“I hope you didn’t yell at them,” my wife Kathy said after I attempted to renew my driver’s license Tuesday and reviewed the process with her.

She knows me well.

I’ll bet the poor folks who are trying to help people renew and acquire a Real ID, which eventually will be needed to travel, get yelled at a lot these days. Beginning October 1, 2020 every person over 18 who travels by air or goes into a federal building will need the Real ID.

Remember how it used to be a real hassle to renew your driver’s license?

First you had to take a written test.

Example of a question might be, the proper way in which to make a right turn is:

• Slow down and get into the lane nearest the centerline;

• Signal and get into the lane nearest the right curb;

• Approach the corner in the lane nearest the right curb but move over toward the middle of the street before turning.

Apparently Kansas drivers don’t have to take that test anymore because everybody drives like the correct answer is the last choice above.

It’s not.

I also recall having to take an eye exam to prove I could at least read the road signs.

Laws have changed but the hassle part hasn’t.

Having heard horror stories from others who have recently renewed their driver’s licenses, I went prepared.

For example, Kathy tried to use the marriage certificate issued by the church to show her name change from her maiden name but had to go back home and get her passport to use instead.

Here is what I needed and what I took with me:

• Current Kansas license

• Proof of citizenship: passport issued by the United States government

• Proof of address: passport, old driver’s license, 1099, and a Concealed Carry License.

• Proof of Society Security number: 1099

(The Kansas Department of Revenue will admit that at one time the Social Security Administration issued laminated cards which happened in my case, but they are unacceptable to use as valid Social Security cards now. However, a W-2 or 1099 would be allowed. The Driver License Examination Bureau gives no explanation why.)

Result of my first trip to the DMV: The 1099 was in the name of my business and did not have my personal name on it.

I went back home to get another 1099.

I failed to have proof of my residency. I guess a U.S. Passport, my unexpired driver’s license nor my state of Kansas concealed carry license was sufficient. However, a vehicle registration, utility bill, W-2 or 1099 (which I had) mailed from a federal, state, county or city agency (the driver’s license/ID Card Renewal notice is allowed if you remember to take it) would be acceptable.

But the driver’s license office at the Dickinson County Courthouse still could not renew my license and I was told I needed to go to the office in Salina or Junction City.

Here is the explanation I received from the Driver’s License Examining Bureau via phone after being on hold for over 30 minutes.

“Some licensing offices are limited as to what they can do,” said a spokesperson.

That was it. He really didn’t have an answer.

However, checking in with the county office revealed that my passport has my full name, thus, the new driver’s license must have my full name (including my middle name) which cannot be done locally because I have a Concealed Carry License.

Here’s what I learned Tuesday:

1) Don’t wait until the last minute to renew your driver’s license. It might take awhile to cut through the red tape.

2) I hope I never have to move or change my name. I’ll get to experience this all over again.

3) Apparently our Federal officials don’t care if drivers have no knowledge of the rules of the road or are legally blind but instead just want to have a firm record of where you live.

4) I guess Big Brother IS watching.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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