I just got my Mexican drivers license renewed this morning and although I haven’t tested out this particular hypotheses, I am reasonably certain no other country in the world is going to grant a visitor a drivers license.
Yeah, I’d just like to see some citizen from any other place in the world walk into a US Dept. of Motor Vehicles office and ask for a drivers license. It ain’t gonna happen.
Just like A US citizen isn’t likely to be granted an EU drivers license, or one in Singapore, or China for that matter.
But I just got my third Mexican license. Oh, yeah. How sweet it is. And believe me, I truly count my blessings. I live here but I am still a long way from getting my legal residency established.
Manolo helped me get my first license here three years ago. When the clerk asked why a tourist needed a Mexican drivers license, Manolo’s brilliant and inarguable reply was ‘How else is he going to get to the beach and back if he can’t rent a car?’
Now you have to understand the Mexican culture to know that visiting the beach is considered by all Mexicans to be an inalienable right. So anyway, on the basis of that spot on brilliant argument they decided to grant me a license for one year.
My second drivers license two years ago was much more problematic and it was back to the whole ‘he’s not a Mexican citizen, so why should we give him a Mexican drivers license?’
Manolo’s beach argument was lost on the new first-line clerk and so subsequently there were many long (long) conversations between all parties considered – including the dept. manager – before they got past not just the no, but the hell no and then gave me a new license for – get this – two years.
Sadly that license expires at the end of this month so I decided to tackle the problem early on and went in this morning to the drivers license bureau with my well known and esteemed friend, Pancho to see what their present verdict would be.
I was worried. Very worried. I’ve been thinking these past few weeks that there was no way in hell they were going to renew my license. There was a change in local government back in January and I figured the new administration might very well be running a much tighter ship.
At the window, the chief clerk smiled as she recognized me. As requested, I presented my passport, my current local electric bill and my old license.
I didn’t even need Pancho’s expert assistance after all. She looked at my documents and asked me if I wanted to renew my license for 1 year, 2 years, 4 years or 9 years.
I happily settled for 4 years.
Nowhere else in the world could this have ever happened except here; with these wonderful people in this wonderful town in this wonderful country.
PS – Why don’t I have a US drivers license? Three reasons: 1) I haven’t lived there in 4 years. 2) As such I don’t have a state of residence. 3) And I haven’t owned a car since 2005.
But I critically need a drivers license. Again for three reasons: 1) If Trump gets elected there is a very good chance I’ll get deported.(There’s some serious irony and black humor at work here, right?)
2) If I get deported, I’m homeless which means I’ll need to buy a car to scout out places to live. 3) And who knows how long Mexico will keep up its very liberal tourist visa policy? If I get an unfavorable stay duration stamped into my passport on my next u-turn in and out of Mexico in January – meaning I might be forced to return to live in the US – then I am going to need a car post haste. Meaning, before I establish a state of residence. Note: You can’t buy a car in the US without a valid drivers license.
PPS – I have essentially nowhere to go if I am forced to return to the US. I am not kidding. My daughter’s life is her own and I do not intend to impinge. Second, there is nowhere in the US that interests me. California? Done it. Texas gulf coast. Done it. (Hate the humidity.) Anything too far north is too damn cold. The east coast? Forget it.
That’s why I am going to need a car. I want to scout out some unfamiliar territory in the Midwest/central plains: namely Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri. I want to find a place that is lost in time, ignored by tourists, and one that doesn’t have some wretched arts community.