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.
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.