Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Department of Unbelievable Stupidity

It's official. I am going to have to move to another state to get a driver license.

If you're hearing a "drip drip" noise, don't be alarmed. It's just the sanity draining out of my head.

Let's review:

Attempt #1 to Obtain Illusive Texas Driver License:
Sometime in April: I go to the DOT (or the DMV or the DPS, pick the acronym of your choice) to get a Texas Driver License to replace my Washington license.

Sometime in May: I receive said license but they have issued it to me in my maiden name. I have been married for FOUR YEARS. Every piece of ID I presented them with, as well as my signature, clearly stated my married name - and yet, I now have a driver license in my maiden name, which I don't even know how they GOT except that they must have had it on file from when I lived in Texas a long long time ago. Worse, they CONFISCATED my Washington Driver license so I now have no picture ID in my married name.

Attempt #2:
May 26: I call the DOT office where I received my license, and am told that nothing can be done unless I come in again and fill out new paperwork, give them a new signature and present the ID THAT THEY HAVE ALREADY CONFISCATED. I try explaining that the paperwork I filled out is already correct, my signature is already correct, and that they already have everything I could possibly give them in person. I am given the number to the Records office in Austin because that's where all my documents are.
I call the Austin office and speak to Amanda, and after explaining the situation twice, she says she can take care of it if I fax her a copy of my marriage license. I do so and receive a confirmation that the fax was successful. I specifically request in the fax cover sheet that she call me if she has any problems or questions, otherwise I will assume everything is ok and that I can expect the license in the mail as talked about.

Said license never shows up.

Attempt #3:
June 23: I moved and needed to change the address on my license. Due to time constraints, I am unable to truck myself down to the DPS again to straighten things out, so I simply change my address online and pay the $11 for them to send me a new license.

New license never arrives.

Attempt #4:
July 20: I call the DOT to find out what has happened to my license and am informed that it was mailed the previous Thursday. There is no reasonable explanation as to why a piece of mail should take a week to get from Austin to Carrollton. Yet, license has been sent regular mail without tracking information, so I have no choice but to wait.
I am also informed that my license is still listed under my maiden name. I explain the conversation I had with Amanda and that this should have been taken care of. I am told that it was not taken care of. Futhermore, no employee at the Austin office has the authority to do name changes (or even name corrections, apparently), and that since there are no notes on my account, I could not possibly have called this office before and talked to anybody named Amanda.
The employee makes it very clear that nobody at the Austin records office could make that change, that the only people authorized to take care of this situation are in the local offices because they have to examine the documents THAT ARE ALREADY ON FILE AT THE AUSTIN RECORDS OFFICE AND CONSEQUENTLY HAVE ALREADY BEEN EXAMINED IN PERSON.

I call the local DPS office AGAIN and relay what the Austin records department told me. They say they cannot possibly make a change without me coming in personally because they need my fingerprints, picture and signature. In order to make a simple correction, the Austin records office would have to take care of that and reissue the license because they are the only ones who have that information.

This is a prime example of the well-known efficiency of government offices.

I should add that I am trying to avoid going into the DOT office because to do so would mean having to take off work (because naturally, they're only open during business hours, when everybody is already BUSY), which my boss doesn't look upon too kindly because I'm planning to take over a month off in a few months for maternity leave.

Attempt #5:
July 20: I give up and haul myself down to the DPS office to change my license. The transaction is very easy and I'm in and out of the office in 15 minutes. WHY I HAD TO MAKE THE SPECIAL TRIP OVER HERE FOR SOMETHING SO INCREDIBLY SIMPLE COMPLETELY ESCAPES ME. After proofreading my temporary paper copy about 64 times, I am amazed that I'm finally going to get a license a) sent to me, and b) with the correct information.

Status Update:
License from Attempt #2 has never arrived.

License from Attempt #3 has never arrived.

License from Attempt #5 has never arrived.

August 8: A letter arrives...
"The Texas Driver License you recently applied for cannot be issued due to a processing error. Please present this letter to the driver license office nearest you for assistance in obtaining a corrected issue. We regret any inconvenience this delay may cause."

I hate the Texas Department of Transportation. Hate them all. This is me wishing cancer upon the entire organization...and making plans for a move to Colorado. I am seriously considering calling Austin and telling them that I want my Washington license back. Pull it out of your black hole files and MAIL IT BACK TO ME. I GIVE UP.

1 Comments:

At 2:24 PM , Blogger Jane Dark said...

Yow. That is too annoying. Good luck.

 

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