A Day at the DMV – hair color, weight, and height? Really?


long lines at DMV, how long does it take at DMV

DMV. Those three letters send people into panic mode, causing heart palpitations, and knots in the stomach.  I rate going to the DMV right up there with root canals, jury duty, and taking my pets to the vet.

Lucky me – my driver’s license was up for renewal this year. I have skated by for the past twelve years or so, due to my pretty much perfect driving record *cough*. Or not getting caught. Or whatever. But that’s not important. The last twelve years have been heavenly, as my license just automatically renews. This year though, I received the dreaded letter from DMV that said I had to physically come into their office for a new photo, new thumb print, and a vision test. Granted I received this notice several months before my birthday, but when I tried to call a few weeks ago for an appointment, the only times were after my birthday. Crap. It’s my own fault, I know this. So here it is February 10th, and my birthday is the 13th (Sunday). I am quickly running out of time, and I have to go. So this morning, I braved the… {oh never mind, wrong story}, I went to the local DMV office like any responsible adult should do {except most responsible adults would have done this weeks ago}.

As I walked in I noticed the long line at the information desk. You know when a desk has a sign above it that says “Start Here”, that you are in for a long journey. I waited in line for a bit, but thank goodness it moved quickly. When it was my turn I handed the lady my renewal form and had a feeling of relief. I was making progress!

She asked me if my weight was the same {as it was 12 years ago – right}, and I said no. She said to tell her my current weight within 10 lbs. Well knowing I might lose weight in the near future, I chose to go down a few more than 10 pounds. She then asked if I was still 5’2. Seriously? Looking back, I wish I had told her that no, I have grown to a whopping 6’1. I’m sure the look on her face would have been priceless. Next up, the hair question. My old license said I have brown hair. My hair is naturally brown. She asked me if my hair was still brown and I said “yes”. She said, “No, it’s blonde”. Well, look here lady, it could be red tomorrow – what’s your point? Whatever. I finally agreed that it is currently blonde {even though it is brown with blond highlights}, just to pacify her. I think women should be able to describe hair color in depth on their driver’s licenses.

She then asked me if I wanted to be an organ donor. “Of course!”, I said proudly. I wasn’t expecting her to say, “Okay then, you need to fill out this extremely long and personal form and then come back to this window”.  Well damn.  I almost told her to forget it, as my hope was to get in and out as fast as possible.  But since I do believe in donating my parts when I meet my untimely demise, I knew what I had to do. I grabbed the form, slowly shuffled my way to the nearest set of chairs, and filled out the form as fast as humanly possible.

Back to the “Start Here”‘ line. I was given a number and was told to have a seat…again. I anxiously waited for my number to be called, and about 15 minutes later it was. Of course it was clear on the other side of the massive DMV office. I trekked my way over to Window 3, where I was finger printed, handed a temporary license, and asked to read the vision chart. I was a little scared, as I used to wear contacts, but have since had laser eye surgery. My vision was excellent right after the surgery, but I have noticed recently, that letters are a little blurry. I read 1st line perfectly. He told me to cover one eye and read line 3. No problem. After I read it, he looked at me and said “Ummm what?”.  And then I was like, “What??”   He asked me to read it again, and apparently my second reading satisfied him. After I wrote a check, he told me to go Window 18 {clear on the other side of the building – where I first started out} to have my picture taken. But..but…I really like my old picture! I was young and cute, and well, thin!

While standing in the picture line, I contemplated what I should do for my picture. I should probably smile. But then again, that isn’t how I would look if I got pulled over. I think this expression would be more accurate, should I get pulled over:

stories of the DMV, DMV long lines, renewing DMV License

I ended up smiling. I wasn’t happy, but I smiled. I only smiled because I knew I was done at the DMV!

I sauntered out of that building – it was a really quick saunter actually, as I feared they might realize they forgot something if I took too long to leave. No, I didn’t want to sit in the chairs again, or walk to a new window on the other side of the building.

I was in and out of the DMV in 45 minutes…I do believe that is a record!   With any luck, they will keep renewing my license by mail for the next twelve years or so.

How was your last experience with the DMV?  Okay, and I have to know – did you tell the truth about your weight?


About Author

Jennifer Regan is the owner/editor-in-chief of Eighty MPH Mom, a family-friendly blog. She is active in Brand Ambassadorships and campaigns, and is active in social media, helping brands promote!


  1. When my son went in to get his driver’s license, I had to laugh. There was a concession stand in the corner selling coffee, sandwiches, etc. You know you’re gonna be there a lonnnngggggg time when you have time for that.

    • Jennifer-admin on

      Oh good – I’m glad I’m not the only one 🙂 Good luck with your trip to the DMV…I wish you all the best!

  2. I enjoyed your post. It inspired me to check the weight on my driver’s license, which is almost 25 pounds less than I weigh now! I guess they must not have asked me the “has your weight changed?” question when I got it renewed last year, heh… and the picture is old too. I’m still wearing braces (which came off about five years ago).

    It’s funny how a trip to the DMV can become an adventure!

  3. I will be up for a DMV visit next year-can’t wait. The one closest to where I live isn’t that large and if you can go on a weekday it’s not too crowdwd, but I hate getting a new picture from them. Never good…

  4. Hiya! Yeah, I had to go to the DMV when I was in Vegas (I also wound up having to go to the social security office…talk about take a number…sheesh) and it was a TOTALLY different kind of pain than the DMV here. Here, there’s like 3 people at a big desk, so no traipsing across miles of building. The wait still takes forever though….why is that? It’s probably some department code they have, “make each customer wait at least half an hour after filling out form, if they look like they’re in a hurry, up time to 45 minutes.” I bet it’s to weed out the weak, only the persistant folks get the “reward” of talking to strangers about how much they weigh, and then FINALLY getting a little piece of paper that says you’re not a complete danger to society behind the wheel of a car. Fun times.
    I love that picture of you, by the way. You remind me very much of Spongebob, lol! Too cute. 🙂

    • Oh, and as a PS, I do, in fact weigh what my licence says at the current moment. Which is funny, because when I got it I weighed about 15 pounds more. Heh.

  5. Ha, I hate going to the DMV, too! Fortunately, here in Montana our license is good for 15 years at a time till you turn a certain age (60 or something like that). When we moved here and I got my license I did shave a few pounds off, but I was lighter then, too…so it’sprobably way off now! The part I hate is the eye test. I can’t see the middle row with both eyes open…I have a little blind spot there. I had to pass that for work when I was working, too, but my eye doctor then taught me how to cheat 🙂

  6. So glad I clicked on this, great reminder for me that I have to go to the DMV! Haven’t been there for years, I know now what I’m in for..lol

  7. I haven’t been in a few years, probably since I got married in 2004. I remember it taking a good hour or two and I had to use a vacation day. Though I will tell you the Social Security office was worse than the DMV! It took 3 hours…oy!!

  8. Experience I had is totally different from yours. I have been transferred from INDIA to US on an assignment and here is how it started.

    My visits in a yr and rejections
    1. First visit for state ID : I took all the documents but Employee verification letter. They rejected and send me back.
    2. Second visit For state ID : I took all the documents and Employee verification letter. They rejected because letter was not having address information of my work location.
    3. Third Visit For stated ID : I took all documents + employee verification letter + address too. It was accepted on counter and I was charged with fees of $20. Then they asked me to wait and did verification and reaction from DMV folks “Oops residential address is missing” (did I mentioned that they have already charged me). They asked me to bring letter with residential address on it and then take the state ID.

    I was frustrated with this and decided not to go back and will use Passport everywhere.

    4. Visit for drivers license written test : This time I took everything with me + employee verification letter + office address + residential address and Guess what “Now they don’t need anymore for verification”

    and after that I had 2 visits : Learners Permit and then car registration which took only 2 hrs and YES 2 hrs.

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