Thou Shalt Renew

Yesterday I did something I’ve been avoiding for quite a while.

I went to the MVA to renew my license.  

I suppose that driving without a legal driver’s license is some sort of crime.  I suppose that no one understands why I would avoid such a beautiful place as the MVA. I suppose that everyone but myself has positive experiences there…I suppose.

I’ve been dragging my feet to the point where, on Sunday, my family had an informal intervention.  My mom even offered to go with me to support me.  

This is the old one. Sad to see her go...little 21 year old Valerie. Certain information is hidden to protect the innocent.

This is the old one. Sad to see her go...little 21 year old Valerie. Certain information is hidden to protect the innocent.




“I can go any time I want.  I can renew it whenever.”


So this morning, slightly out of shame but mostly out of a deep, long-seated desire to change my picture, I got in the car and drove to the MVA.  Or what I thought was the MVA. It turned out to be some skeevie place in South Baltimore. Thankfully I have gps on my phone and was able to look up the Glen Burnie location.

I drove there successfully only to find that…there was no building at this location.  Well a baptist church in a double wide with a porta pot on the side. 

Again I looked up the Glen Burnie location, this time finding something that looked correct.  At this point I didn’t have much choice. 

So I drove and drove and turned around a couple times and there it was bright as day – M V A.

I almost ran several people over in the parking lot which seriously made me doubt whether I should renew my license as a matter of principle.  But I decided my bad driving might possibly be just a fluke.  

So I got my number and made a joke to the clerk, expecting to be shunned, but he laughed.  Pleasantly surprised, I sat down in the extremely uncomfortable seats.  I waited for 30 minutes and walked up to the desk, assuming that the lady who sat opposite me would find something wrong with my license or qualification and reject me or possibly even jail me.  But she didn’t.  

She took my picture.  Made me stick my head into a pair of goggles and read something and then voila! I had a new license – all shiny and bright.

I look surprised in this photo. I guess I never thought I would actually renew.

I look surprised in this photo. I guess I never thought I would actually renew.

I didn’t really want to leave.  I wanted to do it again and get my picture taken again and chat it up with the clerk who took my old license.  I guess I’ll have to wait until 2014.  Maybe I’ll have learned to renew it on my birthday by that point.

In other news: My nephew Joey has now named me Valley-Val.  I prefer Princess Valley-Val but…


5 responses

  1. whoa. I’m going to get mine today. weird coincidence?

    as my brother says, “minds think alike”.

    in other related topics, when sam and I got our FL ones the first time, we cleared out a whole afternoon knowing what a long horrid experience the DMV can be. It took 10 min, and they apologized for making us wait. strange things, my friend, strange things.

  2. I made my husband get his renewed on his birthday (he happened to have off that day…) partially to make the birthday plans I had for him seem that much better because the bed and breakfast we totally free of MVAs. It also provided a distraction because I was trying to surprise him with the weekend away and I always make a big deal out of birthdays and its hard to plan travel and overnight babysitting without it being totally obvious. So I filled his mind with dread of the up coming trip to our lovely motor vehicle administration. It was surprisingly pleasant considering and we got out of there in time to go and get lunch afterword another plus. My license renewal was a significantly different experience and I wish they would have tried to picture again but you can only do so much when photographing a sleep deprived mother of an almost one year old, who is also silly enough to be working and going to college full time.

  3. When i went to get mine renewed i jokingly asked the guy if my hair looked ok( before he took my picture). He kind of shrugged his shoulders and said, “ehhhh, i guess so”. I ended up looking like a pez dispenser because my sweater was blue and blended into the background. Oh well, i only have to live with it for 5 yrs.

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