Friday, October 20, 2006

No wheels

Little is worse for a 17 year old than to be without her car, especially when she has to bum rides from friends and (gasp!) have her parents take her to school.

In Texas when a student turns 17 they have to renew their driver's license. Jimmy and I didn't realize this, but Sutton did. She mentioned it to me a few weeks after her birthday on a holiday when no government offices were open and the license couldn't be renewed.

When the topic of expired license and, subsequently, no insurance coverage with an expired license, came up again night before last, true panic set in. Sutton and I set our alarms for dark-thirty and made our way to the DPS office in a nearby town. We got there ten minutes before it opened but were still about number 40 in line. And it was cold, cold, cold.

We waited in our line and finally made our way to the information desk. The nice lady informed us that, yes, we could renew her license there.

"Do you have your license?"

"Yes ma'am."

"Do you have proof of insurance?"

"Yes ma'am."

"Do you have your renewal fee?"

"Yes ma'am."

"Do you have your TEA form?"

"Ummm, a TEA form?"

"Yes, without it we can't help you."

We left with our tails tucked, angry at each other; me with her for not telling me she needed a license renewal and a TEA form, and her with me for not already knowing she needed the darn things. Thirty minutes of a sermon on responsibilty followed that I'm sure she would love to forget.

Sutton then informed me that it takes 24 hours to get back the form after you request it from your school (proving attendance compliance), meaning not only was she not driving yesterday, but she wouldn't be driving today either.

The form was requested as soon as she got to school and will be ready today. She will now have to text me when to come and pick her up from school so I can take her back to the DPS station, forcing both of us to disrupt our days.

Her birthday was September 30th, today is October 20th; we are way late with this. It's amazing how taking a car away rearranges priorities in a teenager; what's considered an inconvenience one day (renewing a license), becomes the most important thing in the word once your parents have to tote you around.

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