Adventures with My Alabama Driver's License

Next month marks my one year as a California resident . Hooray, and all that. I'm adjusting to the dry heat, the abrasive ball of sun that scorches my cheeks every day, and the fact that I can buy liquor in grocery stores (seriously, y'all, that delights my little alcoholic heart), but there's one thing I've been severely putting off. 

I still have my Alabama driver's license. 

I know, I know. It's ridiculous that I haven't gotten a California license. Technically you're supposed to apply for one within 10 days of moving into the state. Whoops! I really blew it. 

While flying to New York a week or so ago, I had a lot of time to think about things while sharing buttspace with a boisterous woman that smelled like bubblegum and played Bejeweled Blitz on her iPad Mini for a solid three hours--and I came up with a list of reasons why I haven't headed towards that great DMV line in the California sky, and here they are. 

  1. I get carded, a lot. Sometimes there's a quiz (it's true, ask my embarrassed boyfriend). But it's kind of funny to tally up the amount of times that a bartender/door person/the keeper of the alcohol will say things like "ALUHBAMUH!? Roll Tide or War Eagle?" I mean, that tally is getting up there in numbers. Triple digits, y'all. 
  2. I have to actually study for and take the California permit test. Pay no attention to my flawless driving record, I've got to channel my inner 15 year old and study distance ratios and how traffic signals work.
  3. Seriously, I have to take a test!
  4. It's fun to have an out-of-state license when someone sparks up a conversation about spending time in AL/going to school there/hating it/loving it/truly wondering if all the residents are literate.
  5. I usually end up spending the $35 set aside for a new license on bar tabs (see No. 1) or cardigans. I work in a library. I need those.
  6. You can get away with a lot of stuff because you're for reals not from here. Shoot, you're downright exotic! 
  7. Getting a license means I'm really, truly, a bonafide California Person, and I feel like there will be a peace officer standing outside the DMV waiting to quiz me about gold rushes, surfing, when I last smogged my car, or the State Fair. I crack under pressure.

Despite all of these incredibly legitimate and realistic reasons to keep my old license, I've decided to suck it up and become a California Driver Person. I have an appointment and everything. On Friday the 13th (cue Twilight Zone music) I'm taking that glorious test. Why shouldn't I? I'm happy to be here, and I'm not leaving anytime soon. California has a lot going for it. Sunshine! Palm Trees! The proximity to amazing coffee shops all the time

Really though, my AL license expires soon and plane tickets back to Alabama are super expensive, you guys.