#Valentine: Be True To Yourself






Getting a letter from the DMV telling me I could automatically renew my drivers license for another four years sounds terrific.  However, it does have its consequences.





In California,  a driver license is good for four years. If you’ve had a good driving record during that period, the Department of Motor Vehicles allows you to renew without you having to report to their “delightful”office. No test, no new picture. Just sign the release, pay your fee, and they will send you an updated license for another four years. And, if you remain a conscientious driver for the next four years, they will allow you to automatically renew again. Translated: I haven’t had to do the paperwork, take a test, or get a new picture for going on nine years now. Lucky me. 

Like getting new appliances, I enjoy getting a new driver license. I appreciate comparing the upgrades that have become standard fare since the last time I got a new appliance or card. In the case of a driver license, these changes are meant to foil would-be identity thieves which I am thankful for.  What were the new differences? A raised signature and date-of-birth lines (kind of like Braile — maybe to help the visual impaired), a smaller picture (actually two smaller pictures now; one color and one black and white), easier to see driver license number, name, and signature line, and a very fancy back of card. A change I did not like is that my pink donor dot is harder to see. Driver license

Being that a driver’s license is one’s official identification, you would think the powers that be would want to create the most accurate document. If that’s the case, I am in BIG trouble because my new, automatically renewed card does not resemble who I am. I’ve aged. Physically, my hair is darker and longer, I’ve got a few wrinkles; I’ve begun to shrink a tad; and how I wish I weighed what I said 9 years ago. My driver license just doesn’t tell the truth of who I have become.

I’m proud of my “battle scars” of a life well lived for the past 54 years. I’ve earned every furrowed brow of concern for a loved one, every sagging stretch of skin from lifting babies, every crow’s foot from narrowing my vision and looking the other way. Yes, I’m heavier but that’s because I’ve been blessed to provide meals for my family (and enjoy a tasty treat with them during joyful celebrations).  I’m the one who chose  to have a pink donor dot because I really do care about my fellow man. This is who I really am.  Not some mixed up stats on a laminated card.  

My wallet has to hold a current driver license for society privileges.  I will gladly hand it over to whomever requires it. They will see some details of my life that are misleading and down right false.  I know who that card is supposed to represent.  And I will always choose to be true to who I’ve become.









  1. says

    Same issue with passports, only there’s a fee–actually, I use my passport as much as my DL. I admire your desire to be congruent, but there’s NOTHING that would get me down to a Calif. DMV except a requirement. Dead serious. My husband lost his DL coming out of SFO security last Friday and was dreading the DMV visit–thankfully, we picked an off time and it wasn’t that bad, but it’s a horrific place. No, I’m happy for my DL to be auto-renewed!

  2. says

    Hi Caryn! I too live in California and yeah, this year I must renew my license and I am hoping/praying that they just send me an automatic renewal! I agree that I’m not the same person on that card…but I really dislike having to make the appointment and go through the whole process (and that’s if we don’t have to retake the test!) And I too have a little pink button for exactly the same reason.

  3. says

    I had the same CDL from the age of 28 – 36. LOVED it.

    At 28, I looked like Mimi Rogers (Google her) at least the day I was photographed for my license.

    Now, as a 40-something, I look like me… not so much fun!

  4. says

    I had to chuckle reading your drivers license post. My wallet was stolen a couple of years ago and it was SO nice to get a new photo! You’re right though- the info does get dated.
    It was a pleasure chatting with you at BYBC2014.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *