Valuable Documents

Sunday night I was awoken from my slumber in my hotel room in California by my phone’s angry ring. It was Carter sobbing. Oh God, what has happened? It is midnight in Tennessee where she is calling me from her tent at Bonnaroo. “My Wallet is missing!” I made out between gulps.  


Thank god, just her tiny card wallet with her license, insurance card and debit card were lifted off her. “I tore the tent apart looking for it and it is nowhere. I never lose anything, (Sob, gulp, sob.) I misssss You. What is going to happen?”


I calmed her down. Told her this is not the end of the world. I was just thankful that this is what she was calling me about. I got on the phone with Morgan Stanley who issued her card and froze it with no problem. I called Carter back to tell her it was all going to be fine.


Today we went to the DMV to replace her license. It could have been a scene out of a Road Runner cartoon. We arrived with her passport and social security card as ID.


When it was Carter’s turn at the check in window she told the lady that she needed to replace her stolen license. The DMV woman gave her a ticket with a number to be helped and only then had a conversation with her. This is how the conversation went.


DMV Lady: “You need two more forms of id with your address on it.”


Carter: “Like what?”


DMV Lady: “Your drivers License and a lease with your name on it.”


Carter: “My license is gone and I don’t have a lease.”


DMV Lady: “A mortgage statement or a letter from a homeless shelter?”


This is where I step in.


Dana: “She is 18.”


DMV Lady: “Isn’t her name on the mortgage?”


Am I crazy? Do other people have their children’s name on loan docs?  


Dana: “We own our house.”  


DMV Lady: “Don’t you have a mortgage?”


Skipping ahead in the conversation because it was a long explanation that you can own a house without a mortgage and that does not mean you are homeless.


DMV Lady: “She needs something official with her name on it and her address, like a piece of mail. You will probably have to come back tomorrow.”


A piece of mail!!! Why didn’t she say that before a mortgage statement? We were going to try our best to use the number we had already been given. We dashed out of the DMV, rushed home and searched for “official documents.” I opened a file drawer and pulled a big unopened FedEx envelope out. Inside was another unopened envelope with big red letters, “Valuable Documents.” This was the cartoon portion, as Carter looked at me and said, “What is this?” I think you have a W-2 in this envelope of tax documents. In less than a blink of an eye I had found it.  


I turned next to the big pile of unopened mail that from last week that was yet to be sorted. Ta-Da, an envelope from Sallie Mae offering Carter a loan. Wow, that woman was right, Carter could have a loan, just not for a house.


We rushed back to the DMV and they still were six numbers away from calling her. She got a new license that is good for the next 8 years and registered to vote all at the same time. Lesson learned, you don’t need to put your child’s name on your mortgage to have an official document, but you do need to save a piece of junk mail that come addressed to them and always keep it in an envelope stamped, “Valuable Documents.’  



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