I went to renew my driver’s license today. It’d been eight years since I had to go to the driver services office—last time I renewed by internet.
My first experience with Illinois driver services was a great relief compared with having gotten a drivers license in Los Angeles. (The LA DMV is a nightmare!) And I guess I must have lucked out completely eight years ago, as I remember doing the whole thing with no waiting—I went to the information desk, was sent to get my eyes tested, got my picture taken, and then departed in a matter of minutes. This time my experience was more what one would expect—a 30 or 40 minute wait.
Once my number was called I handed over my form and my old drivers license, and the woman went through her list of questions (has your license been suspended or revoked in any other state, etc.).
Then she got to “eyes green, hair brown?”
“Yes,” I said.
She looked at me dubiously.
“Well, I call them green,” I said, opening my eyes wide to show her.
“Yes,” she said, “your eyes are green.”
“Oh!” I said. “You want to call my hair grey now? That’s fine. Put down grey.”
“It’s not printed on the license,” she said in a low voice. “But we need to have it right in the file, in case we need it for identification.”
“It’s fine,” I said.
I was very amused. My hair was blond when I was a small child, then a bright copper red for a year about the time I started first grade, then it turned brown and stayed brown for 40-odd years. And now it’s grey. Or, you know—greying. Turning grey. There is lots of grey there. There’s lots of brown, too, but I’m totally okay with the idea that the grey now predominates. I just hadn’t gotten around to considering it.
So, it doesn’t say so on my new drivers license, but in my file my hair is now listed as grey.
And it’s just as well, given how the flash for the drivers license picture lit up my grey hair. I’ve never looked as grey as I do in that picture.