Ken & Tess

Don’t Do What I Did At The DMV

Photo by from Pexels

This is the year I needed a new driver’s license. Mine expired on my birthday in August, so after getting a card in the mail to remind me in way back in July, I let it go until the last day.

Oops! I had been to the Department of Motor Vehicles in Brainerd just recently for license plate tabs, and had talked to one of the folks there about getting one of the new enhance driver’s licenses. She had gone through a list of documents I would need, and I mentally made some notes on what to bring. (note to self: don’t rely on mental notes!)

Anyway, on the day before my license expired, I grabbed what I thought I needed and off I went to the DMV. The items by the way included a passport or birth certificate, social security card, and proof of residency, which I was told could be a current bank statement or utility bill with my name and address on it.  I grabbed an insurance statement and the card the state sent me to remind me to get a license, thinking’ what better proof of residence…the very card the state sent to my address, I bring to them thereby proving that I live at that address. Brilliant!

So there I was, standing in line at the DMV, papers in hand, feeling pretty confident I have everything I need to get my new license and be on my way.


First of all, the passport worked as one of the documents I needed, but years ago, I had worn out my paper social security card, and replaced it with a metal version that I was told at the time would be a legal replacement.


The metal social security card was rejected by the nice lady at the counter. She smiled and told me those metal cards were not being accepted. I insisted that I was told it would be good when I got it, but she said she was sorry and it would not work. At that point I knew I was dead in the water as far as getting the new license, but I thought I would press on with my documentation to prove my residency. The insurance statement and my brilliant idea of using the reminder card would surely work.


Neither document was acceptable. Of course I explained my logic in bringing in the card the state sent me, with my name and address clearly printed on the front as evidence that I was living at that address by the very fact that they sent it to me and I then brought it to them. She was very pleasant and nice the whole time, but simply said it was not one of the acceptable documents I could use to prove my residency.

So, back home I went to get the correct paperwork. Then my brain actually kicked in and I googled the Minnesota Department of Public Safety and was quickly able to find a list of the accepted documentation. Mission accomplished.

Long story short, if you are going for the new enhanced driver’s license anytime soon, be sure to check the list first, get the appropriate documents, and good luck…and do not procrastinate. You have until October 1st of 2020 to get the real ID, enhanced driver’s license, or ID or a passport if you want to board domestic flights or enter federal facilities.

By the way, I want to thank the very nice people at the DMV (Brainerd License Office) for being so patient, nice, and helpful when dealing with people like me who are not prepared when they come to get the licenses, titles and tabs they need.