I am going to vent a little bit. I have been to the New York DMV four times already and have wasted a lot of time bullshitting with them about the number if identification points that I have and other minor matters.
In the post 9-11 hysteria that has gripped America most states have passed new laws making it more difficult to obtain identification such as drivers licenses and a state ID. The first time I went to the DMV at Atlantic Center in Brooklyn I stood in line for two hours ( in a line 90% black) and when I go to the teller, who had the customer service skills of a Syrian civil servant, I was turned away because I didn’t have enough points of ID; I had a social security card and my MO ID, but I needed a birth certificate or a passport.
So I came back a few days later and stood in line three hours with everything and this time he told me that I couldnt transfer because he could not accept my Missouri license because it has no date of issuance on it. I told him “what do you want me to do” Missouri doesn’t put issuing dates on its DL; should I get one stamped on just for me? He told me that I would have to get a letter from the sate of Missouri stating when my license was issued and it has to be more than six months prior to the date ( and it is). Having nothing to do that day I said to myself “where do the white people and people with money go to do this” because I knew that wherever that was; customer service was gonna be a whole lot better and the line shorter. So I found out about a place called License Express on 34th St. in Manhattan and I went there and stood in line less than one minute before getting attention, but was told the same thing, this time with a smile.
That led me to having to call Missouri and fax them a notarized letter with all my info on it asking for what is known as a clearance letter from the state. I did this and it was faxed and after a week of not getting anything I called them and they said they never received the fax even though I had the fax receipt in my hand so I had to fax it again. So three weeks after sending the first fax I finally get the letter in the mail ( and the next day get another copy). This I will not blame solely on Missouri; but I will also blame our project mailman who seems to miss out on your letters about a third of the time.
Finally today I went back to License Express and there was another short line and everything went smoothly and everyone was friendly. As a part of the process I also registered to vote today and had to make the decision of what party to register with which is something that voters in a lot of states do not have to do.
My heart told me to register with the Working Families Party which is a Party that I have a lot of respect for and fights for the economic interests of the working-poor in New York. But my brain said this; I can always vote for the WFP in local general elections but I better register as a Democrat in order to vote in crucial primary elections. So that is what I did. Even though I am mad as hell at the Democratic Party and the only leader of that Party that is showing me anything is Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin I registered with the Dems.
Before leaving the woman behind the counter asked me to give her the seventy-five dollars ( which is steep, it was $30 in Missouri) and handed me a piece of paper and told me it would arrive in the mail in a week or two!!! This means that I will have no photo ID to walk around with for the next couple of weeks, and in the ghetto that is something that can get you locked-up, and that my ID, in this day of ID theft, is being sent through the notoriously bad Brooklyn mail system and I may not get it period!!!
So, I asked the women “what if I never get it in the mail?” To which she replied “oh you will have to start a new process again”.
If anything good came from this it was the thought that came to me that maybe like most other industrialized countries we need a National Identification Card like Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff is asking for. Instead of dealing with all of this bullshit there will be one universal ID for every state in this increasingly transient society.