Yes, you read the title correctly, I have found a downside to a minimalist lifestyle. It’s not much, but it is aggravating as all hell. Let me ‘splain.
I practice a minimalist lifestyle in many ways, not just in physical possessions. I try to keep as many aspects of life to a minimal and uncomplicated routine. The more one gets involved in different things, the more complicated life can get. But, there are times where keeping things simple collide with the realities of the world. None more than when dealing with government. Let’s pick a government entity at random. Say…..the DMV, for example. No particular reason. It just happens to be the reason I’ll be ranting, raving, and losing sleep until I get it resolved.
My drivers license, all covered in rust and cobwebs from disuse is up for renewal this year. I got plenty of time yet to renew said license, but I decided, since I am out here in Hawaii, and it looks to be permanent, I might as well go and get the damn thing, which is currently registered in Florida, transferred out here.
To start with, I went online to the DMV website, to see what would the requirements be to make the transfer. I also found another site, which gave similar, but slightly different information. For one, it appeared I would have to take a written test to get the Hawaii license. Confident in my expert driving abilities, I found another site which offered free practice tests so I could see how expert I really was. Turns out, I ain’t so expert. But I continued to take the practice tests over the course of the last couple months.
To complicate matters, I have a motorcycle endorsement on my license allowing me to ride those murdercycles and terrorize little old ladies at stop lights. I got grandfathered into the license when it became mandatory back in Florida so I never actually took any tests. I could not find any information on what was required to transfer said endorsement so I assumed I would be taking 2 written tests. So, I started practicing for both.
Last week I was getting the urge to just go ahead and go to the DMV and get it all over with. None of the websites were clear as to what I would need. One even stated I would have to take an eye exam and drivers test, and provide my own vehicle. Now it was getting complicated. Plus, none of the sites were clear as to the costs. Nonetheless, I decided to take a shot.
One other thing I was going to need was proof of two things, one…I actually exist as a human being and was born in the USA. And b…proof I actually lived where I live. The site listed a whole bunch of stuff I could show which proved both, but while proving my existence as a living being was not a big deal, proving I live where I live was going to be more difficult.
I would need my birth certificate, social security card, and Florida drivers license. So far, so good. For proof of living at the address I would need at least two proof of address. It could include: a lease, a mailed bank statement, a mailed utility bill, voter registration, a Hawaii medical card, (which I did have, but was not accepted), income tax return, payroll check stub, vehicle registration, plus a magic stone retrieved from the island of lost hope, three hairs plucked from the back of a jungle tree frog during midnight of the full moon, and a letter from my mommy.
None of which I had.
The government works in 20th century technology. They require paper when the rest of the world uses digital. All my bank statements are online, I have no utilities, I can get a lease, no paychecks, no vehicle, tax return was from Florida, and it may take awhile to get the stone and frog hair. A letter from mommy might be the easiest.
So, I have to try again and come up with some sort of tangible proof for an uncaring DMV just to prove my residency. It’s maddening and stressful to have to go through all this bullshit. The lady at the DMV was kind enough and did do what she could to provide me with options, all the while quoting the Dept, of Homeland Security as the ones requiring said documents.
Ever since 9/11, and the ongoing never ending ‘war on terror’, the government now looks at all of us as suspects. We are all guilty until proven innocent. Of what, is never said, but it is assumed we are all secret terrorists bent on the destruction of the country and the freedoms we all once had before this bullshit started.
So, I now have to try and put together my case for being allowed the privilege of driving a vehicle across this little island in the middle of the Pacific.
Even if I cannot provide Hawaii with sufficient documentation, and I decide to retain my Florida license, which I have held since 1978, I still have to go into the Key West DMV and do the same thing. Only trouble there is I have even less documentation I can provide, plus, I have been using my UPS address which will not fly there. I will have to find a physical address to comply. Living on a boat would not count. The Atlantic Ocean is not a physical address.
I would prefer to avoid the inevitable confrontation with the Key West DMV. As nice as the Maui DMV lady was, the one in Key West is notorious for being strict about the rules and not giving a norwegian rat’s posterior if you get what you come in for or not. If you need a clue as to how bad the DMV is there, an armed Florida State Trooper mans the waiting room at all times, ready to tase and arrest you if you protest your treatment. The Maui DMV had no such guard.
What was nice is before when these renewals came up, I could just do it online. No documentation, even use the original picture. But apparently every third renewal means showing up in person, and this is the third time.
I considered even dropping the drivers license altogether, seeing as how I hardly drive anymore and have no plans to get another vehicle. Instead, I thought about the government ID, but it turns out, the requirements are the same. And since I do need to drive now and then, especially when I go back to Pa., might as well keep it for now.
One upside when I did go to the Maui DMV. No written tests, no eye tests, no drivers test. Just provide the paperwork, pay $50 and done.
I will get this all sorted out. I can get a lease back dated. I can download the bank statement and hope they pass muster. I can go grab some cheap internet from one of the mobile carriers and use their statement for a utility invoice if need be. But damn, it’s a lot of unnecessary, complicated bullshit just to take care of something which should be simple and easy.
This is why people become pirates.