Tag Archives: driver licence renewal

Licence Renewal During Plague Times

13 Dec

Once again it is time to renew my driver’s licence, fun times right? 😉

The only reason I don’t care for renewing it is because I tend to like my driver’s licence picture and I worry the new one won’t look as good. I know it seems a silly thing to think about but you’re stuck with it for five years, and depending on the person working you may get a chance to retake it or may not. Five years is a long time to be stuck with a bad picture that a lot of people get to see.

This year, thanks to the pandemic, the process has changed a bit. Normally you just show up and expect to lose a large part of your day to waiting in line but now you have to book an appointment in advance, show up no more than ten minutes prior to your appointment, and then be prepared to lose who knows how much of your day to the process.

I got there ten minutes prior to my appointment and was not impressed with the long line of people waiting outside. Normally I don’t care about lines but it was pouring rain and I didn’t want my hair to frizz before getting that all important picture taken. In that moment I very much missed getting to wait inside.

As I stood in line, huddled under my umbrella, thinking there is no way I’ll be inside by my appointment time one of the people mid line got out of line and went with a person who had walked out of the building to a car, her two friends calling words of encouragement to her as she left. Turns out they weren’t in line, they were huddled under the over hang of the building waiting because one of them was going for her road test. Which was great for me because I skipped ahead of where they were standing and got a bit closer to the door.

Then a gentleman came over and said he thought a lot of the people standing under the over hang were not in line and I should check, that most were waiting to take road tests. So I start walking past people and heading to the door and yeah, turns out all the people outside were waiting for road tests, or for the person they came with to finish their road test. They were standing where the arrows indicated to stand for the line to go inside but that is because it was the only area protected from the rain. Sigh. So I stood in a line, that wasn’t a line, when I didn’t need to. Thank goodness for that guy letting me know!

I get inside, tell the guy working at the information desk, which is of course surrounded by plexiglass, making him look like he is in a hamster ball, why I am there, he gives me a ticket with a number on it and directs me to the left. Inside the building, not including staff, there were four customers, myself included, in this big space. Chairs were blocked off so you could only sit in every third chair, hand sanitizing stations were placed in multiple locations, and of course, plexiglass everywhere. Oh, and masks, masks on everyone. I think of all the errands I have run during the pandemic this was the safest building I’ve been in.

This was the first time renewing my licence since my eye surgery so I got an eye test done, I was handed the disinfecting wipe so I could clean it myself, and was also the one to get the machine into position. Which I was fine with, I trust me more than a stranger, even if she was perfectly nice and would probably have sanitized everything just fine. I answered questions, signed stuff, paid $75 (ouch!), and was done in I dunno, ten minutes maybe?

A lot of jokes are made about long lines and waiting times for places like this but for right now, those lines and wait times seem to be a thing of the past. I gotta say, I think making an appointment is a way better system than just showing up and hoping it isn’t busy.

I remember the last time I renewed my licence, I forgot I didn’t have photo ID when I went to fly a week later, my new licence hadn’t shown up in the mail yet so all I had was that temporary paper they give you. So there I was, with the cat, at the airport, and the only card I had on me with a photo was my Costco card. That was an interesting checking in experience…

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