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Posts Tagged ‘driver’s license renewal’

Certainly others as well as me, after they pass the age of 75, may begin to sweat and fret as the period for renewing one’s drivers license approaches. Now I’m not suggesting my wife is in the “old folks” group but she did enter the high 70’s recently and this was the year for renewal. She hasn’t driven for well over a year but she did want to keep her license in the event an emergency required her to get behind the wheel, and besides she would only be required to pass the eye test.

First things first, it would be necessary to visit the hair salon first to be presentable for the photo that would adorn the new license. That appointment would be completed at 2:00 p.m. and it was off to the DOT Drivers License Examiners headquarters. Entering the testing area, it was obvious that we would be there for awhile as the waiting room was full. She received her number and prepared to wait. Inasmuch as it was going to take a while, I decided to go ahead and run a couple of errands to pay bills which we had planned to do after getting the renewed license. I was gone for perhaps 25 to 30 minutes and returned to find her missing. I searched the entire building, and parking lot and after sitting for a bit in the waiting area was beginning to fear that she might have fallen, as she does require a cane, and had been sent to Emergency. No one that I asked knew anything about her. Thinking that maybe she had noticed our car when I returned and seeing that I had to park in the rear of the building had decided to go out another door as I entered another. One more check at the car did not result in success and I went back to the testing area once again to find her sitting with a somewhat disappointing face and look of bewilderment.

She had not passed the eye exam to their satisfaction, particularly the peripheral vision portion of the exam. Now this lady, who used to stand tall at 5’2”, because of this “old age” thing, has shrunk to about 4’9″. The counter was probably over 4′ high and she was barely able to rest her chin on the counter. The machine that she had to peer into rested on the counter and then was even higher, making it nearly impossible to get her face close enough to satisfactorily complete the exam. At 76, she is not nearly as wide eyed as she once was. Anyway, as to her disappearance, she had been escorted to a private office to explain the options available to her, and perhaps compassionately not embarrass her before the waiting crowd.

She could be issued an ID card complete with photo for the purpose of purchasing beer, liquor, and cigarettes, etc. in case someone thought she was not 21. For this there would be no charge, until the Legislature decided how much revenue could be accumulated if various possible rates were calculated. In addition they would be willing to provide a temporary 30 day driving permit. If she could then get a Doctor’s statement that she was not a risk while driving, she then might be issued a regular license. They told her that Doctors would have more advanced technical equipment and might better judge her ability to be an Iowa driver. Otherwise, her present license was immediately suspended and she could use the temporary until May 17. Many forms and duplicates were signed, copied and filed to insure that laws were being followed and that no more than three trees would be used to satisfy efforts to meet the Paper Reduction Act.

Next came the photo shoot for the ID card and the questions and explanations as to the availability of voter registration in case she would want to switch parties and vote for the other guy (or gal) especially ones currently in control of State political power. She was instructed to advance to the other side of the counter to use the computer device for signing the remaining documents. Then she was told that there was a camera malfunction and she would need a second photo shot. Then a third shot apparently worked, and she returned to the signing area. Once again she signed on the device and immediately was informed that as the equipment was new and not yet fully understood or wasn’t yet working properly the operator would get some help, after which with a big Iowa smile, they would complete her ID and temp license. Lo and behold, after another wait, she was issued the ID and could then prove that she was “old enough” but couldn’t drive after May17.

After leaving the Exam Station, good wife Pat decided we should stop at the Eye Doctor’s office and make an appointment as 30 days can pass pretty quick, especially when you are already “old folks.” Fortunately, the accomodating receptionist believed that the Dr. would be able to work her in today, if we were willing to wait a bit. The Doctor (our regular Eye Dr.) was mystified, when shown the forms and information from the DOT Examiner, as to why they were concerned. Anyway he prepared to examine her and use his advanced high tech equipment consisting of one, two, or three fingers attached to his wrist and held to an area at the side of her face. He soon determined that Iowa would be relatively safe and signed the necessary papers and suggested that we return immediately to the DOT Examiner and obtain a permanent drivers license good for two more years. At some point we realize that this will become a yearly ordeal.

We did indeed return and were warmly greeted and instructed to take a number. Good wife, informed them also warmly, that she had already done everything and only needed to present them with the Doctor’s signed form and would like her permanent drivers license. Those previously involved in the testing immediately approached the counter, huddled, checked the re-play on the monitor and considered the situation. As in any important game, the Referees decision is final. The decision was that it had been a shot from three point range, not a two, there were no fouls, and only a delay of game was involved. After another wait the license was issued. After seeing the picture, good wife, was certainly glad she had gone to the hair salon. How bad would the photo have been otherwise. After an interesting afternoon, we arrived home just in time to meet friends at 5:00 p.m. for dinner. All’s well that end’s well.

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