Lamination Lesson Learned

I don't like to procrastinate, but I make an exception when it comes to the DMV. When my husband and I moved to Florida 5 years ago, it took me ages to get a new driver's license. When we moved back to the Philadelphia area 2 years ago, I put off (and off and off) getting a PA license.

Part of the reason for my delay was sheer laziness. But in my defense, it's not like a simple renewal. Even though I held a PA license for over 40 years, to the DMV I may have well been from Pluto. But finally I got all of the documents I needed together---social security card, passport, utility bill in my name, government document showing I pay taxes. Plus I filled out a torturously long form, specially created (it seemed) to punish me for moving away and then moving back.

On my chosen day, I got to the center 30 minutes before it opened, thinking I would be first in line. I was 37th. When the doors opened, I asked the security guard a question that had been nagging at me since the night before. "Sir," I said. "My social security card is laminated. Is that a problem?" He responded that yes, it was indeed a problem. It turns out that a laminated social security card is just as good as no social security card at all. Something about laminating destroying the card's safety features. So that tiny slip of flimsy paper that was issued to me decades ago has watermarks and the like? Seems unlikely.

But there was nothing I could do. After toying with the idea of un-laminating it (and deciding that I'd only succeed in ripping it to shreds), I have resigned myself to visiting another government office and getting a new social security card. I hope to get around to it in the next eight months or so.

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