Friday, March 1, 2013

I Hate the DMV

I do. I really do. It's always something that causes a problem. This time I thought I would be clever. I would check before I went that my documents would be acceptable. As my visa expired in September I did not want to have to get into an argument with someone and not get my drivers licence renewed. So I emailed them, twice, to check that my I-797C, valid passport, expired passport with expired visa, letter from SSA, current drivers licence and letter from husbands work would suffice to get my licence renewed. They said yes. I also dug out a copy of our lease to take to prove SC residency.  I put everything in a box in our bookcase yesterday. I was all prepared for a conversation about why I don't have a valid visa in my passport. "A visa is an entry document and I have not left the country so I do not need an entry document so therefore I do not need a new visa."

This morning Ben gets everything out that I put in the box, I thought, and we head off to the DMV. It opens at 8.30 am and we get there at 8 am so we do not have to sit and wait in the waiting room with all the 'happy' people. If you can avoid spending anymore time that absolutely necessary then you do what you can.

So we get there and wait until 8.30 and when we get in we go straight to a desk. The woman gives us a form to fill our for a renewal of our licences and we duly fill it out. She looks at everything and then I find out that I cannot get my licence renewed. Ben can but I can't. Everything we have is fine, except for the fact that the letter from his company confirming he works for them does not mention me. It also transpires that Ben did not bring our lease, but he gets out of trouble by the woman saying that a lease is not accepted as proof of SC residency. The letter from his company can be used as proof of SC residency but only for him as it has his name on it. He needs to get another letter for me that says the exact same thing as the one he is showing the woman on the desk but it needs to say that I am his dependent. Even if I had a copy of my bank/credit card statement to prove SC residency I would still need an amended letter from his work. (Let's not mention the letter we have is the exact same as the one we used last year!)

I need to go back to the DMV on Monday. I can't go to the DMV here in Mount Pleasant as they only deal with US citizens. I need to go back to Leeds Ave. (Check bottom of page where it says "DMV Offices")

Now do I drag Ben back to the DMV with me on Monday? Even if he'd brought the lease with him, I still wouldn't have gotten a licence due to the letter from his work, so it is not really his fault.


  1. Oh god, I feel your pain. The irony is that the damn driving test is so easy, a child could pass it.
    I think you should be able to go on your own next time. Hope oyu get the same person then she might remember the details. Probably not though.

    1. Thankfully no driving test for me. Just a straight swap. I was going to drag husband along so I didn't have to suffer alone and he could keep me from losing the will to live.

  2. I too feel your pain. The DMV is a special circle of hell, especially for non-US citizens.

  3. Everyone hates the DMV. The employees in Detroit go to a special school for inflicting misery and embarrassment.

  4. Found your blog via Expat Mum. We've been in the US 4 years, but about to move back to London. I also hate the DMV with a passion and am just relieved that we don't ever have to go there again!


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