Monday, November 03, 2008

The rest of the Drivers License story....

The next thing that happened in my attempt to get a Utah Drivers License so I could vote in today's election:

I drove down on a Thursday two weeks ago, and arrived to find the line snaking out the door of the building.
I got into line, and after a few moments, just happened to look up at the ceiling, where I saw a sign saying I needed to fill out a form before getting into line.
I got out of line, and stood at the table area and filled it out.
Then got back at the end of the line.

Ahead of me were African ladies, Pacific Islanders, Girls with low slung pants and low slung tops...and a man and his teenage son.

The man and his son were talking to the authority person, but I couldn't hear what was being said.
But the body language was pretty clear: There definitely was p-r-o-b-l-e-m.

Moments later the man and his son headed over to a side table, where the man SLAMMED his fist on the table, and roared

Now he was a rather small sized man, but you could see the security guards watching him very closely.
The son was making phone calls to his mom...I tried not to stare at the drama unfolding before me.

By ones and by twos people would reach the authority figure where a short conversation would take place, various explanations were given, and then they too would walk away from the authority figure as well, clearly denied an opportunity to get a driver's license.

I got the feeling that they wished they had the courage to do what the son's dad did.

Then I was up to bat.

I smiled warmly walked up the official, and briskly whipped out my Texas drivers license and my car insurance, confident that I was completely prepared for my big moment of becoming an official State of Utah Driver.

The man glanced at my Texas Drivers license, and my insurance.
Then, like a robot, he asked to see two proofs of my mailing address AND my Social Security card.

We are told NEVER to carry our Social Security card!
And what does my social security have to do with getting a driver's license anyway?

You can't argue with this authority figure.
No mail, and no social security card=no license for me today.

But.....I never say die.
I refuse to give up.

I checked the time, and the time that the office would close.
I had about an hour and a half before the office would close.
If I hurried, I could race home and get back before then.

I raced for my car, drove like crazy, and ran to our apartment.

I knew I already had a file labeled "Two pieces of mail with address" since it seems like everyone here wants to see two pieces of mail with our address on it for some reason or another.
(Actually it is Jeff's address on our mail...we know better than to get mail sent to a temporary apartment.)

Then I dug out my spanking new Social Security card that I had to get to start work here.
I had left my original Social Security card in Houston, as I didn't think I would need it right away in Utah.
(Ha. What did I know?)

I had just weeks ago gotten the new card in the mail; it was SO spanking new that I had not even removed the card from the form in which it was embedded.

I glanced at form around the card and saw that it said this:

Note the line that says:

"Any government agency that asks for your number must tell you: whether giving it is voluntary, its authority for requesting the number and how the number is used."

Oh is pay back time!

Back at the Drivers License building the line was short; I walked up right up to the authority figure, who once again asked to see my Social Security card.

I retorted: "Certainly, once you provide me with the documentation proving to me that YOU are entitled to see it, and are in compliance with the law."

(Let's just say someone's eyebrows shot up....)

It took a bit, but yes, I refused to show them my SS card until they showed me where it said that legally I had to show it to them.

There were a few short meetings in the back room, some copying of materials, and then they got out the red ink, trying to determine exactly where it actually does say I have to show my card.

(There really was no line behind me...I wouldn't have been so cruel as to delay others if there had been a line waiting.)

Eventually they did find the legal passage.
I made them make a copy for me, then I handed over my card.

By then it was 20 minutes to closing. The authority (a nice widower who had a wedding ring that matched Bernie's wedding ring) handed me this book:

And suggested that I read it.
Then he pointed me over to the camera.
I didn't say a word, just sat down and got photographed.
Now get this:
Bernie had to take the test.
Everyone else in the room had to take the test.
No test.
Go figure.

Yes, it is true.
This California/Texas girl now a citizen of the state of Utah, and a proud owner of a Utah drivers license.

And the kicker?

After all this rigamorole, as soon as I got my picture taken , I learned I had missed the deadline to register to vote by one day.

I am SO sorry...
I tried....
I really did.

But I did managed to leave the building without once slamming a table and shouting THIS SUCKS!!!!
But only because my momma raised me to be a Fine Christian Woman, and Fine Christian Women just don't do that sort of thing.
(We just put the screws to them legally instead.)
Posted by Picasa


Ladygrande (Texas Marie) said...

Hooray for you!!! Sorry you don't get to vote though. Next time!

Lovella said...

Jill, once again you have favoured us Canadian farmers with a heartwarming vein throbbing post. We just love your sense of style and proper decorum. . .I'm so sorry that I was not able to document the entire episode for visual impact. I read it aloud. .as I often do . .almost like sitting around the phonograph . .as in days of old.
Just yell out your apartment window tomororw morning .. .telling folks how to vote. . .you never know, there may still be a few undecided voters. You go girl. .

Vicki said...

I'm not sure, and maybe it doesn't "count" in a Presidential election, and perhaps this was only for in-state relocations, but I seem to recall being able to request an absentee ballot from your previous residence if your move was within a certain period of time and you weren't able to be registered in your new place of residence...

...and perhaps that's all a figment of my imagination. I just read how the brain begins deteriorating at 40, and since I'm a "few" years beyond that, I wouldn't take anything I say as gospel these days.

Besides all that, it's just too dang late!!!! If our choice loses by ONE VOTE, we'll know to whom we should point our fingers!

(Are you laughing as hard as I am?)

Vicki said...

Oh, I forgot to compliment you on handling this like a "Fine Christian Woman" - so ladylike, yet so authoritative! I wouldn't expect anything less from our favorite librarian!

Julie said...

Ohhh Jill! I SOOO enjoyed the moment you knew you had grounds for a 'comeback' !!
And I know why you didn't have to take the test... the 'authority' didn't know where they kept the paperword proving you needed to do it !! snicker ! I think they wanted this smart-librarian woman to just quickly leave !!!!

I am really sorry you couldn't vote !! That isn't fair!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, what a frustration you went through!

Sometimes there is just so much legalese to jump through to do seemingly small things. I admire you for being so patient (I don't know if I could have?!) and am so proud you went back and got them with SS number!!

It's unfortunate you won't get a chance to vote today - I hope the man you would have voted for gets in, even without your vote!

Lori T

running wildly said...

Well done there little brazen lady. Plus, I LOVE the fact that you have orange nailpolish on. A girl after my own heart.

Sara said...

Congratulations on your success, and chutzpah! I like the lovely orange nail polish too.

So....are there any houses in SLC that are NOT for sale? This is a great time for many to chose from.

Islandsparrow said...

Congratulations - I was afraid they'd pull another hoop for you to jump through but instead you didn't have to take the test! Way to go! And you stayed polite all the way through. Your momma would be proud. :)