Friday, May 19, 2006

Adventures in Atlanta

I went on a trip last week and ran into some trouble in Atlanta. The trip was for business but I had planned to visit my father-in-law since I was less than 90 minutes away from him. None of my plans worked, but some of them were for the better.

Here was my original plan last Wednesday: leave home at 5:00 A.M., fly from Ontario to Atlanta, rent a car and drive to Chattanooga, work several hours and then check into the hotel. Thursday would find me in Chattanooga again, but Friday I would drive to Birmingham and Nashville. I would sleep at my father-in-law's place Friday evening and fly home Saturday in time for Mother's Day. Things did not work out that way.

I did arrive in Atlanta on time, but things went awry at that point. Picture in your mind the following scenario: I get off the shuttle to the rental car office and walk up to the counter. I've been through the drill a hundred times:
"Hi, I'm Lee Jones, here's my reservation number, my license, and my credit card." I wait to the sounds of rapid clicking and keyboarding, then the guy behind the counter says, "OK, got your car right here..."
"Excuse me, sir?"
"Yes?" I say.
"Sir, did you know your driver license has expired?"

Yeah, so... my plan was a little thrown off at that point. It turns out, however, that there are numerous shuttles from Atlanta to Chattanooga, so I was able to get to my client. Nonetheless, I was unable to visit my family. They gave me a second look at the airport on the way home, but the return trip went without incident. I made an appointment at the field office with the earliest appointment and got my license renewed on Tuesday.

And yes, I drove to the DMV to get my new license. I'll have a new photo, so maybe I'll scan that for comparison purposes...

How did this happen? When I moved, I did not tell the DMV to change my address. And, guess what? The post office does not forward DMV correspondence. It says so right there on page 3 of the California Driver Handbook, so it does you NO good to set up mail forwarding if you need a new license...

Anyway, if you've moved recently, you might want to check your driver license expiration date!

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