Two years ago, I sold my car. I carried my license in my wallet even though I no longer drove. Recently, the license reached its expiration date. Time to exchange it for a State ID I thought to myself.
My husband drove me to the DMV. We joined the other people waiting inside, feeling like the seat cushions that sighed as we sat down on them. Eventually, the digital system announced my number. I tapped over to the counter.
I greeted the employee and said to her, “I’m here to downgrade my license to a State ID.” I settled into my chair as the words settled into my psyche.
The lady navigated through her software to authorize and create an ID for me. She led my through each step carefully. Then, she leaned over to a supervisor, saying, “Ma’am, I need the sign-off for this customer who is surrendering her license today.”
It hit me softer as surrender instead of downgrade for the acknowledgement of what I gave up due to my vision. I never drove after my round of surgeries in 2011. I’m grateful to not have the dilemma of wondering just when exactly do I stop driving as someone with macular degeneration or other eye condition faces, acting before any incident that would keep me up at night.
I grinned into the camera as she snapped my photo. Almost finished now. I scribbled my signature on the line. She handed me the new ID card across the counter and smiled. I returned the smile. I turned to show off my new card to my husband. After we both gawked at it, I tucked it into my wallet like it always belonged.
Do you drive? At what point should someone stop driving?