Technology improving my way of life: renewing a driver’s license

Yesterday was my birthday. (pause momentarily for rampant 'wahoos'. Done? OK, back to the program). I procrastinated and my driver's license has now expired. I've been dreading the DMV trip... last time I went more than 5 years ago, I thought I'd be smart and get there a few minutes before they opened, and there was already a line.

So I've been pushing it off, waiting for a day when I don't have any meetings (ha!) so I can handle any huge delays. But then this morning, it occurred to me to check the website, and look what I found:


Wait Times
As of
9:12 AM

Renewal Licensing:
   0 hour(s) and 11 min(s)
First Time Licensing:
   0 hour(s) and 3 min(s)

Wait times can change between the time you access the information and the time you reach the LSO

HOW COOL IS THAT?? OK, I'm easily excitable. Too bad I have a meeting in an hour (plus, I'd need to get David to drive me down there, a task I know he's looking forward to! 🙂

[Update 7/9: It was all a horrible lie. The site said 0 minutes at 8:15 (it showed unrecorded before 8:15 so I assume it didn't start measuring until then), so I went there and arrived at 8:35, to stand in a line that was all the way outside the door and wrapped around the corner. Once I got up to the desk to get my number around 9:00, it was just a few minutes after that to get the license, so overall it wasn't too bad. My number was 007, and the guy behind the counter asked me if my last name was Bond. I stared at him blankly for a minute - I just wasn't expecting humor... in the DMV? That just ain't right. When I left, there wasn't a line at all. Lesson learned: Don't arrive early to 'beat the crowd', because the crowd often has the same idea.]

Comments (8)

  1. Andy Doyle says:

    Many happy returns for yesterday!

  2. Kiliman says:

    Here in VA, we can renew our licenses online. Just go to the DMV website, type in your info, and they’ll mail you a new license. It takes only a few days to get it. Pretty sweet!

  3. Ron McMahon says:

    Your comment on DMV license renewals reminds me of the neat website that you can access either on a PC or via an Internet-enabled cell phone.

    This service provides ‘live’ US-Canada border crossing wait times for all major crossing points. It is a great way to know if you are in for a long or short delay.

    Check it out online at:

    Or on your cell phone, navigate to:, and select any Canadian city and select the Border crossings option. From there you can see all of the major border crossings.

    One aside – I like how IE formats the border wait times in a tool-tip mouse-over box. Opera, Firefox and Mozilla don’t.

  4. John Roller says:

    Just don’t wait too long. After 30 days, you might have to take the test over again. Glad it’s not a military ID. The day after it expires, they look and say that card’s expired, this isn’t you anymore.

  5. Richard Dudley says:

    Congrats on 34!

    In PA, we can also renew on-line. If you want your photo changed, you have to go to a center. Otherwise, click and drive. Ditto for titles, etc. Tom Ridge hooked us up good!

    PennDOT also has web enabled cameras and sensors all over Pittsburgh’s main roadways so you can check traffic before you leave (we were the pilot for

  6. Steve says:

    I think that I had the same guy at the DMV. He asked which state I was coming from. I responded, "California." He responded, "Nope. We’re all full here. Try again next year."

  7. Mike Dimmick says:

    We’ve only just got photo licences in the UK (er, well, a few years ago). You have to get a new photo card every 10 years. In one of the loopholes typical of the UK government, anyone who had a licence before the introduction of photocards doesn’t need to get one until some circumstances change, e.g. change of address.

    Technically my address has changed (my postcode changed in 1996) but I’ve not bothered replacing the licence since it’s a one digit change (and the old code isn’t valid any more).

    There’s no compulsion to carry your licence or registration documents here (Hollywood suggests it’s required in the US). If you get pulled over, you have to present it at a police station within a couple of weeks.

    When it comes to renewal, you can either send a form and supporting identity documentation to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency head office, or get the identity documents checked, for a fee, at a Post Office – the form itself still goes to DVLA.

  8. Benjamin Mateos says:

    Feliz Cumpleaños !! 😉

    Here in Spain, we have to renew it every ten years and once we are over 60 or 65, we renew it every year !

    Have a nice day.

    Benjamin Mateos.

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