This is part two of a three part series! To read part one, click here!
Since I had finished everything I needed to at Social Security, I headed to the Department of Licensing to do the next step of my name change.
On the DoL’s website for changing your name, it states that you have to visit Social Security before applying for an enhanced driver’s license. I could have applied for a standard license without worrying about Social Security, but with the travel restrictions coming in to play for non-enhanced licenses next year (read the official DHS article here), I decided to just bite the bullet and get the “fancy” one.
Once I arrived at the Department of Licensing (read: NOT the DMV), I was greeted by many warning signs…
Needless to say, it did not look well. The number that was called as I took my ticket was 152.
I was 198.
I took a seat and messaged my husband about the general exhaustion I was feeling. I was thankful that I had someone to message to keep me 1) sane, and 2) awake.
After about an hour, they called my number and I whipped out my padfolio.
Me: “I was married in October and I’d like to get an enhanced license with my new name, please.”
Woman at Counter: “Of course. You’ve been to Social Security already, right?”
Me: “Yes! I just came from there.”
Woman: “…it usually takes 24 to 48 hours for the changes to take effect in their database.”
At this point I was at a loss. No where online did it mention how long I needed to wait after changing my name with Social Security before I could change it at the DoL and other places.
I could have been in bed already! The woman at the counter went ahead and checked my social security information, anyway, in the (apparently extremely rare) case that it had already processed in the approximately 2 hours since I had left. However, that was not the case, and my visit ended with me going home.
At least I had half of the work done!
I ended up waiting until I got my physical social security card before I went into the DoL. I didn’t want a repeat of what had happened before, especially with my limited daylight hours.
This time I went in about 5 minutes before they opened. There was a line about 20 people long in front of me this time and it wasn’t long before they opened the doors.
Once I printed my ticket, I had a seat and waited. It was only around 20 minutes before my number was called up. I did a vision test and the identity check, then filled out a small questionnaire.
I was instructed to keep my ticket and to listen for my number to be called again for my photo to be taken; waiting this time was about another 15 minutes or so. I wasn’t waiting for horrendous amounts of time in-between call ups. For my photo, my glasses had to be off, which felt strange to me. But they need to be able to scan your facial structure in case of crazy situations.
One click and flash later, I was sitting and waiting for my interview.
With the Enhanced Drivers Licenses in Washington state, you are required to have a small interview, which seems to be so that they can check to make sure that you are telling the truth about what you put on your questionnaire.
It was fairly straight-forward and I was done relatively quickly. I was handed a paper receipt and was told to keep my punched (expired) ID with it until my new one came.
Now that I have gone through the whole process of doing this, I know exactly what steps I would tell someone in my situation to take. Things can seem easy when you research, but bumps always occur when you get down to business.
Next time, I’ll have an easy to read synopsis of what you should do when changing your name.