A Sight For Sore Eyes
The Lighter Side to Facing Vision Loss
RENEWING MY DRIVER’S LICENSE
I walked into the DMV with my white cane to renew my driver’s license. I’m sure I looked ridiculous as I swept my way to the counter. I figured they’d take away my license when they saw me. I prepared myself for the worst.
“Sorry, I do have my camera card here. But I’m kind of late in renewing my license,” I apologized. Forget my cane. Ten months overdue was more than late. That, in itself, was grounds for the sit-down-you’ll-have-to-take-another-test speech.
“Oh no, that doesn’t matter,” the man said. “Go to that man in the next room and he’ll take your photo.”
I looked in the direction he was pointing. Oh. Okay. I couldn’t believe my luck. Also, the usual crowd of sixteen-year-olds must have been off buying school clothes or attending last-minute parties at the beach because I saw only one other patron—a middle-aged woman. The place seemed eerily silent—no lines, no crying babies, no distraught parents.
A second clerk stood at the counter in an adjoining room. I tentatively swept my cane over to him. “Excuse me, I need my photo ID taken. Is this the right place?”
He mumbled something, probably, “Are you crazy?” I wouldn’t blame him. There I stood with my cane, asking to get my photo taken for my driver’s license. That would seem insane.
I hesitated, uncertain, then took a seat.
The first clerk came scurrying in the room. “This man can take care of you. I should have told you exactly where to go.”
At the counter, the man scowled at me, “I said, ‘Give me your card.’”
Oh. Is that what you said? “I’m sorry, I have hearing aids. I couldn’t hear you.” And if you haven’t noticed, I’m using a white cane.
“Have a seat.”
I sat down, holding my cane awkwardly in my hand. I finally set it down before the camera clicked. “Pick the best one,” I told the clerk, which he did. He had me write my signature on a small screen. A moment later, I held my driver’s license in my hand.
“Thank you,” I said, as I swept my cane smoothly across the floor.
“Let me get the door for you,” the first clerk offered.
I walked out of the DMV in amazement. I got in the car door and my brother asked me, “Did they make you get an identification card instead?”
“No. here’s my driver’s license.” I showed it to him.
He looked over at it in surprise. “They’re blinder than you are!”
So, I didn’t have to give up my driver’s license, after all.
And don’t worry. I just use it as a photo ID but I sure do love the privilege of owning one!