Last Friday, Husband and I went to the DMV to try renew his driver's license. Last time we were able to renew at the State kiosk in the Gran Plaza Mall but this year's renewal has to be at the modelo in the parking lot by Liverpool because he is supposed to have an eye exam. It's really fast and simple at the kiosk, you present your just about to expire Yucatecan driver's license, a comprobante and pay the fee. They take the photo right there and the machine spits out your new driver's license which is good for two more years.
Falsely confident that it would be a very easy transaction (we're slow learners), we brought with us a comprobante in his name. We already knew from experience that if it's in someone else's name, you need a copy of that individual's credencial de elector (voter's registration card) even though no other entity cares whose name is on the bill. Since a passport is an international self authenticating document we brought that along just in case. Unfortunately, the only ID that they will accept for a foreigner is either an fm3 or 2. A driver's license is not considered legal identification, even to renew the same license. After they were informed that Husband's fm3 was in tramite, she offered that they would take a letter from Immigration advising them that he did indeed have one but his fm3 was in tramite . Husband wanted to know more, the clerk produced a folio, where she pointed out the requisites. Then she put the pamphlet back on the stack with the others just out of reach. Husband put out his hand and she grudgingly gave him one to keep and read for himself.
Today, we went to Immigration. Since the great flu scare of '09, there have been changes to the building and procedures. The sign in kiosk has been moved to almost in front of the door. What looks like the contents of the employee break room is now located outside. You still sign in and get a lanyard with an official number to wear. Now, you wait outside and five people at a time enter. As always, I came along to
When he returned from within the bureaucratic bowels, the receptionist greeted him with a cheery "¿Fácil?¨. Husband smiled, ¨Yes, I went in and the agent spoke to me in Spanish for awhile, then she asked me ¨¿comprende?¨, I replied ¨no¨then she got someone who spoke English."
Now Husband has an official number in his FM3. Tomorrow we go to the Registro Civil to get a CURP for him. From there to INAPAM to get his discount card and to the DMV to renew his license. Somehow that seems a little over ambitious to me.