New Castle News

All About You ...

June 25, 2014

Kali Davies-Anderson: Trip to the DMV can drive you crazy

NEW CASTLE — If there is something less appealing to do than go to the DMV I would really like to know about it.

I do a fairly good job of keeping myself away from there, but every four years the inevitable occurs: my license expires and requires a photo card renewal. 

The first driver’s license I received was when I was 18.

After failing my road test three times (who wants to take a road trip with me?!) I finally passed. Unfortunately, I was working at a fast-food chain at the time and was wearing my work uniform when I passed, so I was the “Wendy’s” girl for the first four years that I had a license.

Four years later I was living in New York City and needed to renew my license, so I did the unthinkable and traveled to the mid-town Manhattan DMV.

If you ever want to experience a third world sensation, go to the DMV on 34th street in NYC.

I was there for nine hours — had to stand in line the entire time, and required four forms of identification, my old license, written love letters from my landlord and five drops of my own blood to receive my new camera card (which got mailed to me three weeks later on the day that I moved away from the city).

Four years later I was engaged and planning my wedding and got very dolled up for my photo.

Hair and makeup was a must.

Fast-forward to May of 2014.

I put off going for over a week, because I had been mailed a temporary I.D., which that was “good” for another two weeks.

Finally, while out running errands on a Saturday morning I made an impulsive decision to get my photo taken.

I had not showered, but had some lip gloss in my purse and my short hair was bobby pinned back in a miniature ponytail, secured by a thick cotton headband.

I didn’t look red carpet worthy, but felt as though it would likely turn out better than my husband’s, who also had gone on a whim and had worn a hat that they made him remove, leaving him to look a little bit like Jack Nicholson in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

As I awaited my turn I watched a very stoic young man take what looked more like a mug shot than a license photo, a woman who re-took her photo three or four times and still appeared to be disgusted by the end result and, of course, people that I know in real life as I looked as ugly as possible.

Finally, it was my turn for a photo.

Sitting on the edge of my seat, shoulders back and smile blaring, I heard the eight worst words I think I could have imagined in that moment:

“M’am, you’re gonna have to remove that headband.”


Clearly she was unaware of the fact that the only thing separating me from becoming Carol Channing in “Annie” was my three-inch wide cotton headband.

Realizing that she was serious I slid the band off of my head and felt all of my previously stifled hairs rise to attention.

The nice lady offered my some of her “community bobby pins” and I respectfully declined (for obvious reasons).


I waited for the picture to appear on the screen in front of me, and when I did it was just what I had expected:


I had her take one more photo before realizing that it was not going to improve.

When I got home I set it next to my husbands, and it looked right at home.

For the next four years  I will answer only to  R.P. “Mac” McMurphy.

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