The Georgia DMV website advised me to bring certified copies, or the originals:
Social Security Card
Divorce papers from 1977
Marriage certificate to Dean
Two utility bills – proof of residency
For the unlucky folks who didn’t fill out the short-cut form on the website, their waiting line at the DMV branch at Rockbridge Road and Hwy. 124 was a long one. I guess they didn’t have access to a personal computer. Dean picked up on the important sentence at the bottom of the page about the form. (By the way, I read English, but most government sites are cryptic to me, and library funding is fading for public access to computers.)
At the DMV a Hispanic female and I spoke and navigated the kiosk where we pushed the right graphic photo and a paper ticket with a number magically appeared.
My number was called in less than 5 minutes.
The Hispanic woman’s husband arrived, and I think they were called a couple of minutes after my number.
The clerk looked at my social security card, my driver’s license, and my marriage certificate. She asked me if I still lived at the same location on my present driver’s license. She ran a wanted check on me. It took less than 5 minutes. She took an awful photo of me. I paid thirty some-odd dollars and received a paper license good for less than a month. I should be receiving the real license in the mail.
My sister told me her non-citizen Hispanic friends need to pay between 2 to 4 hundred dollars every 3 years or so for their consulate driver’s license. (I tried to fact check these details online and could only get a rough estimate.) If their American born children wish to drive before the age of 18, their parents must have this consulate driver’s license. Many immigrant families can’t afford this cost and the children don’t drive, work outside the home, attend extra-curricular school functions, or if they drive, they drive without a license until they are eighteen. If there is an accident, the consequences are very expensive for them and everybody else on the roads. Impacting the family’s economic struggles further, their college applications have huge blanks under work record and community achievements.
Car insurance is a separate bureaucratic mess. Remember, I speak and read English, and I own a computer.
I have lived in the same house for over thirty years, a luxury, made possible by the work of my great-great-great grandfathers and grandmothers and their children who moved a lot from state to state seeking work in the fields, prospecting for gold, lumber jacking, working on oil rigs in California, ironing, mending, and mining coal in the Midwest. They lived temporarily with family, friends, and in boarding houses. Their education was minimal. My Scottish ancestors spoke with a brogue, and they were banned from many establishments.
I remember my roots, and I don’t take my lifestyle for granted.
As I left the DMV parking lot, I wondered how long the Hispanic woman and her husband would wait, and if they would need to return with more documentation.