I can’t get a driver’s license
At least not for some time
I thought that I would have a driver’s license by the end of this week. I was pretty much certain of it. I found out this morning that it won’t happen.
I won’t be able to have a driver’s license this week, as I expected. It might be 6 months before I can get a driver’s license. But, there is an outside chance that I might be able to get one in a week or two.
Let’s see why and how.
I made two big mistakes
Both of my mistakes happened at the same time!
Mistake number one was that before moving back to the USA, I was cleaning out my desk and I threw a lot of stuff away. I was limited on how much I could bring back with me, and I threw many things away.
The mistake was that I still had a copy of my old Washington State Driver’s license, and I threw it away. It had expired in 2003 and had been canceled out by the Philippine LTO (Land Transportation Office) when I got a Philippine Driver’s license in 2000. So, I figured that it was so old that I would never need it again.
Mistake number two was that in 2018 my Philippines Driver’s license expired. I stopped driving in 2015 because my eyes had deteriorated (due to diabetic retinopathy) so drastically that it was no longer safe to drive. However, my eyes have now improved a lot and I can pass the eye exam part of the driving test. But, when my driver’s license expired in 2018, I stashed it into my desk, and during the pre-move cleaning, I tossed it. I would not be driving in the Philippines anymore, so why would I need it. It was expired anyway.
Welcome to Indiana
When we arrived in Indiana my eyes were still not good enough to get a driver’s license, I knew it, so I did not even try. But, with recent vision improvements, I went to the BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) and took the eye test and passed easily. So, that got me excited to get a driver’s license and get behind the wheel again.
- Show them my old Washington Driver’s License
- Show them my old Philippine Driver’s License
- Obtain my Washington State Driver’s record
- Get a Learner’s Permit and start from scratch
Well, let’s see. Washington license, I trashed that. Philippine License, yep, in the trash. So, I decided to obtain my Washington State Driver’s Record.
Getting my Driver’s Record
I went online and found the appropriate form, and found out that I had to send $13 and a completed form to the Department of Licensing in Washington. Downloaded the form and sent it off.
About a week or so later I got an email with the PDF driver’s record. It looked pretty sparse, but I never had any infractions during the 13 years I lived in Washington, so I figured that is why there was not a lot of information.
Today I went to get a driver’s license
I went back to the BMV this morning, very confident and excited to have a driver’s license again. Handed the driver’s record to the lady behind the counter. She frowned and said, “This is not the proper form, it should have more information.”
I told her that this is the form that the Washington Department of Licensing said that I needed and they did not have any other form. So, she took the Driver’s record to her manager, and he told her that it was not adequate.
I was pretty disappointed. I really wanted a driver’s license.
Letter in the mailbox
When I got home from the BMV, I checked my mailbox and the mailman had left one piece of mail. It was from the Washington Department of Licensing. I thought, gee, maybe this is the real form, the one I got in an email was just to confirm that the real form had been mailed.
I opened the letter. More disappointment. Just a paper copy of the form that I had gotten in my email last Friday.
So, what could I do?
I looked at a number of options.
- Move back to Washington temporarily and get a driver’s license there, then come back to Indiana with that in hand.
- Get my Philippines driver’s license renewed, it would only require a small payment. However, it might mean I have to travel back to the Philippines to get the renewal. Then, with that in hand, I could get an Indiana license.
- Talk to an attorney who has a history working in BMV involved cases and see if he can help me.
- Go to the BMV main office in Indianapolis and see if they would have a better handle on taking care of my rather unique circumstances.
- Right now, I have something going on with the Philippine LTO (Land Transportation Office) trying to get my driver’s license there renewed. I should find out in the next couple of days if that will be possible.
The system here…
I told the lady at the BMV this morning that the system here in the USA is not really set up to work well for a person like me who lived outside the country for a significant amount of time. She did not seem to like it when I said that, although I did not intend it to be offensive.
I am ready to start driving again
Now that I am able to see well enough to get a driver’s license, I really want to get behind the wheel and get my freedom back.
At a minimum, if everything goes just right, I think that is two weeks away. If I have to get a learner’s permit, that means we are talking 6 to 7 months before I’ll have a driver’s license.
Wish me luck!