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Wait a minute, where was I?
Written by Bob Hyle   
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 9:09 PM

One of the difficult parts of the aging process for me is the inability to remember simple tasks. Wait a minute, where was I?

Oh yeah, as I celebrate yet another birthday next week, who should come to my rescue but none other than the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

I’ve been known in the past to let my driver’s license expire for weeks or even months.

But for this birthday, not only did the BMV remind me of my birthday with an email and a postcard (“Hey, OldMan, your driver’s license is about to expire”), but they offered me the opportunity to have my driver’s license renewed over the Internet.

I don’t know if this option is available to my faithful readers in Ohio, but it took me by surprise that the Hoosier state was so progressive.

There were a few restrictions, the biggest being my address had to be the same as the one on my expiring license, but I fit that and the rest of the profile for this new service.

The major issue for everyone who gets a new driver’s license is the crappy photo that goes with it.

The technology is not available for the BMV to take a crappy picture of you over the Internet, but if you would like to keep your six-year-old crappy photo from your expiring license, they will just re-use the old one.

I always believed that the second question asked for prospective BMV employees (the first being:  Who did you vote for?) was: Do you have any photography skills? Professional photographers need not apply.
Knowing that a new picture of me wouldn’t be any less crappy than the one I was currently using, I figured why not.

My 6-year-old image has me adorned with a goatee.

The sweater I was wearing on that date is still in heavy rotation in my closet, which is pretty sad. Other than that I believe I have aged quite well in the last half-dozen years.

Since Indiana won’t issue you a license with a smiling face, the whole crappy old picture issue made sense to me. I’m not sure why Ohio lets its drivers crack a smile while Indiana treats your image like it’s a lineup of axe murderers.

Someone once told me that facial-recognition technology works better on unsmiling faces, which is just stupid enough an explanation to be believable.

My son, now a Buckeye, got his driver’s license renewed last month in Ohio and he is seen smiling on the new license.

Does Ohio not care that the world might be looking for a serial killer from the Buckeye state and can’t find the chief suspect because he smiled on his driver’s license photo?

“Give it up, boys, he’s from Ohio. We’ll never find him.”

Since Indiana adopted this driver’s license feature online - they also allow you to renew your license plates this way as well - I have fewer reasons to visit Lawrenceburg anymore unless I want to take up gambling or someone’s dumb enough to put me on a jury panel.

Bob Hyle covers sports and writes a weekly column for The Harrison Press. He lives in Bright.