Aging Parents, ID’s and the Driver’s License

Often a topic of conversation when friends who go “way back” get together: “Aging Parents.” And so it was at a small dinner party last night. Many guests had known each other since high school. And when you think back to people you knew well in high school, you realize in most cases you also knew a lot about their families, even their pets.

Last night brought a story from someone who was not part of the high school group. But many can relate to the story she shared.

Her mother had come west to live with this adult daughter (the story teller) and her husband. The mother, relatively healthy but having minor memory problems, said she wanted to get a driver’s license so she’d have an official ID now that she was living in another state. Her adult daughter’s husband was not in favor. Did not want to encourage his mother-in-law’s driving at her advanced age.

As often happens, the adult child felt caught in the middle. She didn’t want to deprive her mother, on the one hand. And on the other, her husband had a point. But since her mother hadn’t shown herself to be a dangerous driver, the daughter gave in and accompanied her mother to the Motor Vehicle Department.

Her mother passed the vision test—no problem. Then advanced from one station to the next—passing without problems. Then she had her picture taken. The last part of the procedure was to sign the official form, which was handed to her to sign. For whatever reason, she was confused about where to sign or how to sign.

The Motor Vehicle Department official seemed puzzled and looked at the adult daughter. Her eyes met his (and perhaps she discretely shook her head). Whatever. He got the message. He explained to the mother that he couldn’t give her a driver’s license, but he could give her an identification card with her picture on it. That wasn’t a problem, she said. All she wanted in the first place was an ID with her picture on it.



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