I finally did it. I finally freaking went to the Wisconsin DMV to get a license. I got all the stupid crap together that i could possibly need — my lease, a utility bill at least 30 days old but not more than 90 days old, my iowa license, my social security card, my work id and $40.
I drove around in circles looking for the secret entrance across from festival foods. I parked a half block away in -3 degree weather. i took number 99 out of the little red number-giver and waited patiently even though when i got there they were on like 72 (ish). I pre-filled out the form not clearly labeled on the table in the waiting area with all my information.
I made small talk with some girl renewing her license about how the place just makes me nervous because i feel like im 16 and about to take the on-the-road test all over again.
They finally called my number and i went up to the counter with all my aforementioned crap.
they told me i would need my birth certificate.
“yes, ma’am you’ll need your birth certificate to prove your date of birth,” dmv clerk says.
“but i have my iowa licence with my birthday on it,” i said
“but you’ve never had a wisconsin id before. so it has to be your birth certificate,” dmv clerk says.
“but i don’t have my birth certificate. i just have my iowa id, my lease, my utility bill, my social security card, my work id and $40,” i say.
“well, you can also show us your passport for your date of birth,” she says.
“i don’t have that either. i only have my iowa id, my lease, my utility bill, my social security card, my work id and $40,” i say back.
“OH!, i know,” she says, and i think maybe she CAN help me. “you can show us your military id.”
“huh? i don’t have that either,” i say.
“well, sorry, i can’t give you a driver’s license today then,” she says WITHOUT a smile, like she doesn’t even care about customer service.
and that’s about when i started crying. and not because i NEED a wisconsin driver’s licence so my stupid credit union doesn’t freeze account (although i do), but because this all happened on Feb. 19 and i was planning to same-day register to vote with my wisconsin driver’s licence. and I HAD TO VOTE (for candidate x) because he had sent me a personalized e-mail the night before saying EVERY vote counts, especially mine.
and i got in the car and called my bff and she was all “why are you CRYING about this?” and i was “because i NEED to vote” and she was all “umm, ok.”
and then she helped me calm down as i drove around looking for my polling place hoping my lease, a utility bill at least 30 days old but not more than 90 days old, my iowa license, my social security card and my work id would be enough for me to same-day register.
I walked into the elementary school and told the woman that i wanted to same-day register. and she said i needed my wisconsin id. I said “I don’t have that, but I DO have my lease, a utility bill at least 30 days old but not more than 90 days old, my iowa license, my social security card and my work id.”
and she said that should be enough.
and it was. and i voted. for (candidate x). and i kind of cried some tears of joy. and then i bought something from the PTA bake sale at the elementary school and walked out to my car. and as soon as i pulled out of the parking lot (candidate x) sent me a txt telling me that MY vote matters. and i saved that txt so i can show it to my grandkids. or at least my mom.
and i have since looked into getting my birth certificate. and it turns out i can get one by sending $15, a self-addressed stamped envelope and copy of my iowa license to the vital records office in cook county. that’s right. to prove my birthday to wisconsin i need a birth certificate, which i can get with my iowa driver’s license.
i hate red tape. and for that matter that stupid red number-giver.