit. I am still afraid that I will be forced back into some psych facility somewhere if I demonstrate the least bit of instability. Yes, from a logical perspective, I know this is not going to happen... but in those moments where I feel out of control... that's my first and foremost fear. I have to have that license to get my tag. I have to have that tag to keep my car from being impounded. I have to have my car to work and keep a roof over our head. It is too important to just accept what some document happy clerk at the DMV was telling me. I took a breath and asked for a supervisor.

The supervisor was about 14 years old. She repeated what the clerk had told me without even looking at anything. I explained my dilemma to her. I explained that I had been through a difficult time and was trying to rebuild my life and with the exception of the past year had always been licensed in Georgia and although I know they want me to prove Gant to Sauls and then Sauls to Darby in order... the truth is that I just changed my name in THEIR system from Sauls to Darby in the past year... and wasn't there some way they could look up my license to verify the Gant / Sauls / Darby trail? Finally... she agreed to look up my old license... and saw... that my name in their system was listed as Heather Gant Darby, aka Heather Sauls. She told me to tell the clerk that she had approved it for that reason.

Sooooo... I clean up my face and have a seat to wait for my number to be called. I got yet another clerk who didn't believe my assertion that the supervisor had been able to verify my identity... and so she walked away to get permission... and then came back and entered my Florida license info. And then my prior Georgia info... and then said, "I'm sorry, I can't issue you a new Georgia license because your last Georgia license was voluntarily surrendered". I blinked hard, took a deep breath and calmly said, "To obtain the Florida license which you are now holding in your hand....because it would have been illegal for me to maintain both licenses... and because it would have been illegal for me to maintain a Georgia license and Florida residence... " and without apology or clarification she said, "your license fee will be $20... you can wait at the next station.".

Done. I mean... I get National Security. I get the whole identity theft thing. But seriously... I had a picture id that showed who I was... why did it have to be so hard to get a drivers license issued?

I drove from there to Jim and Angie's to visit with mom, dad and the girls (and Jim). Angie is out of town. Sarabeth finally got to open her birthday present from me. It was so hectic at her party and she had opened so many gifts from her little friends that the family let her hold off until later to open... and Angie wanted her to wait and open it while I was there... and so we did... and she LOVED what I got her (a little stuffed dog in it's own carrying purse with little accessories). We went to her room and played with that dog and another she had previously... and had some really good conversation about all kinds of things. We cleaned her room a bit and made her bed and Jamie's and sorted through some of her toys and pretended to nap and then wake each other up with the Wake Up Song that I sing to them. We made birthday cards for a party the girls were going to today. I fixed hair and helped dress the girls and then they were off to their party... and I came home.... after stopping at the farm stand for fresh corn on the cob, boiled peanuts for Austin and some sweet potato bread. Then I stopped at Ingles for cat food and grapes... and now I'm home resting and waiting to go pick up Austin...

I don't know what time I was supposed to get Austin. Jim called the guy who went with the kids... and left a voicemail. I emailed the guy's wife... and she didn't know. I think it was 4pm... and traffic is backed up for about 5 miles heading into Helen due to the leaf watching tourists... so I'll leave around 3pm to go get him... and just walk around town until they get there. For now... I'm just enjoying the football game. Go Gators!


Myra said...

There is so much red tape when dealing with any governmental agency, and DMV, being part of the bureaucracy is not exception. Seems like across the country, people will recount similar tales from their own DMV's! Glad you got it straightened out, and now you're legal again. I once went 2 years on expired tags...just didn't have the money. I knew all the side streets all over town! Have a great Saturday :)

Nancy said...

I went through something similar with DMV when trying to transfer my license between states. Even with a copy of my birth certificate in the same name as on my licence I got the run around. I'm glad you finally got it straightened out!

Have a great rest of the weekend!
Nancy :-)

Anonymous said...

darn sounds like you had one hell of a time.... I would be crying to or maybe I would have kicked the wall lol Glad you got it taken care of Have a Peaceful weekend Kat:)

Peaceful Epiphany said...

Damn girl...I read this TWICE and still cannot understand this. WHAT DOES YOUR DRiVER'S LISENCE LIST YOU AS NOW? Heather Gant? Heather Darby? or Heather Sauls??? I mean, after all that, I got lost in translation. LOL.

I was at the DMV about 8 months ago wanting to change my OLD PICTURE from when I was 375 pounds with DARK BROWN HAIR (a phase) to a NEW PICTURE and listing me at 200 pounds (which I was at the time) and was SO PROUD that I no longer had to lie on my lisence about my weight....I did NOT say I was 375 on my OLD lisence, and said I was "only" 250. I am, 254 and STILL 50 pounds OFF from my REAL WEIGHT. that I look back, my weight gain started the moment I listed myself as an HONEST 200 on my lesence AND got a new kick ass photo. ROFL.


Oh well....could be worse. LOL.