Monday, December 17, 2007

Driver's Licence Trip Number 3 to the DMV (CESCO)

Ok, here is the story so far. We drove home and had lunch. After lunch we drove back to CESCO with our Marriage certificate. This morning we took a number, it was 21. We didn't have to wait long. We left a little after 11AM to go home. When we came back it was a little after 1pm. The number being served was 22!!! The new number we picked was 46!!!!!! I contemplated leaving and coming back but the guy next to us had two numbers and he gave us one. It was 40. Then a few minutes later the numbers climbed from 22 to 30 real quick. We wound up waiting about an hour. Not too bad. We try to explain where we were at to the new person. She goes away for about 10 minutes. She comes back and tells us to follow her. We go into a back office and the woman behind the desk starts to tell us we need a statement or something from Washington ST DMV. WHAT! We explain that we were getting a learner's permit and we wanted to take the written test. Then things were ok and we went to take the test. We go to a class room and sit down with a paper test! I thought I was back in High School taking my first drivers test. That was when we didn't have computers! We get the test, 20 multiple choice questions. Some of them were confusing. I did my best. Katrina finished a minute before I did. Katrina's test was checked by hand. She passed by the skin of her teeth. I got them all correct. So we passed. Now it's time to get the drivers permit. Katrina had an issue again with her last name but got it resolved after 10 minutes and another copy of the Marriage certificate. Then we go wait in another room for our cards. I get my card and my mothers maiden name is on it! Katrina's name is correct. Mine has my name correct but my mothers maiden name added to the end. I don't know what kind of problems this might cause but I am not going to change it. Now all they need to do is put my SS number on the card and if someone ever steals it they have everything needed to steal my identity. And they use the SS number here for everything! So now we go back in 31 days to MAKE AN APPOINTMENT for the Drivers test, buy another stamp, give them two more photos and wait in line. That will be trip number 4. We need the 30 days to learn how to drive...

Now get this, for trip number 5 we have to bring someone who has a Puerto Rico Drivers license with us!!!!!!!!!!!! Thats so we can take the Driving test. Thats a big favor to ask someone to come with you to the DMV while you take your drivers test!But it was a successful day, we got our learners card and some book shelves from Walmart. Oh, to make the card they used scissors to cut the photos and used a small plastic laminator. Not very secure or hi tech. No holograms on this card. Lets hope the real card is more secure.


Anonymous said...

Jeff and Katrina,

I'm sorry you have to go through all this. Things have not changed a bit since I left the island in '89 so a trip back to the '80s is unbelievable. I can only guess a couple of things for all this non-sense. When people marry in PR, the women typically don't change last names. They are not used to seeing married couples with the same last name and the wife having a different name in her documents prior to marriage. Another thing is that people have two last names (family name). First is the father's last name and then the mother's maiden name. This is old Spanish tradition. I've been trying to drop my second last name since I moved to mainland and it still comes up. I had a hyphenated last name for a while. They told me I should request a change to my SS and passport to officially drop it.

As for you having to take a written test and driving test that's absolutely crazy. The problem is that the government in the island is the biggest employer and they have created a bureaucracy that is hard to swallow or even get rid of.

I'm sure my father would be glad to help you when you need to go and take the test.

H Jr.

PS I can assure you that this process doesn't make people in PR better drivers! ;-)

mkt3000 said...

Unfortunately, the real license looks as fake as the permit :( However, the voter registration card looks damned good and legitimate :) Best of luck! Lik I said, bring more paperwork than you need and photocopy it all. CESCO in San Juan only kept the photocopies I gave them, provided they would verify the originals as well.