Adventures in PennDOT
After two and a half hours and several back and forths, I now hold in my hand my renewed Pennsylvania driver’s license.
The adventure started several weeks ago, when I sent in my renewal application form online with my payment of $26 (plus an extra $1 for Organ Donor Awareness). PennDOT promptly sent me the camera card to get my new ID, and I promptly lost it.
I walk into the PennDOT office and ask information what to do. The guy hands me a new form and tells me it’ll cost an extra $5 (since I lost the camera card) and I need a check or money order. PennDOT will not accept cash or credit/debit cards. I’m searching through my purse but apparently the day I need it is the day I leave my checkbook at home. Sounding like he’s said the same line over and over today, the guy informs me that CVS has money orders.
I wait in line at CVS for a while, and when it’s finally my turn I’m told that to buy a money order you have to pay in cash—you cannot even use your debit card, and I was unaware of this! Unfortunately, there is only $5.50 in my purse, and the $5 money order costs $0.99. The cashier is very annoyed that she needs to void the sale, and I embarrassingly leave the store.
PNC (my bank) is directly across the street, but instead of waiting to use the ATM and waiting back in line at CVS, I inquire about money orders there. Interestingly, PNC changes $5 for a money order. Ouch! However, the teller, realizing I’m trying to pay for something at the DMV, tells me I can order a counter check from customer service, since that only costs $1.50. Woohoo, savings!
(Now, at this point, I could have dropped the adventure and waited until I brought a check from home, but after all that I am determined to get this ID renewed today!)
Back at PennDOT, I get my number in line: 621. They are currently on something in the 940s. My estimated wait time, according to my ticket, is over an hour and half. Luckily, the info girl tells me that I am allowed to leave and come back, as long as I don’t miss my number. Miss it, forfeit, get a new one… and the wait begins again. I run back to my office for a little while, then back to PennDOT again. By this time we’re at 603!
Once I’m done and I have my new camera card, the wait for the actual photo is a lot quicker. So quick, in fact, that the guy calls my number before the girl’s even finished handing me the ticket. Sit here, look here, CLICK.