October 31, 2012
Helpful Hints from joeeze: Put a copy of your driver's license in your glove box — NOW!
Because when — not if — you lose or misplace your driver's license, you'll wish you had.
Consider the following true story: on Monday of last week I noticed my driver's license wasn't in my wallet beneath that clear plastic window where it always resides.
What the heck?
Where did it go?
I hadn't a clue.
How long had it been missing?
I had no idea: weeks, maybe?
I rarely look at it.
I turned my house upside down several times looking for it: no dice.
What made the discovery particularly juicy was the fact that I was planning to drive to Pittsburgh last Thursday.
That would be great, being pulled over for speeding in West Virginia and pulling out my wallet only to discover at that moment I was driving without my license on my person.
I made a beeline for the DMV to get a replacement.
What a complicated thing that turned out to be, with all manner of documentation required.
I finally figured out that an expired U.S. passport + my original birth certificate qualified as the two primary authenticating documents required to get a replacement license.
But guess what?
After I filled out the forms and they took a picture, they handed me a piece of paper and said, "This is your temporary license."
I thought they'd give me a replacement with my picture and all on the spot.
Nope: takes a week or so till they send it via U.S. mail (it arrived yesterday).
In the meantime, off to Pennsylvania with my piece of paper that I was assured was a valid Virginia driver's license.
I had my doubts but what was I gonna do?
That's when it occurred to me that it would have been nice to have a copy of my real license to pull out along with the flimsy piece of paper if I were stopped by a trooper.
So now I have a copy of my new license tucked in my glove box next to my car registration and proof of insurance.
And so should you.
So no dilly-dallying: get up, go make a copy of your driver's license, then put it in your glove box.
You'll thank me.
October 31, 2012 at 05:01 PM | Permalink
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@ Fred above - keeping a copy on a server somewhere or in your email account is a good idea. No matter where you are, if there's access you can at least prove who you are to the local consulate and start working on paperwork etc. to get you home.
Consider the risk of unauthorized access however - keeping it on a separate account away from day to day traffic can be a good start. Our university servers are (so far) very secure so I use them instead. Box, which ecrypts files, might be good too but I haven't used it.
Posted by: Scott | Nov 2, 2012 11:32:48 AM
How about not speeding? :-)
Posted by: Cornish Bob | Nov 1, 2012 10:03:55 AM
Even better idea... photograph / photocopy your Diriving Licence, ID, Passport, whatever, and email it to your GMail or Yahoo account.
No matter where in the world you are, you are a phone or computer away from having copies of them all.
I received that advice many years ago. The more you travel, the more chances you have of losing one or more, and the more difficulty you'll be in if you do.
Posted by: Fred | Nov 1, 2012 12:45:34 AM
Joe, why don't you staple, or glue in place, a photocopy of your driver's license into your wallet?
Posted by: jonathand | Oct 31, 2012 9:46:35 PM
I have my 7-digit license number and expiration date memorized. If ever caught driving without the license the cop can look me up with the number. It helps that I've had the same license number for 18 years (since I was 16).
Posted by: Pilai | Oct 31, 2012 9:00:03 PM
Bad idea. Thieves break into cars all the time. You are just making it easy for them to steal your identity.
Posted by: JD | Oct 31, 2012 8:16:44 PM
make a copy of everything important in your wallet/purse,
both sides of credit cards.
One of the worst feelings is to reach for your wallet and you touch nothing!
It makes restocking a LOT easier.
Posted by: JoePeach | Oct 31, 2012 6:32:44 PM
OK, Mr. Luddite. Why don't you take a picture with your fancy new iPhone and save it there??
Posted by: Pictou | Oct 31, 2012 5:54:27 PM
No valid passport Joe? You need to get out more!
Posted by: lewildbeast | Oct 31, 2012 5:20:11 PM
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