It's birthday time again and I got the driver's license renewal notice in the mail a few weeks ago. Fifteen bucks--and if I remember correctly, for the next six years or so. But I recently moved back to NYC, after twelve years in Florida, so I put it off, and I figured I'd just have my driver license switched to New York. This is where I was born, and where I learned to drive, so no problem--right?
Wrong. The NYCDMV requires a certain number of "points," meaning points pertaining to identification, such as: birth certificate, social security, picture ID. OK, I got that. But wait---a copy of your birth certificate is no good--you gotta have the original. OK, now there's a problem, 'cause my original is safely tucked away in my file cabinet with other papers I don't have to produce every day... or every year. And that file cabinet is in Florida.
The NYCDMV website says the fee is $10 for switching an out of state license, but the rather brittle info agent at the DMV said it's an additional $30. Asked if she could show me where that fee is in writing on the application forms, she said she couldn't, because it isn't.
No problem. I'll just have NY Dept of Vitals in Albany send me another copy (certified, with the seal) of my birth certificate. It's quicker than asking the family to dig through my files in storage, and find the document, mail it, and hope the holidays don't delay it. Not so fast...
It turns out NY state is gonna charge me $30 for my birth certificate. I don't remember paying that much the last time I ordered a copy. In fact, it seems like it was free. And that was along time ago...
Well, today things are tough all over--even our government is hard up for money these days. Which is why John and Jane Q. Citizen are getting feed and levied and taxed to death. On top of the pay raises most of us are NOT seeing, and the rents rising, and the property taxes ( in Florida, anyway) inflating.
So, you think you're gonna outrun low wages, rising rents, increasing health care costs, and bad weather by moving to another state? Think again. You try stating your preference, exercising your rights of citizenship, and voting with your feet and you'll pay for it, one way or another.
What we have here isn't the United States. It's more like fifty separate kingdoms. So pick your country, and pay the toll.
Another argument in favor of the controversial national identification card. Keep it up, dis-united states-- and you'll even convert me.