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Oh my god, I feel like such a stupid idiot. 

I can't believe that I was walking around for over four months with an expired driver's license. Thank heavens I don't own a car because at least I wasn't driving with an expired license. 

And the only reason I discovered that it was expired was because back in late February, I filed my taxes online and I needed to enter my driver's license number and some other information on my license in order to finalize the direct deposit process for security purposes. 

As I was typing my license renewal date and expiration date in the online tax form, I suddenly spotted the mistake. 

My expired date read: October 2, 2020.

I'm like, "OMG..TODAY IS FEBRUARY 26, 2021!!!"


That has never happened to me before, so I was totally confused. 

And then it hit me, "I know how it happened. I forgot to notify the DMV after I changed my apartment number address when I moved into a different apartment three years ago; therefore, the renewal notice never reached my new apartment. THAT'S how it happened!"

So after finishing my taxes, I immediately went on the Pennsylvania DMV website to see what I needed to do to correct it. And I also checked to see if they would charge me a penalty fee for allowing my license to expired. And, yes, sure enough...I read that they charged an additional $25.00 fee.

Oh well, I had no other choice than to pay the extra fee and get my license renewed as fast as I could.

I noticed on the DMV website that they gave you the option to renew your license online so that you didn't have to go to the DMV office.

But guess what?

When I entered all the necessary renewal information on the form and pressed the ENTER button, a notification suddenly appeared (in red lettering, I might add), that informed me they would not accept my renewal online, and that I needed to phone the DMV directly.

So, the next morning I called them to see what was up.  

And I'm sure many of you know how utterly annoying it is to be placed in a long telephone queue (20 minutes to be exact), while listening to loud obnoxious music, the kind that sounds as if your ears are being stabbed to death with an ice pick, only to get the brush-off once a customer service representative finally does come on the phone. 

The representative I got was completely unhelpful. And I could tell that she hated her job because she was impatient and just plain rude. Anytime I started to ask her a question, she would cut me off. She informed me that I could not renew my license over the phone, but that I would have to go into the DMV office and renew it in person. 

So I got dressed and walked 14 blocks to the DMV. And on my way there, I suddenly got this intuitive feeling in my gut that the office would most likely not be crowded that day because Philadelphia was in the middle of a snowstorm. I mean, only someone like me (who loves snow) would walk to the DMV on a day when there was a storm.

And I was right! When I walked into the office, there were only four people sitting in the waiting room. 

*doing the happy dance*

After filling out the information form, I suddenly heard my customer number being called over the intercom system and was instructed to go to one of the service windows.

From the time it took them to check my information, pay for the license, and take my new photo, I was literally in and out of that office in no more than 10 minutes!

And before leaving, I thanked everyone who worked there for being so pleasant and efficient. 

Oh, and guess what?

They didn't charge me the additional $25.00 fee.

*doing an even more exuberant happy dance*

Yessiree, I danced out of that office with an updated driver's license and a photo with a big smile on my face...

Have a terrific rest of your week, everyone! 💗


When I got home that day, I noticed on my new driver's license the words, Not For Real ID Purposes, and didn't understand what that meant because I hadn't seen it on any of my previous licenses. Come to find out that back in October of 2020, Pennsylvania driver's licenses became no longer REAL ID compliant. Which means REAL ID's will be needed to board domestic flights and access federal facilities or nuclear power plants. Which was such a relief to me because I can't tell how much I've always wanted to visit a nuclear power plant. In fact, it's been on my bucket list for the past 25 years, so it would be a dream come true. LOL!

Anyhow, if I choose to get a REAL ID, I will need to present a long list of specific documents that prove who I am. Oy vey!

I'm curious, is it the same in your state? Does your driver's license say the same thing? And did you get a Real ID?



  1. Virginia drivers licenses and state id are also not "real id" compliant. To get them converted to 'real id' is a huge pain in the patootie. You need to bring in SO much documentation and it seems it is never enough or exactly the right document (despite the fact that you followed the instructions to the letter) and you have to come back - oh, and it has to be done by appointment, no just showing up. And it's expensive. So here's what my husband and I did - since the real id is only necessary for flying domestically and to get access to federal facilities we simply renewed our passports! Easier, cheaper and faster. My passport had expired but that was no problem. We filled in the forms online and then printed them. We made an appointment at a local passport office, which is in a post office. They took our photos, processed our paperwork and we were out of there in 15 minutes. No waiting, no lines. Smooth as silk, no grief or aggravation. 3 weeks later we had nice new shiny passports plus a passport card (which is an additional $15 but worth it, it's easier to carry for domestic flights). Since the real id is needed for such limited purposes and a passport covers those and more ("hey, want to go to Paris this weekend? Sure, no problem I have a passport") it's just way easier to get/renew a passport. Ta Da!

  2. "You need to bring in SO much documentation and it seems it is never enough or exactly the right document (despite the fact that you followed the instructions to the letter) and you have to come back - oh, and it has to be done by appointment, no just showing up. And it's expensive."

    OY VEY!

    Grace, thank you SO MUCH for sharing your experience, I really appreciate it! And yes, I had a feeling it would be a HUGE pain in the patootie because it sounded that way when I searched online about getting a PA REAL ID. And YES...I also had a feeling that getting a Passport would be the easiest way around it. I used to have a Passport MANY years ago (like back in the late-70's when I went to Europe).

    So that's what I'll do, I'll simply apply for a new passport and be done with it.

    Again, I can't tell you how much I appreciate your feedback, my friend! Have a great rest of your week!


  3. Ron, it's the same in my state. This year my driver's license expires, so I'll have to get a Real ID as well, and I was dreading it because it seemed like a pain in the ass. After reading Grace's comment, I think I'm going to just apply for a passport because it seems so much easier. To be honest, I think this whole Real ID thing is ridiculous!

    Thank you for posting about this because it clarified it for me. FUN post too! You always make me laugh. I love the cartoon figures of you. So cute!

    Happy Hump Day! xo

  4. P.S. Grace, I forgot to ask in my previous comment if you're still blogging because when I clicked on your Disqus avatar link, it took me to a page that said, this site can't be reached.. If you are still blogging, please let me know the URL. Thanks!

  5. Hey there Candice!

    Me too! I'm going to take Grace's suggestion and just get a passport. Simple and fast!

    When I looked online to see how much documentation I would need to get a REAL ID, it was insane. And I agree, I think the whole thing is ridiculous. I mean, if I have an update driver's license with my name, address, birthday and photo...why would I need another form of ID? That makes no sense.

    Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy Hump Day to you too!


  6. I'm on wordpress - this link should be right

  7. If you can get an appointment at a Post Office Passport office that usually is faster than going to a Federal passport office. I think you can find the locations on the USPS web site. Also, check to see if you can use your expired passport as a starting point because you are already in the 'system'. I think the forms will ask if you have ever had a passport. It was so easy-peasy here in Virginia (as opposed to going to the DMV office which is always a nightmare!)

  8. "while listening to loud obnoxious music, the kind that sounds as if your ears are being stabbed to death with an ice pick," ROFLMAO!! Ron, yes, I do know what that feels like and I hate it. I had to called Verizon for something last week and they had me on hold for so damn long. There should be a way to turn that music off, by giving customers the option.

    Real ID is required in my state as well. Luckily for us, my girlfriend and I have passports. So all we have to do is just renew them every 10 years. The process of getting a Real ID card is too involved.

    Where did you get the cartoon graphics of you? They rock, dude!

  9. Awesome! Thanks for letting me know, Grace!

  10. THANK YOU...THANK YOU...THANK YOU for that information!

    Yes, I will definitely try the Post Office Passport office, instead of the Federal. And I will check about my expired passport. Great tip!


  11. Wow, Ron, that sucks!

    New York State gave a grace period on license renewal due to the COVID-19 situation, but I eventually renewed my license online.

    The nitwit you talked on the phone to sounds like a real loser, but then you got a break on the uncrowded office, nicer people and no additional fee.

    I didn't know about that not "real ID" business, so thanks for pointing that out. I just have to visit a nuclear power plant!

    Take care, buddy!

  12. Well, in our state, they don’t even remind you that your license will be expiring!!! I completely forgot one year when my kids were young and I was freaked out about being pulled over before I got my new one. I remember asking my mom to come over to babysit so my dad could drive me to the BMV! I think after 6 months, they make you retake the drivers test! Can you imagine?

    Don’t get me started on the Real ID crap! They require 6 forms of ID here and they make it difficult if you’re a married woman because birth certificate won’t match married name. I’ve sat there and seen older women have problems because the utilities are in their husband’s name, so they can’t prove their current residence. They gave me the third degree because my SS card was with my maiden name. The whole thing is stupid because it was much easier to get a damn passport! I’m just annoyed because all of us have suffered since 9/11. I’m still mad that I have to buy a $4 bottle of water at the airport when I fly. So yes, I did get a Real ID since we fly. I just went through all of this with Middle Child’s state ID. She obviously has very little in her name, but at least has 2 bank accounts in the name of her trust that they accepted and isn’t married, so that helped! Crazy!

  13. I got my passport done at the library! Check if that’s an option in Philly!

  14. Illinois does offer the "real ID" option. I didn't take advantage of it, but Domer did. I figured my passport would be sufficient (and you don't have to renew that every time you turn around, nor do you need to scrounge around and find all that documentation!)

    You're so fortunate your DMV office handled your renewal efficiently (and not having to pay that extra $25 fee is a bonus!). Yes, I can easily see how you'd unknowingly let your license lapse without renewing it. Our DMV office was closed off and on throughout 2020, but they put renewals on hold until they could get a handle on the pandemic.

    I guess walking in the snow the 14 blocks to the DMV was worthwhile, huh?!? xx

  15. Thank you, my friend. Will do! X

  16. Hiya Matt!

    HA! I just couldn't resist! I freaking HATE listening to that LOUD music whenever they put you on line to wait for the next available representative. I literally had to hold the phone away from my ear for 20 minutes because the music was so loud. And you're right...they should give customers the option.

    AWESOME! Yes, so far everyone here is suggesting a passport rather than a Real ID. I will see if they still have my information because I did have a passport back in the 70's when I went to Amsterdam for the summer.

    Thanks! Those cartoon graphics I got on Bitmoji. I just download them from my phone to my computer and then uploaded them to this post. I LOVE Bitmoji!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and adding your suggestion. I appreciate that, my friend!


  17. Hey there Rob!

    WOW...that's great! Here in PA we had no grace period and by the time I did renew it (late), I was unable to renew it online because they required me to not only appear in person, but they also said that I needed to have another picture taken, which was a bummer because I much preferred my older picture.

    "I didn't know about that not "real ID" business, so thanks for pointing that out. I just have to visit a nuclear power plant!"

    HA! Me too! Yes, I didn't know about it either, until I renewed my licenses and saw it printed above my information. I think eventually all US states will be required to do it.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have an awesome rest of your week!


  18. Hey there Debbie!

    Yup! And that's exactly what I'm going to do, just renew my passport and use it instead of going the hassle of finding all the documentation they require for a REAL ID. I could not believe how many pieces of information they needed!?!?

    I know. I feel so lucky that they didn't charge me the $25.00 fee. The guy who helped me was so nice.

    I was dumbfounded when I saw that my license had expired without knowing. But then I remember why it happened.

    I wish PA had put renewals on hold, but alas...they didn't. And that's odd because using PA is very lacks about protocols.

    Yup...I am sooooooo glad I walked through the snow that day because I got in and out in 10 mins. Normally, it takes anywhere from 45mins to an hour.

    Much thanks for stopping by, my friend. Have an AWESOME rest of your week!


  19. kidding? They don't notify you that your license will be expiring!? I'm surprised. Here in PA, they send you a notification about a month or so before the renewal is due, as a reminder.

    "I remember asking my mom to come over to babysit so my dad could drive me to the BMV! I think after 6 months, they make you retake the drivers test! Can you imagine?"

    WOW! No, I can't imagine.

    But I hear ya, because I too would have been freaked out about being pulled over. Like I said, I'm lucky that I don't own a car because I would have being driving around for FOUR months with an expired license.

    "They require 6 forms of ID here."

    YES...same here. SIX forms of ID. WTF!?!? I surprised they don't ask for urine and stool sample too. LOL!

    "The whole thing is stupid because it was much easier to get a damn passport!"

    I agree. The whole thing is SO stupid, considering that our driver's licenses has everything they need to confirm WHO we are and WHERE we're from. And that's exactly what I'm going to do, just get a damn passport and be done with it.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your experience and advice. I appreciate that!

    Have a great rest of your week!


  20. Ron, I must live under a rock because I didn't know about Real ID. I wonder if I will be required to get one when my driver's licenses expires in four more months? I wonder why they're doing this? Thank you for highlighting this on your post. Sounds like (judging from the comments) that the process is painful. If I have a choice, I may do what most people here said, and get a passport. Besides, I could use one. I'm hoping that by the end of this year (the start of the next), I will be able to take a trip to Europe. I have a friend in Austria I'd like to visit.

  21. Hey there Daniel!

    I didn't know about it either. That is until I had to renew my license. I started asking around and found out about Real ID, and that PA was one of the states that required it. I also read that eventually all of the US will be doing it.

    Yes...I am planning on getting a passport because the requirements and documents you need to come up with for a Real ID are just way too complicated. I had a passport back in the late 70's, so perhaps they have my info on record.

    I was soooooooooo happy when I didn't have to pay the extra $25.00. Yahooooooooooooooooo!

    Always great to see your comments. Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a great rest of your week!


  22. Ron, yes, get (renew) your passport rather than apply for a Real ID because it's a royal pain in the ass. My husband and I started to apply for one, but then got so frustrated with the documents it required, that we just went to the passport office at the post office. Quick and easy! I can't understand why they are making people do this. Isn't a driver's license enough proof of your identity?

    I had to renew driver's licenses in 2020 and I was able to do it online. I was dreading having to go to the DVM and wait in line FOREVER. Happy to hear that you didn't have to wait long at all. That's great!

    Amusing post, Ron! You have the uncanny ability to take a frustrating situation and make it funny!

    Happy Earth Day! xo

  23. Hey there Elaine!

    Good for you! And I'm so glad I asked everyone here about their experience with Real ID because I was NOT looking forward to doing through the procedure of applying for one. I could tell just from reading requirements that it would be a pain in the arse. I had a passport many years ago, so I'm hoping they can identify my information without having to doing it all over again. If not, I'm sure it's still sounds easier than getting a Real ID.

    I agree, I can't understand WHY they are making American citizens do this. And it sounds like every state will eventually be required.

    OMG, me too! I was soooooooooooooooooo happy that I didn't have to wait in line long at the DMV. I can't get over how fast I got in and out. Thank God that's over with. At least I would have to renew for the next four years.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, neighbor. Happy Earth day to you too! Enjoy the rest of your week!


  24. When my drivers license renewed last Feb in NH, I did get a real ID, Ron. You are certainly correct about the form to complete and also certain documentation is needed. All of these were brought to the DMV office here and the documents were scanned and returned. There was an additional cost, but I can’t recall the amount. Thankfully the NH license is good for 5 years.
    Good that you picked the right day to go in person and that you did get good service after the phone experience, even better news about not being required to pay the lapsed license fee.

  25. Hey there D!

    The cost of a PA Real ID is $30.00, then a renewal fee every four years. I've decided to just get a passport as a form of ID because the process is quicker and a passport lasts 10 years. I had a passport back in the late 70's, so I'm hoping they still have record of that, so all I'll have to do is a quick update.

    Yes, I was soooooooooo happy to get in and out of the DMV office that fast because normally, it takes forever. And I was ecstatic about not being charged the late fee. :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your feedback. Greatly appreciate that!

    Have a super weekend!


  26. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comSaturday, April 24, 2021

    Mowhahaha! Glad it all went well in the end.

  27. Me too, Fiona! I got very lucky this time because not only did I not have to pay the fee, but I also got in and out of the DMV office very quickly. Normally, it takes forever!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a grrrrrrrreat Sunday!


  28. Glad you were able to get much better help in person! The DMV closest to my house is unusually friendly and helpful. I don't think they understand that's not how it usually goes at a DMV.

    I guess I renewed my license before that Real ID thing went into effect, because it doesn't say that. And doesn't expire until 2025.I know we have that law now. You can still board a domestic flight with a passport if you have one. I have a valid passport and a Global Entry card, so I should be good!

  29. Thanks, me too! Normally it takes an hour or more to go through the license renewal process.

    "The DMV closest to my house is unusually friendly and helpful. I don't think they understand that's not how it usually goes at a DMV."

    That's awesome! And you're right, that's not how is usually goes at the DMV.

    Oh, you're so lucky! At least you have until 2025. Although, you have a passport, which is great, because you can use that instead of having to apply for a Real ID. And that's what I'm going to do soon, just get a passport. It's quicker and less expensive. I had a passport back in the late 70's, so perhaps they still have my personal information.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Hope you're enjoying a fabulous week!


  30. LOL! In Missouri, you would have had to take both the written and driving test again for one that expired! Glad you were spared that headache. All you need to do to get into that nuclear power plant....or on a domestic flight is present a passport, like Grace suggested. That counts as a Real ID. Since we travel to Mexico on vacay regularly, we already have passports. And they last 10 years!

  31. " you would have had to take both the written and driving test again for one that expired!"

    OH, MY GOD, Lisa, you're kidding?!?!? YIKES! I can totally understand a penalty fee, but not having to take the written and driving test again.

    Yup, that's exactly what I decided to do because several other people suggested that in their comments as well. In fact, I'm currently in the process of getting a passport. I lost my birth certificate, so I first need to have them issue me another one before I can apply. Even with that, it seems much easier than applying for a Real ID.

    And yes, I read on the website that passports last TEN years. That's awesome!

    Thanks for the recommendation, my friend!



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