Tuesday, May 13, 2008

the Michigan list

I tried to take a step towards becoming a Michigander, I really did. I went down to the Secretary of State's office (they don't have the DMV here) with all my paperwork to trade in my CA license for a MI one. Instead of having a machine that dispenses numbers, they have an old lady.

me: Hi, I have a California license and I need to get a Michigan one.
Old Lady: Do you have a Michigan license?
me: no.
OL: Have you ever had a Michigan license?
me: no.
OL: Are you familiar with the ID requirements for Michigan.
me: Yes. (I looked them up online before coming down there.)
OL: Fill this out and wait for your number to be called.

I took my clipboard and form and number and went to go sit down with my friend. They called 27. I had 30 and my friend had 29. I barely had time to fill out the form before I was called.

me: Hi, I have a California license and I need to get a Michigan one.
Old Lady #2: (stares)
me: I have everything here with me, passport, social security card, California license, birth certificate, things showing my address...
OL2: Let me see your things.
me: (hands them over)
OL2: Now what is this here? I don't understand what this is that it says there is a balance due.
me: It's a credit card statement from Bank of America.
OL2: You need a birth certificate.
me: This is a birth certificate. (Points at birth certificate)
OL2: (Frowns at birth certificate and writes the information down, then looks at something else) I can't accept this. It's not a bank account statement.
me: No it's not, I haven't gotten a statement yet. It's a letter from the bank thanking me for opening up an account. It's dated and shows my address.
OL2: It's not a bank account statement. You need things off of this list. (circles random things on the list and shoves list at me)
me: Fine, I have my federal tax refund check. That has my address on it.
OL2: I can't accept that. It's not on the list.
me: No, it's a government document. It has my address on it. It's where I filed my taxes.
OL2: You need a receipt. I can't accept this.
me: They didn't give me a receipt. This was all that was in the envelope. That's why it has my address on it. But it's from the US government and it has my address on it.
OL2: We'll I'll have to run it by her. I don't think I can accept this. (after being gone several minutes, returns) I can't accept this. (shoves my credit card statement back at me)
me: But it's a credit card statement. You asked about that earlier. It's on the list right here.
OL2: But I can't accept it because it was printed out from online.
me: But the list says "Electronic copies are acceptable."
OL2: Do you have a utility bill? (Circles it on the list)
me: No, the utilities aren't in my name.
OL2: Well then bring in a copy of your lease. (Circles it on the list)
me: My name's not on the lease.
OL2: Your name's not on the lease?
me: No, not til June.
OL2: But?
me: I just moved here. I moved in with someone who already lived here. Therefore my name isn't on any of these. That's why I brought in the bank stuff.
OL2: Do you have a car registered in Michigan?
me: No.
OL2: Well do your parents live in Michigan?
me: No, they live in California.

California driver's license, California birth certificate (Shasta County).... Have you not yet figured out that I am from California? And that I didn't start out in Michigan, only to leave and come back again? This may sound crazy, but sometimes people live in places that are not Michigan. And what are my parents going to do, vouch for me? Why can't my friend here vouch for me? (New Neighbor Friend - she lives in my building!) And seriously, even though you have all that info in front of you several times, how old do you think I am that I would go call my parents for help? Mommy! They won't give me a Michigan driver's license! Make them!

OL2: Well, take this list home and look it over and make sure that you have at least 2 of these. (Continues circling random things and shoving the list at me) But I'll give you this pass, so when you come back you don't have to take a number.
me: So I just come straight up to the counter?
OL2: No, you go over there to the "Return Area." You can do that in any branch.
me: So I just have to wait in a different section of the office instead of this one?
OL2: That's right, and make sure you have 2 things from the list.

My friend and I leave, both completely and utterly shocked at what just transpired. We explain to each other how the things she couldn't accept were in fact on the all-important list. I even came home and showed Jason my precious list, and he too agrees that I had all the necessary paperwork.

So anyway, it seems a lot easier to take a coupla extra seconds while people figure out my CA license than to go through all this silly rigmarole to get a MI one.


Average Jane said...

What a colossal pain in the butt! It sounds like you handled it more calmly than I would have.

super des said...

I wasn't calm. I wasn't yelling or anything, but I was making a tiny scene. Luckily the office was pretty empty.

followthatdog said...

holy crap. You need to move here to Washington. I had my CA license, that's all I needed. Nothing else (or at least not that I remember) I put it off for over a year and it was a total non-event. I'm adding this to my list of reasons never to move to WI. (not that it was every on my list of things to do, but better safe than sorry, right?)

super des said...

I used my CA ID the entire time I was in NY. Never a problem. I think I'll just keep it.

Amy Jo said...

Sounds like Michigan has a lot in common with Georgia. We both stood in line to register our cars, and for some reason they wouldn't take my check with our old address on it but they did take my husbands. We were there at the exact same time and everything.

Good luck with your list!

Deedra Climer Bass said...

Believe it or not, I had a very similar incident in changing my DL from Tennessee to Michigan. Luckily, I was enrolled in school at Eastern and could just go down there and get a student ID. The people who work at the State Department are trained to circle that freakin' list and turn you away. They prolly bowl, too :}


Anonymous said...

Maybe you need to move to OHIO...you all know how we feel about Michigan...hahaha!

flutter said...

good god, how fucking annoying!

Suzanne said...

I think no one blinks at out-of-state licenses in NYC because so many people are from elsewhere. I guess not too many people are moving to MI from other places. I wonder why that might be?...

I think you should demand to talk to the manager. Although I suspect that would not get you very far. But still.

super des said...

I think the manager is who she went to talk to. And no, I don't see what good it would do because I'm sure she was just another cranky old lady.

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