Think things are easy in America? Think again.
So, you guys know I’ve moved. Well, I figured since I’m going to be here I should get my driver’s license transferred. I do all kinds of research, figure out all the documents I need, wake up bright and early and decide to set aside 2 hours from my work day to finish this off. I even put in 2 hours extra yesterday to make up for today. I get out of the house and it’s raining. Cats and dogs. Should have been my first sign.
I drive towards downtown in crazy ass traffic, visibility restricted to the tip of the rear bumper of the car in front of me, weaving in and out of the winding lanes and bridges and when I reach downtown, the stupid GPS declares that it has lost “satellite reception” because of all the high rise buildings. So I wake up a groggy and disoriented SEV and yell at him to get his ass on the computer and guide me to the DL center. Half the roads are blocked by construction, every time I want to take a right turn I see this sign.
I bet my eyes have this instead of the iris/cornea kinda like that Tom and Jerry cartoon. Hmph.
Anyway so here I am struggling to find the place, guided by someone on the phone, losing my temper rapidly when I finally find the damn office. Only to realize that there is no parking. And so begins the quest for Parking in the one-way streets in the heart of the city. I finally find one shady place that charges 10 bucks an HOUR, the bloody ripoffs!
And so I walk into the center hoping that it wouldn’t take me too long. I wait in line for 45 minutes and finally when it is my turn, the doddering old man (who can barely see, hear, talk or type and takes enormous amounts of time to resolve each query) looks at my documents and tells me ‘No can’t do’. I’m like ‘Excuse me?’
DOM: You’re on F1. And your I-20 is only dated until Sept 2009.
Me: Yeah, so? I’m on EAD. (whipping out my EAD card)
DOM: Yeah this one’s valid until October 2009. And you don’t have an H1. I can’t issue a product for less than a year.
Me: (blinking like Dexter when he confronts DeeDee) So you’re saying that I can’t drive here? But my out of state license expires in June. And my H1 won’t come in until October, if I am approved, that is.
DOM: Yeah, but there’s nothing we can do. You need to show me valid status for at least a year. Sorry miss. If you can establish legal residency in the other state maybe they can help you out.
Me: (stumped and at a loss for words) Thank you.
So, as it turns out, since I’m technically only in legal status until October (that is, until my H1 comes through, hoping, praying that it does) and since my license expires in June, I cannot drive until October 2009. 4 months, dammit!
The other option of course is to apply for renewal of my original license, but that means I’ll have to change my bank accounts to my old address , change my insurance to my old address (and pay through my nose) and hope and pray that the other DMV doesn’t act this dumb and issues a renewal at least until the time I have legal status, which is October. Otherwise I sell my car. Gahhhhhhh.