Driver’s License Woes

I have a license to drive. Had one since I was 16. In fact, I wrote a memoir chapter about the fateful day I managed to pass my driver’s test, the day I drove us home from the testing center and ended up on the sidewalk and the day my mom drove us the rest of the way home.

I am also 21. I mean, I am actually 30. So, what this means is that I am old enough to drive and I am old enough to drink, even though those two things should never be done together.

So, let’s talk about my recent driver’s license woes. If you read my blog, you will recall a past driver’s license issue. On Sunday, January 20th, seven months to the day from when Incident #1 this week happened, I blogged about the time a national chain restaurant located in Wilkes-Barre would not serve me because my license was cracked. I made a promise that I would get a new license. But six months passed, and since I have been busy working and writing and reading (for school), I just did not make my way to the local driver’s license center. The closest I got to the driver’s license center in Hanover Township was when I went to Nanticoke for a co-worker’s birthday party. So, over the seven months, my cracked license got worse. It’s faded, peeled and just a mess. In my blog post back then, I joked and said my license “expired” as a pun– as in death, not as in the expiration date printed on the license.

So, a half year later, I plan to meet a bunch of co-workers and Wilkes friends at a local bar that has a great Sunday happy hour. I am the first to arrive, so this means it is my responsibility to reserve the table. This bar is not my regular bar, but over the past several months, I have been there for this Sunday happy hour, and the week prior, I was there with about 50 co-workers for a dual going away party. So anyway, the bouncer tells me he cannot let me in. I instantly think that he means it is because of my cracked license.

“Your license is expired,” he says.

I think about this. I turned 30. That means I had a birthday on July 16th. Licenses expire every four years the day after your birthday. Shit. He would not let me in, but I pleaded my case with the manager, who did not recognize me but did remember the party the week before. He said I was being nice and said he could let me in on the condition I filled out a waiver and left my license at the front door. Great. I ended up having a wonderful night and was very thankful. Pays not to give people a hard time for doing their jobs, but at the same time, being able to do something that you are of legal age to do. However, one problem. I leave my cracked, expired license at the bar. The bar is closed on Monday and Tuesday. I have another co-worker’s birthday to celebrate on Tuesday at a bar that I have only been to once. Crap.

Tuesday comes along. In the meantime, I tear apart the apartment looking for my camera card. Can’t find it. I renew my license online and print it out. Thank goodness I had a passport from when I tried out for Survivor all those times. I have a valid photo ID, plus a temporary license, which is also valid when accompanied with your expired license, but figure I just have a few days until the new camera card comes and I can go get my new license. But….

We start at one bar on Tuesday night. I get in without a problem using my passport. Around 10pm, I drive just a few blocks, only on one street, to get to the second bar. Flashing lights. I get pulled over. Turns out I ran a red light– not trying to. Just must not have been paying attention. The cops asks for my license and registration.

Gulp. I would say this is bad luck, but really, it was good luck. He accepted by passport and temporary license. It took me a while to find the registration because Dave and I just traded cars and I never opened the glove box until this very moment…. the card was wrapped up in a napkin. Haha. The cop just told me to be careful. Whew.

So boys and girls- pay attention to the dates on your license. When a bouncer wants to hang on to your license, remember it when you leave, because the bar just may close for two days in a row. And just in case, get yourself a passport– it can save your butt. (P.S. My license is still at the bar, in their cash register and it is Thursday. Guess I need to get it to turn into the center….)

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About Donna Talarico

Higher ed web marketing. Creative writer. Love word games. View all posts by Donna Talarico

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