In which I offically become a legal New Yorker

I don’t know if you all would rather see no blog posts at all more than boring blog posts about wedding planning, but that’s what I’ve been doing. And honestly, it reflects how my life has been the last few months.

BUT! You guys!! I did it! I finally checked off that major thing that’s been on my to-do list for more than TWO YEARS.

I went to the DMV and got a New York driver’s license. Even though I don’t drive anymore (because I’m sure as shit not taking a driving test again, especially in the city).

And it was terrible. I know that all DMV experiences are expected to be terrible (except for the lovely Indianapolis ones that tell you your wait time and are clean and fast. Maybe it has to do with being a BMV instead of a DMV? Is there a difference in their functions?). But this was pretty awful.

My team at work has been blessed with Summer Fridays, where we can leave at 3 PM if our work is done. I took last Friday as an opportunity to go get my license, since I’m officially 1 month away from having an expired out of state license. And I wanted to make sure I was all set to vote here in November. I got to the DMV on 34th street (right across from THAT Macy’s) shortly after 3 PM. There were at least 300 people (I know it sounds like I’m embellishing, but I counted) waiting when I got there, and the DMV closes at 4. Not looking promising.

I haven’t had such a soul-sucking, fluorescent-lit experience since my junior year of high school. About a half hour into it, I had read 2 chapters in my book and moved about 6 feet.

Around 3:58, there were still 75 people ahead of me in line, and another 150 or so waiting on the benches in the middle section. At 4:00, they shut the door, but luckily didn’t send those of us who had already been waiting a long time away. I guess that’s why they close their doors so early.

So I waited in the first line. At about 5:20 (down to about 35 people ahead of me), the security started asking people at the end of the line if they were exchanging out of state licenses. I WAS! So they pulled us over to a new line on the other side of the floor (and I was THIRD in this line! Progress!) This was the area that the people taking the driver’s ed test normally waited, but since they were long gone, they were trying to get through the rest of the line.

At this point, I was kind of nervous that I didn’t have enough or the right documentation and would have to come back (I had: birth certificate, soc card, Indiana driver’s license, a utility bill, and a current credit card). Luckily, I was okay. It took about 3 minutes for them to check it, do my eye test, and take a picture. I mentioned that I would be getting married in a few months and changing my name, and asked if I could update my license online, and they said I’d have to come back again for that. Awesome.

Then, they gave me a number (B216) and told me to go sit on the benches and wait for my number to be called. I was SO relieved to finally sit down, because standing up for that long in that place made me feel like I had just woken up from a 6 hour nap after drinking a bottle of nyquil.

Then I looked at the numbers on the board – a group of A’s (for the people from my first line), but the Bs were at B461. Um, how was I supposed to wait for my number to be called? At first I thought they were counting down, but quickly saw that they weren’t. The people sitting around me had 204 and 209, and they were wondering the same thing. After a stressful 20 minutes or so of having no idea what was going on, the number went from B499 to B200 (because, you know, why not?), and I was thankfully called about 10 minutes later. Another 10 minutes and $60 later, I was finally FREE.

I went to the first floor of the building, which incidentally had a Mrs. Field’s store. I needed to do some emotional eating after that experience, so I got a cookie and some lemonade.

I still didn’t even leave the building with my new (or old…) license. That should come in the mail in the next week or two. I probably should have taken care of this when I was unemployed, because I’m sure 3 PM on a Friday isn’t the ideal time to go there, but I’m just glad it’s done.

So two years in, I’m officially a New Yorker (on paper)!

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