Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Changing My Name – Interacting with DMV Employees

In mid-December, I finally changed my last name on my driver’s license! I am officially Stacy Wilson, according to the State of Georgia. It wasn’t really that hard to do – just had to find my official, notarized birth certificate; swing by the courthouse in Cobb County, pay $10 for an official copy of my marriage certificate; then beep on over to the DMV in Austell to get my license. Easy peesy during a one hour lunch break.

I think that we are all aware that, sometimes, interacting with government employees can be difficult…you know, because they act like they are better and smarter than you and all that. So, as I walk into the building, I’m greeted by a bunch of chairs and a bunch of reception stalls…no sign telling me to take a number, take a seat, take a hike…nothing. I clearly looked dumbfounded because one of the receptionists asked if she could help me…’Yes, I recently got married and need to change my name.’ She handed me some forms and I sat in the sea of chairs.

As I go to fill out the paperwork, it asks for my last name. Maybe I was reading too much into it, but I wondered ‘Is this my current last name? Or my new last name? I really don’t feel like having to complete another form if I get this one question wrong…’ I walk up to the receptionist again and say, ‘Ma’am, I’d just like to confirm…where it says ‘Last Name,’ I put in my married last name, correct?’ She responds with ‘You put your last name.’ ‘Right…my married last name?’ ‘That is your last name. It’s kind of like when it becomes a new year and you just starting writing the new year on all of your documents.’ I wish I had a picture of my face. It was a mix of ‘Are you effing kidding me?’ and ‘How do last names relate to years?’ and ‘I’m going to slap you.’ But my final response was ‘Yes, I understand the process of changing years…I’ll write my married last name.’

Then, the best part was that I had to take a new picture and I hadn’t washed my hair or put on makeup. And was wearing an army green sweater with a pink coat…which that was my fault – I shouldn’t have even left the house like that.

click to make larger

AND THEN, they print me out some sheet of paper that serves as a temporary ID until my real one comes in the mail. Um, where were these ‘temporary IDs’ when I was between the ages of 18-21??? I could have totally made this happen with a scanner, color printer and some gel pens. Hell, I wouldn’t even need the gel pens.


  1. I know EXACTLY what you mean!!! I always get the same fat man in Cherokee who obviously hates his life/job and gets off on being a complete dill hole to people and can't wait to get home to his dog/jar of peanut butter.. (he probably got beat up in high school) they act like ooooh I work at the DMV I'm so hard core when really all I do is sit behind a desk say 123 really fast and snap
    A dang picture, get paid govt holidays, and be total asshats to people.. Whew I'm done....

  2. Wait...a temporary ID? What?

    I've been married, divorced, and re-married. Oh, and I've moved out of state a few times, but only once did I bother changing my license (oops...haha). I've had (including my very first original license) I think nine different licenses between moving and name changes and license renewals...and I've never had to deal with a temporary.

    I had one of the worst experiences of my life at the DMV here in SC when I first moved here though. Seriously, it's such a long story from beginning to end that I can't even begin to tell it.

  3. I take offence to this post. My grandmother Noreen worked at the DMV for many years and she was amazing! How dare you shame her profession!

  4. Jennifer - so glad to hear someone else feels as passionately about this problem as I do. :)

    Tara - Yeah - temporary IDs - CRAZY! I usually am like you and won't update it but I booked a plane ticket in my married name (to MAKE myself get it done) so I had no other options...but, seriously, DMVs are the worst.

    D (aka Sensitive Sally) - what exactly did you take offense to? My personal experience at the DMV in Cobb County? Let's be real...everyone hates the DMV and government employees. Sorry, Noreen.