Shirley Thompson

North Shore Update

Becoming "Legal" in Minnesota



Since moving to Minnesota a few months ago I finally decided that I needed to get my Minnesota plates and driver’s license.  I went out to the website and discovered that I needed two forms of identification.  I grabbed my birth certificate and figured my Wisconsin driver’s license would be the second form of identification.  I went to the local DMV with my documents and vehicle registration and all my insurance information.  I will admit to being a bit surprised to find that to get to the DMV office you entered the same door that takes you to the local favorite “watering hole” (bar).  I am in Minnesota so I didn’t question it too much in fact it seemed to me that the DMV should be located in or near locals bars in Wisconsin since beer is the local staple there.  But, I found the place only to discover that I had to take a written exam.  I did luck out in the fact that this is one of the 2 Tuesday’s that they give the test.  The bad news was that I had to go to the community center to take the test.  I will admit to feeling like a total idiot in having to ask for directions to the community center.  You would think that living in Two Harbors which is a town so small that if you sneeze while driving through it you miss it that I would have no trouble finding the local community center.  I was given directions and headed out.  Once at the community center I handed over my documents only to find out that I also needed my marriage license to prove that I had legally changed my name from “Barnes” to “Thompson.”  Not only do I need the marriage license but I also need my divorce papers that show I changed from Wesenick back to Barnes.  Why I have to show that I don’t know.  My birth certificate says “Barnes.”  My marriage license to Rich will show my name changing from “Barnes” to “Thompson.”  Since I want never to remember that I once had the last name of Wesenick I don’t see why I have to prove I divorced the Son of a Sea biscuit and changed my name back to “Barnes.”  I would prefer to forget I was ever married to the SOB.  I guess it is my fault when I asked him “which marriage license do I need to bring?”  I think I confused him.  I’m sure I confused him when I explained that I had been married to a Wesenick but divorced “said” Wesenick; changed my name legally back to “Barnes”; then married a “Thompson.”  I should have just kept my mouth shut. He did allow me to take the written test which I passed but only by the skin of my teeth.  I got home to discover I had no idea where our marriage license was hidden.  My husband asked me if I had told the guy that no one in their right mind would lie about being tied to him.  I told him I had tried that but that it didn’t work; I needed proof to show that, yes, even though I could prove insanity, I was indeed legally wed to Richard Thompson.  We finally located the marriage certificate but since it was after the noon hour I would now have to wait 2 more weeks before I could take the document back and receive a Minnesota driver’s license.  I must also not forget to take my divorce papers and legal name change form that proved I changed back to “Barnes” after the divorce.

            I will admit that I am not looking forward to getting the plates for the Denali.  I understand that Minnesota charges quite a bit for plates and the weight of the vehicle and year have a lot to do with what they charge you.  I’m also not looking forward to getting the handicap plates that are needed.  There is no telling what type of documentation I will need for that.  I’m sure I’ll have to get all sorts of doctor’s signatures and what not.  It won’t matter that the large contraption I have attached to the back of my truck to haul that large electric wheelchair indicates that a handicap persons rides in the vehicle.  I’m thinking of just going with regular plates and will hope and pray that the VA will come through soon with a handicap accessible van for Rich’s use.  I’m not holding my breath on that one, so far we’ve called our local VA service officer three times and he has yet to come out to see Rich.  I can’t see why everyone wants the government involved in all the hurricane relief efforts.  The government moves so slow and has so many rules and regulations that the poor victims will starve to death before the government helps them.

            In two weeks I will head back into town with all my appropriate documents and hope and pray that I come back home with a driver’s license and new plates for the Denali.  With my luck I know that it will not happen easily.