My six month California drivers license renewal battle

What you see above is my driver license collection. You see, over the course of the last six months, it took four tries for the Californian DMV to finally send me a license that had an expiration date of 01-14-2016 instead of 01-14-2011 despite my license being legal in their system until 2016. As you can see by the issuance dates I listed up there, none of these licenses should have been sent to me this way. To finally get one that had 2016 on it required calling no end of “technicians”, going in to the DMV office several times, and finally managing to get through to their issuance department who then “rebuilt my file” and generated a proper license.

What’s scary in all of this is that people working at the DMV would see the problem and be apologetic, but then never actually fix the problem. The fact that no one even bothered to just glance at the licenses was probably the most unnerving aspect as the problem was readily apparent. It was always that someone would call up someone else and they would tell me that my “proper” license was on its way, except that that “proper” license had already arrived (there is a massive problem in that their system tells them a license will send out a week after you’ve already received it).

The other large problem in all of this is that there were literally tens of thousands of other people having problem with their renewals at the same time, so I was just kinda pushed to the side since the problem was so weird that nobody really knew how to fix it. Except, that this had to be fixed. Once I was forced to wander around with an expired license, I realized what a crucial, stupid little card this is as it gets you on domestic flights, allows you to cash checks, lets you rent cars, and a great number of other things. Thankfully, I also have a passport card which fixes a good number of these problems, with the exception of the car rental one.

Anyways, all of these other people having problems meant that I could never get through to the issuance department who are the people I had to actually speak to all along. It was only once everyone else’s problems were cleared up that I was able to get through and once through, the problem was cleared up in two weeks. Well, actually more like a month as the first person I got claimed she would fix the problem, but never did anything. It was only once I talked to some fellow named Josh in the “you are truly fucked” department that things were fixed.

So now, after a bit over six months (I initially renewed my license online November 16th) I have a license with a proper expiration date. This was a maddening process for something so stupid, but I seriously doubt that this will be the last time some government bureaucracy bends me over, so it was good training.

2 Replies to “My six month California drivers license renewal battle”

  1. Glad to see this bit of bureaucratic cockup is finally over for you. Once you in the system wrong it takes a really long time to fix it, obviously.

  2. I passed behind the wheel test 12/23/2011 and received a brand new driver license with valid date till 03/21/2012. This brand new driver license good for less than three months,

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