Thursday, February 24, 2011


Here is a fun fact about Wisconsin: you can't get a driver's license at the Secretary of State. You have to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles. I didn't know DMV offices still existed.

Aaron learned this the hard way when we first moved in, driving to three different places trying to get a license. Oh and he still didn't get one. Don't think you can use your lease as proof of residency in Wisconsin. Apparently anybody can get a lease and its not proof that you actually want to live here.... huh? You need a paycheck, school schedule, or heating/electric bill.

Great for me since I had none of the above! Discrimination of the unemployed.

We had to switch the electric bill into my name.

Anyway, we both needed to get licenses so we went to the DMV yesterday when Aaron got out of work. Aaron was supposed to get a Wisconsin license within ten days of moving into this apartment. We have lived here for almost a month, so obviously they weren't super serious about the ten day thing.

I need to get a license so I can establish residency and not pay out of state tuition for the full two years of grad school. It's definitely too late for the fall and probably too late now for spring tuition (you have to be a Wisconsin resident for one year to qualify). I'm not sure what their standards are, but I'm assuming a driver's license is part of it since leases mean diddly squat.

We headed to the DMV with our proof of residency and Michigan licenses. It was packed and smelled like poop. We stood in line to get a number for about 20 minutes. When we got to the counter, the clerk put two applications in front of us and asked: "Do you have birth certificates or passports with you?"

"ummm.... no."

"We can't do this today then" she said as she snagged the applications away from us.

Let me mention now that the DMV normally closes at 4 and is open until 5:30 on Thursdays only and we did not want to wait another week! We ran out to the car, drove back to our apartment and Aaron ran upstairs to grab our passports. Back we went to the DMV.

Luckily the line had pretty much died down, but at the counter when the clerk asked for our drivers licenses, Aaron couldn't find his. He said he must have left it in the car and went out to look while I got my picture taken.

After ten minutes, I realized Aaron was probably turning the car upside down looking for his license. He came back inside and turned my purse inside out, then ran back out to look in the parking lot (it was getting very close to 5:30, when they lock the doors). The clerk started yelling for Aaron to get his picture taken and it was turning into a circus, with me going back and forth across the DMV and Aaron going in and out.

Luckily, Wisconsin can request drivers information from Michigan, so after a few tries they were able to contact the Secretary of State in Michigan and confirm that Aaron's license was not suspended. 54 dollars and a lot of stress later, we were able to leave the DMV with printouts of our new Wisconsin licenses.

And where was Aaron's Michigan license?

Laying in the living room, right next to the drawer he grabbed my passport from.

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