by Marlene Berlin
In February, I got a notice in the mail that I needed to get my driver’s license renewed. Who wants to go through the hassle of going to the DMV and waiting hours to get something done? Kept putting it off and putting it off. Then a friend told me she had spent over 3 hours at the DMV and was beyond irritated. Put it off again. Then got another notice that the Georgetown DMV location had closed and the Rhode Island was soon to open on April 2.
I checked this on the DMV website and found out the Rhode Island site was close to the Rhode Island Metro Station. This could be an adventure since I had not been out that way for more years than I wanted to count. And the photo on the website piqued my interest. So two days before my birthday, when my time would run out, I decided to make the trek.
It was May 7th, a miserable rainy day. I left around 8 a.m., in just a light drizzle, and headed off to the Metro. The Rhode Island metro stop is on the red line, just two stops past Union Station. It took about half an hour to get to Rhode Island, which is above ground and bustling with people. From my train car I could see the sign for the DMV right across from the Metro station, with easy access from there. The DMV is part of a new looking “town center” of retail space with above store apartments.
When I entered the DMV I found only one person waiting in line. In a couple of minutes I was called to a desk. I was handed a form and given a number, C17, and told to take a seat. It would have been helpful to be handed a clipboard as well, but it appears that they were all in use. Later the security guard went around collecting them.
I read the newspaper while I waited for my number to be called over the intercom with a visual display. There was a computer available for use by customers. In about 15 minutes, I was called to another desk and a pleasant young woman politely asked for my driver’s license. She spent some time checking me out on the computer, did not find any outstanding tickets, and told me I owed $44. Given my insatiable curiosity, I got out of her that she had come from the Georgetown site. She then directed me to sit at the end of seating area by the red wall where my name would be called for a photo. Within about five minutes I was called to another desk, a photo was taken, and within a couple of minutes, I was called back to get my license. As I was leaving, the security guard gently informed me I was going the wrong way and pointed me in the right direction to exit.
It took about half an hour and was painless. And I like my photo a lot more than my last one!
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