January 4th, 2006


Massachusetts RMV

In late September, I tried to get a driver's license at the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. "No can do," I was told. "You need a Driver's Record from New Hampshire."

So, I got one. No big deal, but it took a couple weeks to get it, and a couple weeks to motivate myself to go over there again. November 29th.

"This doesn't help. It tells us the same thing we already know. You need to have something that says you've been driving for at least 3 years." Huh? That's not what you told me before. "Well, let me check. Oh, I guess it's just one year." Okay, well, I have been driving for one year in NH, but this driver's record doesn't say that, and if it doesn't now, why would it ever? "Well, you'll have to get a corrected copy from NH." Let me talk to someone. "You have to go over there." No, I'm not moving until you've told me *who* I'm talking to and until they've come over and let me know that I need to talk to them. Supervisor says that I need to see her.

"I'm sorry, but there's nothing I can do. You need three years of driving experience on paper to get a license." Huh? Where does it say that? Not the website "The website is out of date." Not the driver's manual. "We don't have new ones printed yet." Can you give me some piece of paper that has this rule on it? "No." So you're telling me you have a rule, that's not written down anywhere that says I have to have... wait a second. Three? How many is it? I've been told 1 year and 3 years.

15 minutes of papershuffling and conversing with every person working at the RMV later:
"It's 2 years." How do I know? "Because I told you." And this isn't in writing *anywhere*? "No."

Grumble. Get driver's record when in Illinois. Return today.

Here's my proof of residence, Social Security Card, 3 additional forms of ID, 2 Driver's records, and most recent license. "Hm, this hasn't been two years..." Person next to RMV employee: "Oh, the supervisor told me we don't need to check those anymore." Wha? "Yeah, we don't check them anymore." You're kidding me. I spent 3 months driving on an invalid license, getting paperwork, and came to this place 3 seperate times to be told that the regulation blocking me from getting a license *never existed*?

Thank you, Mass RMV. I am now a licensed driver in spite of you, rather than because of you. (Temporary license for a couple weeks, my new one will be in the mail after that.) All due to a policy which no longer exists. And they wonder why I was being slightly suspicious of this rule that no one had written down anywhere.