The end of an era is coming next month. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission has advised me that it is time to renew my license…and I must report in person in order to have my photograph taken.
For many years when I have mentioned that I have no identification with my picture on it, I have been met with absolute disbelief. Perfect strangers are so shocked that they feel free to grill me about this impossible situation.
There is a litany of questions implying that I have forgotten some long lost photograph usually starting with “Work?” “No, I’m self-employed.”
But the one that brings the most disbelief is usually,
“Your driver’s license?”
“Oh, no. You must have a picture on your driver’s license. You have to!”
“No, that was phased in as people’s licenses expired and I appear to be among the last ones.”
“Oh, wow… but then, how do you fly?”
“I haven’t flown since about 1971.”
And that starts a whole new round of questions suggesting that I have forgotten some trip that I took by airplane in the last 35 years.
The people in Central Jersey live with a very limited world-view. They think that everyone has photo ID and travels by air and that no one can survive without a cell phone or Internet access and email.
Well, boy do I have news for you. Those people are here, in Hillsborough, living among you. Surprise!
I have reached the stage where no one asks if I have a school ID with a picture, but the last picture ID I had was a student ID card about 5 years ago when I took a course at Raritan Valley Community College.