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January 8, 2014

Opinion: Oklahoma rejects me and my driving

CHICKASHA —

I honestly do not know how anyone can drive legally in this state.

As someone who took care of all of the driving requirements out of state, I find myself being treated as the thorn in the side of the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, who so far is doing its best to make it sensationally hard for members of the public to actually be safe. This is, at least, true when it comes to getting a state driver's license.

Granted, I should have taken care of this a while ago. I moved to the state in the spring, thinking I would be welcome with open arms, and I knew that meant I would have to take care of my license that I have had since I was 18; that is, my Texas license.

Ah, Texas; Oklahoma's big rival. No matter how many things this state achieves, it will always be compared to Texas and how they do it. Perhaps this is why the DPS seems to harbor such a grudge against my license.

It all started before the holidays, when I stopped into the local Tag Agency to get mine renewed. I figured since I live in the state, I should go all out and get a license from my new home. Unfortunately, the courteous woman behind the counter told me, I'd have to first go by the local DPS office to be put "in the system." Odd, but fair enough; except, I'd also need to show my passport or birth certificate as well.

Gee, Oklahoma, can't you just trust that this little laminated card I have in front of me with my picture, basic info and legal driving status attached — none of which has changed — is enough? What, is Texas' driving requirements not good enough for you? So picky. Oh, and thanks for taking your "hour" lunch at the same time I am also doing lunch or most likely working. I would hate to cut into your obviously busy schedule for this one small thing.

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