I’m not writing a blog today. I’m too pissed off at the New Mexico MVD. Right out of the gate I’m pissed because they’re not the DMV like everybody else. Why the hell are they a Motor Vehicle Division and not a Department of Motor Vehicles like most of the rest of the planet?
Yesterday I went in to surrender my out-of-state license and obtain a New Mexico driver’s license. They were serving (definitely an oxymoron) number 71 when I pulled number 90 out of the take-a-ticket machine. All the waiting area chairs are pointed towards the door, about 10 rows of them in two sections, so you have your back to the three or four agents that are processing MVD requests for licenses, registrations, etc. As I was sitting there, I read some of the thousands of informational signs posted around explaining the many documents required to obtain this or that license, registration, title, or permit in the Land of Enchantment. I didn’t have any documents with me, so I figured I had enough time to go home and scarf up a few utility bills, and what not, addressed to me at my current address.
I was gone at least 45 minutes and when I returned they were serving number 81. I had the sense to bring the current book I was reading, and waited another hour and a half before the number 90 was called. I proceeded to trip over the chair at the end of the row, almost sending myself flying into the counter, in my haste. I had no idea which window was to handle my request because there are not any “Now Serving G90 at Window 17” announcements like I was familiar with in other DMV offices I have encountered. This was a small local office, which by the way, one of the signs proclaimed that they have a $12 City of Rio Rancho fee because it is a satellite office of the New Mexico MVD. I have already replaced words in that acronym.
I should mention, that while sitting there, trying to read my book, there were several, (hell, I’ll call them old people), sitting in front of me discussing what they would need to renew their handicap parking permits. One of them, a man, say in his late 80s, wearing a pair of loose-fitting sweat pants to hide the several curvature of his legs, and who could barely walk because of it, determined through his discussion with the elderly couple on his left, which he appeared to know in passing, that he would need to supply a “Medical Report” form from his doctor and then return for his new permit. He got the form, out of turn (he was 18 from the new run of ticket numbers) and hobbled, yes hobbled, out of the MVD wishing the other couple luck. The whole time he was there he complained about the wait. Were the hell did he have to be? I had no fluffy place to go.
I get to, what I determine to be, the available window, and respond to the question from the woman on the other side of the bullet-proof glass panel asking what she can do for me today. Already I don’t like her. Her pleasure for being at my service sounds fake. I explain I’m there to surrender my still valid Nevada license for a New Mexico license because I have moved back to the state. After a few cursory comments traded about the weather and how we like New Mexico, she asks if I had a license in New Mexico previously? Ya think? Yes, I answer. She then needs my Social Security card which she types into her computer. While that is being processed she asks for my proof of residency. I ask her what she needs. She says a utility bill. I tell her most of the utility bills are in my wife’s name because she was here first, but I have a water bill with both our names on it, and addressed to the valid address. What else do I have? My insurance cards addressed correctly. What else? A bank statement. Won’t work she says because it’s two months old. I grabbed the wrong one from the pile of unpaid bills on my desk. You only need two, I state. I’d researched this from the wall signs before I went home to get the five I brought, just in case. She tells me I have a week to produce the current bank statement so not a problem. For whom? The other two documents, a credit card bill mailed to me at my current address and my car payment statement mailed to my current address, won’t work.
Then she asks, offhand, if I have any medical conditions. She says, like high blood pressure, diabetes, epilepsy, things like that. Well I do have medicated Type II Diabetes, non-insulin diabetes, so I tell her. She then hands me a “Medical Report” form and says I must have a doctor fill it out. I have two weeks to return this form. I read the first paragraph, it’s all in capital letters, “PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE DECISION TO ALLOW APPLICANT TO CONTINUE TO RETAIN HIS/HER NEW MEXICO DRIVER’S LICENSE IS CONTINGENT UPON THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS MEDICAL REPORT. IT IS IMPERATIVE, AND IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE APPLICANT AND THE MOTORING PUBLIC, THAT ALL QUESTIONS BE ANSWERED AND THAT THE DATES AND RESULTS OF ANY AND ALL MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS BE PROVIDED. THIS REPORT WILL BE REVIEWED BY A PANEL OF PHYSICIANS , BECOME PART OF THE APPLICANT’S RECORD, IS FOR THE CONFIDENTIAL USE OF THE BOARD OR THE DIVISION AND MAY NOT BE DIVULGED TO ANY PERSON OR USED AS EVIDENCE IN ANY TRIAL.” Holy shit. This is not going to happen. This is way, way Too Much Information.
“What if I had said no?” I ask.
“But you already said yes,” she replied.
“I don’t have a doctor here,” I said.
“You can mail it,” she said.
Now I had just heard a conversation about this very form and it had to do with handicap permits. I did not want my license to be tied to any medical condition, and was unaware that there was any restriction for Type II Diabetes. She then told me they had no record of any previous license with the State of New Mexico. It must have fallen off the system. Things do that, I imagine, fall off the system. It was 1991 I tell her. Not a problem she says, we’ll just have to start “from scratch.” Right now, the blood pressure I didn’t disclose is starting to pulse my right temple. She hands me back my license, Social Security card, and the three documents I provided to prove residency and says “Thank you.” She said, “Thank you.”
Why, oh why, do I have to answer questions truthfully? Why do I cause myself such grief? As I’m driving home I’m trying to remember if she input anything into the computer. She did say I had two weeks to return with the medical form, why? I’m going to the MVD Express on Friday, and I’m not admitting to anything, and I’ll bet I have a New Mexico license by the end of the three hours out of my day.
No, I’m not writing a blog today, I’m too pissed.