Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mysteries of the ALDOT

A lot of stuff happens every four years. The Olympics, the Presidential Election, and I have to get my driver's license renewed. I actually just now realized that it fell on the same four year schedule as the previous two things - maybe that will help me remember next go-round.

Anyway, so Ali and I headed to the lovely boutique known as the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) today.

We get in line, and as we're standing there, I see a sign that says "no debit or credit - only cash or checks". BUT the window right next to that one had the Visa/Mastercard sticker. I ponder this for a few minutes, knowing that I don't have a check or enough cash to get my DL. I finally realize that apparently if you're getting your TAG renewed, they take plastic. But if you're getting your Plastic renewed (aka Driver's License), they don't. Go figure.

So Ali and I get out of line, stroll across the parking lot to the Post Office, buy enough stamps to not feel auspicious by getting cash back with the purchase (that magic number of stamps is 10, just in case you wondered), then stroll back across the parking lot and get in line again. Miraculously, only two people got to skip ahead of us due to my lack of proper fundage.

So now I'm looking around at all of the signs to make sure that I haven't missed something else, and I notice that the line on the OTHER side of me where they are doing driver's tests only takes Cash, Credit or Debit - NO checks!!

So, as a public service announcement, let me summarize what you can and cannot use at the ALDOT:

Tag Renewal: They'll take anything. Even your firstborn, I hear.
Driver's License: Cash or Checks only, please. They don't believe in taking plastic, only issuing it.
Driver's Test for New License: Cash or Debit/Credit only, no checks. Apparently they are afraid of all of the sixteen year olds running around kiting bad checks.

Yes, these lines are all run by the same infamous Jefferson County figure, Travis A. Hulsey. So why the disparity in options?

Which brings us to ALDOT Mystery #2:

Why in the world are you supposed to make your checks out to Travis A. Hulsey?? Why not ALDOT?? What kind of scheme is he running?

Now obviously it's not his original scheme, because we all USED to make our checks out to Randy Godeke. But apparently Randy got enough cash and checks from us that he is good to go, and passed the reigns to his buddy Travis.

Ah, the world will never uncover the mysteries of the ALDOT.

This post was originally published on September 25, 2008 at Grasping for Objectivity in my Subjective Life.


Avery Tales said...

I just found you from Lianne at Socks are Not the Enemy. This post is perfect! I've wondered all of the same things, especially about writing checks to good ol' Randy or Travis.

On another note, I'm betting you were at the Homewood satellite location, right? The P.O. across the parking lot gave it away. Have you heard that they're closing ALL satellite locations. So this means we get to go to the 3rd layer of hell, a.k.a. the Jeff. Co. Courthouse, for all future tag/license renewals. I don't know that I'll be able to handle it.

Anyway, I love your blog and can't wait to read more!

Lianne said...

My husband renewed his license at the county courthouse in Hamilton this morning. It only took 10 minutes. Can I hear it for small-town living?! Woo!

p.s. I (obviously) gave you a shout-out on my blog today. We are loving the book!

courtne450 said...

Yes I have wondered myself about Randy and Travis. It does seem a little fishy to me too. :) I always hate going to ALDOT especially if the kids are with me... never fun.


Derek said...

We have the same kind of thing in Tuscaloosa County. Only here, they don't take plastic at all. And we make our checks out to Jeff Brown.

Christen said...

Hilarious! I always hate going to the DOT, when I got married & moved to Alabama I had to take a day off work in order to go get my AL license and I waited for hours!!!

MamaHen said...

I wish Travis would take some of that money and fix our Jeff Co Commission woes. Or the roads.

Jennie said...

I always dread tag and license renewal times. If I remember correctly though, at the St. Clair County Courthouse in Pell City (there are two in the county)they take whatever money you've got - cash, check, plastic. Still a terrible chore that I despise!

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