Sunday, August 20, 2006

Virginia DMV

I wrote the following post on 3/27/2006, however at the time I never actually finished and published it. Well, the saga is still continuing (believe it or not) and I figure I should finally publish this old post and then give an update:
So this weekend I finally decided that I'd procrastinated long enough and needed to go out and get my VA driver's license. According to the eligibility rules new residents are supposed to get their license transferred within 60 days of moving... oops. Of course without a car it's tough enough to force myself to get up at 8am on a Saturday morning for a 7 mile bike ride up to the DMV office (they close 12pm on Saturday, but 5pm on weekdays, which really doesn't give me enough time after work to make it up there).

So last weekend I gathered up all the documents I needed, planned my route, and set out...

Only to get half way and be stopped by a bike path which sort of petered out into a wooded area beside a massive 6 or so lane highway. I even used Google satilite images to check out the route a bit ahead of time. Of course, I learned in retrospect that what looks like a tiny brown smudge when you're viewing from space can turn out to be a giant ditch that's a real pain to haul your bike over.

On the bright side though, Google maps does a pretty cool job of letting you look for alternate routes. The maps are much clearer than MapQuest and you can even sometimes make out where the bike paths are. As far as I can tell there aren't any convenient bus routes up that way either. Ahh well.. I'll just have to try again next week.
So a few weeks after the above post, I actually did find another route which actually worked out very well. It turns out that the Washington and Old Dominion Trail is an excellent resource for bikers. It passes right through Reston, as well as through a number of other towns in the area. Using that I was easily able to Sterling and the DMV office (100 Free Ct., Sterling, VA 20164).

Finally! I had my license......

Until I realized that the receptionist had misspelled my address.......

And made a typo on my birth date!

So soon I've got to haul myself back out there, stand in the crazy-long line, and get the darn thing fixed. Oh joy.


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