Had I known that moving across one small state line was going to be so supremely and inordinately complicated, I might have chosen to do something a little less aggravating instead, like getting audited by the IRS.

I’d naively thought it would be no big deal ... change my mailing address, install some WiFi and cable, and then sit back and binge watch Netflix while I avoided unpacking. Of course, I knew that at some point I was going to need to take care of some other important things, like get a new driver’s license, but I figured I could do that much later, after I’d joined a gym and lost the weight I’d gained from the stress of the move, so I would take a better picture.

Not that I’m vain or anything.

But then I found out I needed to register my car and get new plates within a month of moving into my home and I needed a new driver’s license to do that.

And that’s where things got dicey.

Apparently, to register a car in my new state, I needed proof of residency, insurance, inspections and the aforementioned new driver’s license. To get a new driver’s license, I needed a social security card. To get a replacement social security card, I had to mail in two forms of ID, which are usually your driver’s license and passport. But if your passport is expired, like mine was, I also had to send in my birth certificate.

This was about the time my head started to explode.

“I have no passport, no license, no birth certificate and no social security card, which means I had no valid forms of ID,” I said to my husband.

“I guess you don’t exist,” he replied.

“But if I DIED, I could get a death certificate and then I could prove who I am,” I said. “Or, I mean, was.”

“So, basically, you have to be dead to register your car, which you’ll never drive now ... because you’re dead,” he said.

“Right,” I replied. “I think this is what they call at the DMV, the Circle of Hell.”

The last time I had been in anything like this situation was when I was born, and even then, I had a birth certificate and a social security card to prove that I was the seven pound, six-ounce bundle of joy that my parents said I was. I even had the hospital footprints to prove it. While there had been some discussion over the years that I may have actually been switched at birth (a rumor started by my brothers), the truth, probably, was that I was who everybody said I was and would continue to be until I wasn’t anymore.

As I went about my daily life, it occurred to me that the only piece of identification that I had with my picture on it was my library card. So, I couldn’t travel, open a bank account, register my car or in any other way prove to the world who I was.

But at least I could borrow a library book.

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