This morning I trekked down to the RMV to get my license renewed and it was an experience I’m glad I only need to do once every 10 years. I was kind of putting off the whole experience but I was reaching that threshold of how long I can go before my old license expires and I don’t yet have the replacement. They said 7 days was the limit…today was 8 days. Anyways, I got there when the office opened and of course there was a line of people out the door. When I got in, I got my little ticket and they handed me a form but I had already filled out my form at home (this will be important later). The woman grunted and pointed at the opposite side of the building toward the licensing sign. I proceeded over there and sat down on a bench but only for a moment because the guy sitting next to me looked like he might be able to give me hepatitis just by looking at me. I got up and faked correcting my already filled out form and then I just stood and waited until an alternate seat opened up next to a woman and her young child. I now had a front row seat to watch the RMV drama that was about to unfold.

Act 1: (Young man enters RMV left…proceeds to licensing desk)

RMV agent: How may I help you today sir?

Young Man: I need a license.

RMV: Do you have your permit?

YM: Yea

RMV: May I see it

YM: Oh, I don’t have it here

RMV: Then you won’t be able to take a road test

YM: But I’m scheduled for now

RMV: (Wishing he took the job at the post office instead) Yes, but you need your permit to operate the vehicle

YM: Why? (Looks quizzically at the agent and makes first attempt at logic)

RMV: It’s the law, please reschedule for a later date. (YM exits RMV right…wondering what went wrong)


Act 2: (Older woman with leather boots suitable for someone 20 years younger and 100 pounds lighter enters RMV right)

RMV: Hello maam, what can we do for you?

Mid-life crisis Woman: I need to switch my license over from Connecticut

RMV: OK, I’ll need your form, your old license, and proof of social (SSN) and residency

MLCW: (Hands over form and old license) Here you go.

RMV: I’ll need your social security card and proof of residency

MLCW: (Rumages through wallet) I don’t have my social security card on me…is there something else I can use. My address is on the license…can’t you use that?

RMV: We can use a passport if you have one of those. But I will still need proof of MASSACHUSETTS residency

MLCW: You can’t use my old license

RMV: (Getting frustrated) Your old license says you live in Connecticut…do you still live there?

MLCW: (Probably thinking the RMV guy is the idiot here) No I’ve moved that’s why I need a new license

RMV: OK, Please come back when you have either your social security card or passport and proof of your new Massachusetts license

MLCW: Can I get these requirements in writing

RMV: They’re on the form you’re holding maam

MLCW: (Walking off confused) Uh! This so difficult.


Then it was my turn. My number was called…I approached the desk with filled out form in hand, two forms of ID at the ready, and Visa ready to swipe. I am an RMV PRO! Strange looking woman takes form…says nothing.

“You need a vision test, look into the box and read line two”


“You passed”

“Oh good, I’ve been studying for weeks for that eye exam”

“Stand against the blue panel, glasses off, don’t smile”

“Yes maam (holding back smile)”

*Bulbs Flash twice – no warning

“That’s your picture…is it OK”

“Well, it looks like me”

“55 dollars”

I hand her my visa…she swipes…I sign…I’m out


Total time being served: 2 minutes

Total time waiting to be served: 30 minutes

Total time thanking my non-descript and non-intervening personal deity that I don’t work at the RMV: 32 minutes


Patrick OUT!!!


Artists representations of my RMV agent can be found here, here, and here


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