Yesterday I drove to town to RENEW my Driver's License. I hand the lady my license, & she says she also needs my BIRTH CERTIFICATE, SS CARD, & TWO PROOFS OF RESIDENCE. And something else...I've already forgotten what. I drive back home, get my portfolio of docs that I keep handy, & drive back to her office...for the 2nd time. She looks at an official County doc titled "Proof of Residence" which I had to get when I moved here (almost 5 years ago) and says, "This is no good." And I say, "Why not?" She replies, "I need two proofs of residence that are no more than 60 days old.".It used to be that getting a Driver's License meant you already had established your ID and place of residence, so when license renewal time came up, you simply were asked if there were any changes. According to the lady I dealt with, the "Real ID Act" changed all that.[Thank you so much, DC Repubs & Dems:]The County Office guy who issues the County-required "9-1-1 Emergency Proof of Residence" official document wasn't available when I was at the County Courthouse yesterday. [The County Courthouse is a few double-wide mobile homes strung together.] So, the MVD lady (in New Mexico, it's MVD, not DMV:) sent me to the local phone company & also to the place where I buy propane for my home. I was told to give them my "this-is-no-good" County Proof of Residence, & then they would print out a copy of my last receipt...with my physical address on it, not just the mailing address. Though by now I was somewhat exhausted, frustrated, & pissed off from all this running around, like a good member of the Herd, I did all that. Then I drove back to the MVD Office for the 3rd time.I don't blame the local bureaucrats here; they don't pass the Laws or make policy. But this whole scenario is only one tiny reason why the Fake Populist wound up in the White House. [Hillary, too, is a Fake Populist; way back when, she wasn't, but has been since becoming a multi-millionaire.] Too many people in this country are frustrated with, & angry about, public institutions. Never mind how bad it is with private institutions. They wanted a massive change. Unfortunately, they're not going to get one...at least, not the kind they want.I could write a whole piece on why the "Real ID Act" is an abomination, but very few folks seem to care, so I won't bother...or bore you. Just keep in mind, it was passed into Law by both Repubs AND Dems.There is a wrinkle to my story. When "Real ID" was passed (in 2008, I think), many States basically said, "This is hogwash...we're not doing it."...New Mexico has been one of the very last to finally comply. This State is right in the middle of complying; that may be why I had this License Renewal nightmare, & someone in a different State hasn't recently experienced the same thing.The MVD Branch Office is 10-15 minutes from my home. The 3 times I was there yesterday, there were only 1 or 2 people ahead of me in line. It took me 3 hours to get my license renewed. In the not-so-distant past, it took about 20 minutes. The people at the phone company and propane business told me that they print out receipts like the ones I got at least 5 times per day...all year.This is no way to run a railroad.
Today, a friend in CA told me that Commercial Driver's Licenses there soon, as part of SMART ID, will have a yellow/gold star on them. Really, a yellow star?...what a lack of historical perspective. Good grief.
Not only my opinion. Be Well