Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Driver's Licence; Handicapped Parking Tag

Some of you may have wondering: Does he have a handicapped parking tag? Answer: Yep.

Not a permanent tag, though. The State of Delaware distinguishes between individuals who can operate a motor vehicle but who are considered permanently disabled, and who therefore merit the well-recognized person-in-the-wheelchair icon on their vehicle's metal tag; and those whose disability is considered to be temporary, and who are therefore given a laminated plastic person-in-the-wheelchair card that is hung from the rear-view mirror, and that has an expiration date. I fall into the latter category; my temporary tag expires in July 2012, which should be plenty of time (so I delude myself).

My driver's license was due to expire at the end of November of this year, so recently I overcame my fears and visited the DMV to get a replacement. My concerns centered around the fact that the Delaware DMV reserves the right to test a renewal applicant as circumstances seem to warrant, including a written test or even a road test. I wasn't so much concerned about a road test as a written test; these tend to focus on such forgettable trivia as how many feet from a stop sign or fire hydrant it is legal to park. I was going to show up there leaning on a cane, which could have provided an excuse for an entertainment-starved DMV employee to have a little fun at my expense. I shouldn't have worried. I drew a true silver-back, probably months away from retirement. When he asked about my hair color, I said "gray", which caused him to chuckle knowingly, as he typed in "brown". He did notice my cane, which caused him to ask whether my disability was expected to adversly affect my ability to drive in the longer term. I told him the (possibly spurious) truth, which is that everyone involved believes my disability to be temporary; this was good enough for him, and he waved me through. The guy responsible for producing the final license asked me whether or not I wanted an up-to-date photo, which again surprised me; I replied that if the old picture was good enough for him, then it was good enough for me. As a result, in 2014 -- if I last that long -- I will be walking around with a driver's license with an image of the old, undamaged me, vintage 2004. Schweet.

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