This morning, I took my younger daughter for her knowledge test to transfer her driver’s license to this province.
To recap: she did not have a full license; just the learner’s license. She never had a chance to take her road test. When she tried to transfer her license, once they saw it was a learners, she was told she had to take the written test to get a new license for this province. Then, because we are past the 90 day grace period, they kept her license, because she cannot legally drive in this province with it.
After doing the online practice tests, my daughter was quite worried about this. So many of the questions were unrelated to the rules of the road, or phrased so badly and without context, it was difficult to understand what was actually being asked.
We ended up leaving more than an hour early – and she was still worried about being late! Ah, a daughter after my own heart. 😀 On the way, we stopped in the town my mother lives in to fill the gas tank. This is the gas station we’d stopped at when we were bleeding coolant, and one of our regular gas jockeys had crawled under and found the broken pipe. Well, he was there this morning. When he saw us, he came over and asked how things went, so I entertained him with the story. Turns out he was all worried about us, and was so happy to find out everything turned out okay!
I really like this gas station. They have such great people working there. Plus, they have this section of home baked goodies that no one else has, because they’re baked by one of the gas jockeys! 😀 It’s become a bit of a ritual, that when we stop there for gas, I pick up some cookies (they are sold in twos) or a piece of Nanaimo bar as a special treat.
The city we went to is roughly an hour’s drive, and we’d left so early that, even with the stop for gas, we were an hour early. Which worked out, because neither of us had had breakfast, plus it gave us the chance to find the place, first. Which turned out to be incredibly easy to find. We were told to arrive about 15 minutes early, so that’s what we did.
When my daughter got called up, she had all her paperwork from the broker that started her file for her, ready to go. The lady helping her just had to look up the file and continue the process. She was really great about explaining the exam process, and how my daughter needed to get a minimum of 24 out of 30 questions correct, and so on. Then she took my daughter to the testing computer. The questions turned out to be MUCH more realistic than in the online practice tests. They actually made sense, and were about the rules of the road.
She did 24 questions, then the test shut down, because she’d got them all correct. So she got 100% on her knowledge test. Awesome!
Then she had to do the eye test, were we discovered that she does NOT need her glasses to drive. She will use them, because she prefers to (she gets headaches from eye strain if she doesn’t), but there will be no restriction on her license. Cool!
When the final processing for her license was started, we hit a problem.
The system was asking for her to turn over her current license.
Which had already been taken.
It turns out, they shouldn’t have done that. While my daughter could not legally drive here with it, it was still a valid license. She could still use it in our previous province, plus it was her valid photo ID, until 2022.
Not only that, but when her license was scanned, they only scanned one side. So even though the person helping us could find the scanned image on file, she had only the front information, not the back.
Now, the only reason this was an issue was a matter of credit for time driving. If they could use her current license, she could go for her road test at any time, because she’s been driving on her learner’s license for more than 5 years. If, however, they couldn’t use it, she would not be able to take her road test for at least 9 months.
The woman helping us called the broker where we’d started the process, to find out if they still had the license, but the person who started the file wasn’t available. After some discussion, they figured it got sent away already to the department all returned licenses go to. So she phoned there.
The license had arrived there, just yesterday!
Which meant they could scan both sides of the old license for the file. The woman helping us, meanwhile, used a copy of the scanned front of the license already on file, just to be extra sure – and my daughter got a copy for her own files, too, just as I did with mine.
Because of when her birthday is, though, when she gets her plastic copy, it’ll only be valid until the end of August. Which meant it cost less to process her license, since they only charged for the shorter time.
As we were doing this, I told the woman helping us that I had some ID related questions for after it was all done. I had shared some of the issues I’d had with getting my license during conversation. When my daughter got her temporary license, I told the woman helping us about my husband’s attempt to get his license.
As soon as I said that his ID didn’t match his birth certificate, she knew exactly what was coming; he was told to get a legal name change.
I brought up how this didn’t make any sense. He’s already using his legal name. It’s on his birth certificate. Everything he’s got – save his old license in this province, for some reason – has the name he uses. Even the Department of National Defense and the Government of Canada is good with the name he uses.
As we were talking, a guy came over and asked if he could join in, and he was able to give us more information. What it comes down to is, it’s up to the Identity Unit. Whatever they say, everyone else’s hands are tied, and they are basically the overseers of identity in this province. We talked about the issues of identity theft and security, which I totally get, but it still doesn’t make sense to demand that my husband change his legal name to… his legal name.
At one point, he asked why my husband wasn’t interesting in doing the legal name change, and my response was basically, why should he have to go through all that process, when he’s already using his legal name. In the conversation, I used as an example how it’s not like my sister, whose legal name is one thing, but the name she uses is completely different. It’s not entirely even an English version of her birth name, since there really isn’t any English equivalent. This is his legal name that is on his birth certificate. Every other place has been fine with using his second name. He has always used this name. Sure, they can understandably change things now, but why should he essentially be retroactively held to these requirements? It’s still his legal name.
Well, it turns out this guy completely understood not wanting to go the legal name change route. He’s newly married, and his wife is in the process of legally changing to her married name. The whole thing costs about $200, there are many hoops to jump, and one of those hoops is to go to the RCMP and get fingerprinted.
With the amount of pain my husband is in, that kind of running around is asking way too much.
In the end, he suggested we try calling the Ombudsman, explaining the situation, and asking for an exemption. We even got the name and phone number.
I really, really hope this works out, because this whole thing is completely ridiculous.
They were both extremely helpful and awesome, and I’m so glad I asked them about it.
Before we left, we paused to use the bathroom before I left. When I came out and my daughter took her turn, the woman that had been helping us asked, was my sister in law’s last name XXX? Why yes, it is, except she’s my sister, not my sister in law.
When I had used my sister’s names as an example, and she started talking about the names issue with a co-worker, it occurred to her that she knew someone by that name – and it’s a very uncommon name. So she figured she’s ask me when I came out of the washroom. It turns out that, not only does she know my sister, but they are cousins, by marriage!
That was so funny! I ended up staying and chatting with her for a while, with my daughter joining us as I told her about our move back to the farm and all the “fun” it’s been, dealing with my parents’ things, the state of the house, and all the interesting things we’ve been discovering. That led us to talking about how, especially in our parents’ generation, there was such an insistence of doing everything themselves, instead of paying someone else to do it, even when in the long term, it would be cheaper to pay someone else to do it! Or to buy new instead of second hand, etc. She knew first hand what it was like! 😀
It wasn’t until we were walking to the van and my daughter asked about it that I realized she’s missed the part about how this woman was related to her aunt. Ah, what a small world it is!
After we finished there, my daughter and I headed to the nearby Walmart. Our monthly shopping plans have had to change, with my husband’s newest medical appointment, so we did most of our non-Costco monthly shopping today. Normally, we’d wait until the last business day of the month, when his disability payment comes in, but today is when the much smaller CPP Disability comes in. It’s enough to do the monthly grocery shopping, at least. Plus, I really wanted to finally pick up some new underwear for him, what with either not being able to find his size in the style he wanted, or only being able to find them at $15 for a single pair, with only one lower end brand available.
Amazingly, not even the Walmart had his style in his size. There were 4 or 5 different brands, and NONE of them had it. In fact, they only seemed to have them in two sizes; small and medium. What the heck? Is there some sort of embargo on briefs going on I don’t know about? I finally got a package of 4 in the closest to the style he wanted I could find (at least the price was good!), but I can’t believe I still couldn’t even find what he wanted at a WALMART, in a city! Yeah, it’s a small city, but still… Sheesh!
Since we were there anyways, we paused to look at some of the summer stuff that’s out now. It occurred to me that I have yet to see a garden hose anywhere around here. I still want to check the garden shed, but there is no way my dad didn’t have garden hoses! If they’re not in the garden shed, then they found some legs and walked away. Along with too many other things around here. 😦
We’re also interested in getting a weed whacker – preferably an electric one – so we priced those out, too. Pretty reasonable. We are also looking to get a battery operated chain saw, though not at Walmart. We’ve got at least 4 chain saws in the garage and, as far as I know, none of them work. One could probably be considered an antique! I have no interest in hauling around jerry cans of fuel anymore, and the modern electric tools are just as powerful as the ones that run on fuel.
So we got the small grocery shopping done, including stocking up on distilled water for my husband’s CPAP. That done, we had one more stop to make; back to the town closest to home to pick up some prescription refills. As my older daughter has caught my cold (I’m still coughing myself, but at least I’m feeling better) and was feeling really awful today, we also made sure to pick up some “medication” for her. At the liquor store, in the form of a nice, spiced whiskey. 😀 We rarely drink, so when we do, it’s at least a decent quality! 😀
Hopefully, we’ll all be healthy again soon, and can start manhandling the last of my parents’ stuff we need to move to the shed. The snow is gone and the ground it dry. It’s just that 2 out of 3 of us are too sick to do the physical labour. 😦
While in town, we took the time to play a bit of Pokemon Go, and at one point we were parked next to an arts and crafts store, which is also part of a used book store. I haven’t been there since we last lived in this province, so we decided to take a look.
I don’t know why they advertise as an arts and crafts store. They had basically nothing.
But we did come out with a whole pile of Brother Cadfael books. 😀
After all the running around, we were so glad to finally get home. Now that my daughter has her license, that’s one more thing to strike off the list! Next up is for my older daughter to get her ID transferred.
Little by little, it’s getting done.