Wednesday, November 14, 2007

End of an ID Era

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.

1 comment:

Spokey said...

My condolences. They got me last year. No work ID for me either. I did sneak out in the 90s to get a passport. At least I could occasionally fly (I have flown probably six or seven times since 1971). That allowed me to run around day to day with no picture. A lot of misinformation exists. For example I think the Lewes ferry website even indicates you need a picture ID. Not true. I never felt the need for a picture ID until Corzine ordered me into the MVC (not DMV). Just wait until the fingerprints are done.