Things to Know About Renewing Your Driver’s License in Denver

  • The office is in the middle of nowhere.
  • You can make an appointment to renew your driver’s license online. No seriously. Go here if you want to do it. Having an appointment doesn’t get you VIP treatment, but it does seem to move you up in the line.
  • Have $21 in cash ($22 if you want to donate to the organ donation awareness thing) unless you are old school enough to want to write a check.
  • Have verification of your address that does not have an erroneous zip code, which will make the process take longer.
  • When they tell you to sign in the middle of the box, do it. Don’t go outside the lines. If you go outside the lines, they’ll make you sign again, but this time they’ll give you a little cardboard template so you can’t go outside the lines. You’ll feel like a disappointing 4-year-old.
  • If 800 people will be calling you in the next 10 minutes, maybe turn down your ringer lest you get glared at by the old guy working the counter.
  • Know your hair color. This seems easy, but what happens when your hair color looks like this? (Princess headband c/o Soren.)

Trying to decide what this hair color is almost broke the DMV today.

  • The woman at the counter was all, “Eye and hair color?” and I was all “Green and . . . um . . . I have no idea.” I grabbed some hair and held it out. “What color is this?” She didn’t know either. “What does your old one say,” she said, looking at the unfortunate dark brown dye job I had 10 years ago as depicted in the worst photograph of me to ever exist. No, that doesn’t work. It’s not really blonde and it’s not really brown. It’s somewhere near the intersection of those colors. It’s a color but not really a color. It’s sands in the hourglass. Wait. “I have ‘sandy’ as an option,” she offered, looking at a list of hair colors. “Yeah. That works. Okay.” My hair looks like a beach and “sandy” (abbreviation “SDY”) is a hair color option for your driver’s license.
  • Be prepared to remove your hoodie, scarf, or jacket for your photo.
  • Be prepared to remove your glasses. When being photographed, you’ll be asked to remove your glasses even if you always wear them and nobody would recognize you if you didn’t. Even if you have glasses indentations on your nose. Immediately after being asked to remove your glasses, you’ll be asked to look at something you can’t see. Just nod and smile and look straight ahead.
  • Be prepared to move your hair, which you’ve been lovingly adjusting to look just right, behind your shoulders before being photographed.
  • Be prepared to watch the photographer consider your photo for what seems like a very long time, pensive look on his face, while you wonder whether he’s doing routine work or gazing in horror upon your terrifying visage.
  • Be prepared to look like a complete idiot in your photo, although you won’t know how terrible you look until you receive your new license in the mail, sometime within the next month.
  • Start lobbying for a new law that allows you to submit a selfie for your driver’s license photo.
  • Start a crowdfunding campaign for tiny glasses stickers people can put on their driver’s licenses so they look like themselves.