Transportation Safety – Or Silly?

My cross-country move over Christmas was only 1000+ miles across 3 states, but it was still an undertaking, everything from selling a house and buying a house to packing up everything inside the house. Look inside your closets and picture everything in a box to get an idea of what’s involved.

atchafalaya-basin-landingBut that’s all manageable, stuff I can think through and pull off. The actual driving was more problematic. I’m not a comfortable driver, particularly not at 70/80 miles an hour, and I had 2 cats with me. They did fine aside from one incident in a hotel in Pensacola, but Mom got to drive over Atchafalaya swamp. Did you know that most of I10 through Louisiana is actually on pilings in water?

After 2 days of driving, we get to Texas and start turning on water, electric, etc. All very routine until I went to get a new driver’s license. There are 6 documents required, and if you try to do all this on an expired license, you need even more and have to take the test. A birth certificate is just the beginning.

After a full day spent getting the car inspected and registered, I start to get frustrated. To get more time, I went online to simply renew my old license, only to be told “The Department has new document requirements” – i.e. birth certificate.

I remember hearing you needed a birth certificate, but mine disappeared in my last move a decade ago. And nobody’s asked since. A Social Security card, an old passport, those were all good enough.

So I looked up where I was born to check overnight delivery. No such option and I’d have to find a notary to fill out the request. But by an amazing coincidence, the town I was born in is only 2 ½ hours away. I can drive over and pick up a new copy.

carshotnacThis should be easy right? Wrong! West 7 to 21 to 190 are all 2 lane back roads through the Davy Crockett National Forest. Again with the 70 miles an hour unless there are trucks on the roads or you’re passing through town because well, hurtling through Main Street is just rude. On the drive out, I decided I wanted to be buried in Merryville, LA off 110 just so I can watch RVs navigate that switchback!

I really have to wonder, just how is a birth certificate supposed to help? I understand that there are terrorism concerns, but there’s nothing to blow up except a cow or a pine tree. Yes, the cow would object and the pines are a national preserve, but by those standards, the exhaust I’m dumping is a bigger threat!

But at this point, I am determined. I may not be the most ambitious of women, I try to keep a lid on my temper, but darn it, I will not be defeated by bureaucrats! So despite getting lost repeatedly (Google, there is no ‘North’ street in Bryan; you have to turn left at the HEB), I get a new copy of my birth certificate. The requirement for this magic passport? My old driver’s license!

Gotta love your government – they’re always good for satire! What’s your favorite federal foible?

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