**Warning…..This is an epic post….very long……sorry. Get comfy**
So yes, the boyfriend has moved five hours away. We had three of his friends lined up to help him and drive him and his stuff in a rented cargo van. Of course, all three of them fell through, leaving him and his stuff stranded. We could have hired a mover, but that would have cost a small fortune and we weren’t really up for that. Plus, we still had a dog to move and she wouldn’t do so well in a plane.
Now, I couldn’t drive cuz I’d let my Saskatchewan license expire a year and a half ago. I live downtown and don’t need a car. The boyfriend couldn’t drive cuz his license got revoked when he forgot to show up to court for a speeding ticket (moron). Now, I had rented a car once before with my expired out-of-province license, but wasn’t certain I could risk it this time, as it really mattered this time. By the way, good job Budget at training your employees to look at the expiry dates of licenses! Thumbs up!
Since everyone else had fallen through, and the boyfriend had to pay a gajillion dollars to get his license back, it was up to me to get his ass and all of his stuff to his new city. Fine. It was time to bite the bullet and switch my license to an Ontario one. It was a rough thing to have to do, cuz I clung to that Sask license as though I still lived there and didn’t want to admit that I was now completely an Ontarian. But whatever.
I called Ontario and explained my situation. It had expired, blah blah blah, but I knew how to drive and wanted a sparkly new Ontario license. Ontario said, ‘okay, go to a service centre and we’ll get you all set up’. I said ‘yay’ and planned my visit.
I took off early from work one day (all sneaky-like, without telling my boss….yeah, I’m a badass) to go to sit in a room with 100 of my closest friends who also wanted something from the government. I got there and took my number. After two hours of waiting, finally, it was my turn to talk to some government drone who’s salary I pay for.
My wicket agent was quite lovely. She listened to my story, nodded appropriately and told me that it shouldn’t be a problem. Then she asked for my birth certificate.
Um, my….birth certificate? Well, see, I don’t know where my birth certificate IS per se…..but here’s my driver’s license, health card, Social Insurance card and visa…..so obviously I am who I say I am. Plus, I am in possession of a bonafide Canadian accent, so yeah, you don’t need my birth certificate. Ha ha….ha?
My wicket agent didn’t believe I was who I said I was. She asked if I had a passport. Well, no, no I didn’t. But I called ahead and they told me I didn’t need that. She didn’t care. She told me I needed a passport or a birth certificate.
Try to explain this to me….cuz I still don’t get it. I don’t get why I need a passport, enabling to leave my country, to drive within my country. Seems stupid to me. I can’t drive in my homeland until I leave it? Whatevs.
I didn’t feel like pitching a fit in a government office (too many security guards and cameras for a good throw-down), so I just gave her a nasty glare and left. Fine, those fuckers wanted a birth certificate, I’d go get one. Other than that, the road seemed pretty straight forward.
I called Saskatchewan. Asked for my birth certificate. It could be mine the next day for $75. Wow, $75 for a piece of paper? What a steal! Fine, asstards, ship it out here…please! So the next day, I had a brand new birth certificate and was only moderately poorer for the privilege of proving to someone that I was born.
Annnnnd, back to the Ontario government office once again. This time, I got a priority ticket cuz I’d been there already and was just back to quickly remedy the only roadblock in the whole game. So twenty minutes later, I was making a new friend behind the wicket booth. It was a guy, so I acted all sweet and innocent while doling out the paperwork….old license, birth certificate, fax from old province saying that I can indeed operate a motor vehicle, la la la. He was falling for it, he laughed at my lame jokes, thought I was funny and I thought I was finally going to be able to get the boyfriend to med school on time (cuz that’s one thing you don’t want to miss the first day of). He was absent mindedly punching numbers into the computer when he suddenly stopped.
Stupid Ontario Government Guy: “Um. Your license is expired.”
Me: “Oh. Uh…yeah. I know. But I was here two days ago and the person I saw said it was fine!” (note: she didn’t actually say it was FINE, she just didn’t get around to saying it WASN’T fine. Sure, okay, maybe she hadn’t yet LOOKED at my license, but whatever)
Stupid Guy: “Hmmmm. Who did you see?”
After I pointed her out, he sauntered over. I tried not to look at them while they were discussing whether or not they’d bend the rules for me. Instead, I tried to look as non-angry as possible while examining the insides of my purse. I thought this would bring them to my side. I was wrong.
Stupid Guy Returns: “Yeah. See, since your license expired more than a year ago, we can’t renew it since you’re from out of province. If you were from Ontario, we could renew it for three years after it expired, but….”
Me: “No. Nobody told me that. That’s retarded. Can you double check on that for me please?”
Stupid Guy leaves. Stupid Guy returns: “Yeah. No. Sorry. We can’t renew an out of province license if it expired more than a year ago.”
Me: “Well, that makes no sense. Roads are roads and cars are cars, in Ontario and Saskatchewan. I don’t see the difference. Driving is driving. It’s within the same country.”
Stupid Guy: “Blah blah blah, I suck, blah blah blah”
Me: “Okay. So, I need to rent a car for Friday to help my boyfriend move. I need a license. What can I do?”
Stupid Guy: “Well, I could give you the temporary one, but it’d get cancelled in iike, three days when someone catches it.”
Me: “Perfect. Do that. I don’t care, I just need it for Friday.”
Stupid Guy: “Uh. Well, I mean, I can’t really do that. ”
Me: “Well, why did you say it? Okay….whatever. What can I do?”
Stupid Guy: “Well I can give you 6 months experience for your license, so you could take your road test 6 months sooner.”
Me: ” Whoah whoah. Road test?”
Stupid Guy: “Well, you’d have to start all over again. Go through the process.”
Me: “WHAT? That’s retarded! I’ve driven for eight years and I get no recognition from it cuz I’m not from this province? I have to start all over again with the 16 year olds?! No.”
Stupid Guy: “Yes. That’s all we can do for you.”
Me: *Exasperated glare*. “Okay. Just lie.”
Stupid Guy: “I can’t do that.”
Me: “Just change the date dude, just lie.”
Stupid Guy: “Uh……”
Me, sensing that I’m starting to break him: “Okay, okay, I won’t make you lie. But let me understand this. If I had renewed my Sask license, but had never used it, you could give me an Ontario license even though I still wouldn’t have driven any more recently?”
Stupid Guy: “Yeah….Oh! I know! See, if someone from Ontario calls us from out of province, we’ll still renew their license within three years, even if they don’t intend on returning. Call Saskatchewan, maybe they’ll do that for you.”
Me: “So if I can do that, you’ll transfer my license? Even though I haven’t gotten behind a wheel between now and them getting me my renewal?”
Stupid Guy: “Yes.”
Me: “Well. That’s fucking stupid. It’s the same fucking country. Geez.”
Then I left. I went upstairs to the food court and thought to myself that there was no way I was going to be able to pull that off. So I felt sad. Then I got pissed off at bureaucrats and red tape. Then I called Saskatchewan.
I was greeted by a lovely lady whose name escapes me. Anyways, her and I? We bonded. Big time. I explained to her that I was out of province and my license had expired and I needed it renewed.
Lovely Lady: “Oh, so you’re still a resident of Sask then? You must be a full time student, right?”
Me: “Mmhmm!” (I reasoned that if I didn’t actually say anything, it was safer, since I couldn’t possibly be incriminated due to uttering some random noise.)
Lovely Lady: “Okay, yeah, we can do that! You have five years to renew it! So what’s your license number?”
So I told her that, and then regaled her with my tale of woe about what an evil province Ontario is and how you’d think that I was asking them for a million dollars and their first born child (she really cracked up at that one) and tried to keep her distracted before she could notice on my record that I’d already renewed my license four times from out of province as a student. Or so that she didn’t have time to do any math and start questioning my ‘mmhmmm!’
So things are going along all dandy and she goes, “Oh….oh no.”
I panicked. Not only was the boyfriend’s ride hanging in the balance, but I was also not looking forward to the possibility of going through three years of graduated licensing and several tests to get my license back. If this woman refused me my license, not only would the boyfriend suddenly need a mover at the busiest moving time of the year, but I was looking at a 3 year road to getting my license when I already knew how to drive. This was not acceptable.
She explained that my photo ID had already expired, and that I needed a valid picture to get my license.
I stayed quiet, since I’ve learned from experience that if you don’t get the answer you want, your best bet is to be quiet. People hate silence and will want to fill it in with a potential solution. This woman was no exception. She decided (on her own) that since I was a student, I’d obviously be going home for Christmas and I could get the picture taken then. In the meantime, she could use some loophole to get around it.
All she needed was my Visa number for the $15 renewal fee and she could fax it to me. Fax? I didn’t expect to get my license in 20 minutes in the middle of a food court. So off to Orange Julius I went. I nonchalantly asked their fax number, then got Sask to fax it in. When I saw the fax machine warm up, I told them it’d be mine.
The fax was just what I needed. A copy of a brand new, legitimate Saskatchewan license. Though I hadn’t driven in the last twenty minutes or taken any type of test, I was now legal to terrorize the roads of Canada once again.
I went back into the office, had the guy give me a weird look and state that ‘gee, how did you get that done so fast?’. My response? “It’s a good province.” He was smart enough to read between the lines and gave me the stink eye. Whatevs jerk, gimme my license! I played your stupid beaurecratic game, I walked around the red tape, give me my fucking license!
So anyways, the whole thing was retarded. But the one thing that bugged me is that I felt absolutely awful about scamming Saskatchewan. I had lied to them and used their niceness to my advantage. Ontario would have demanded a current student ID, but Sask isn’t used to dealing with assholes like me, so they didn’t. I feel like I’ll eventually be the reason that they become as awful as other places.
So here I am, feeling guilty.
A few days later, I check my mail and see an envelope from SGI; Saskatchewan Government Insurance. I freak out a bit, thinking they’ve figured me out and now they’re going to sue and bankrupt me, and possibly torture me in some dark basement somewhere.
I open it. And I find? A $15 REFUND CHEQUE. Since Ontario cancelled my Sask license immediately (can’t hold two licenses at once), Saskatchewan thought they’d made a mistake and GAVE ME BACK MY
I felt awful. I adore that province. I abused them. And they gave me back my money. I got rewarded for being an asshole.
I will NOT be cashing that cheque.
But I will be tearing up the roads from now on, and I won’t be standing in line with some 16 year old wanker waiting my turn for the road test. Cuz at this point? I’d totally fail it.