After moving to Fair Lawn from New York about a year and a half ago, I had to do all the “responsible grown-up things,” like change my driver’s license, car registration, car insurance, etc. To make it extra difficult, some of my IDs have a middle initial and others do not. To the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC), this is a red flag, and you have to bring all kinds of original documents to prove that you are the same person. Before the pandemic I made two attempts at the MVC to take care of these things and I was sent home both times without success, each time having been told I needed different documents. AAAGGGHHH!
Knowing I needed to take care of this was weighing heavily on me. You know, that kind of thing you know you have to take care of but it feels like climbing Mount Everest, so you just keep putting it off. To help me, my daughter stayed online for eight hours waiting for appointments to become available and, you guessed it, no success.When I heard the MVC was taking new appointments, I mustered up my courage and decided to try again. My impetus was that my son’s car needed to be registered and you know how “you can do for your children what you cannot do for yourself”? I did not want my son to have to take a day off from work.
I had to register my car and my son’s car and get a new license. I was going to take care of everything at the same time.
The night before the big day I spent about an hour at my dining room table sorting out every kind of documentation I had: proof of address, ID, name, some of which I had sent away to get certified copies.
I had a shopping bag full of papers. I was sure to have the title from my son’s car and any documents I would need for his car also. I even gave myself a pep talk that night in bed, telling myself that it would be OK no matter what happened.
OK, OK, so I got to the MVC and they were actually running on schedule for appointments! I even got there early and they took me.
So they give me a bunch of paperwork to fill out. I was almost shaking because I was so nervous.
As I went through my paperwork at the MVC, I couldn’t find the title for my car. I kept looking through my shopping bag. Could this actually be happening? Could I have brought a shopping bag full of IDs and documents and all the information for my son’s car and my license and forgotten to bring the title to my own car? Well, that was exactly what happened. I felt like such an idiot. I had spent so much time collecting the documents and sending away to get originals and then I forgot to take the title out of my car (that was sitting at home). I honestly thought I would be too embarrassed to actually tell anyone about my predicament.
So when my turn came to meet with the MVC person, he came to find me and was super nice. He did everything for my new license, and said I only needed two proofs of ID. He helped me fill out the paperwork for my son’s car. Everything was going great, so I told him about the title I had left at home for the other car and asked if it was OK if I ran home to get it and came back. He said it would be fine as long as I was back in half an hour. We negotiated and he agreed to 40 minutes. He helped me fill out the forms for my other car so that when I came back all I would have to do was give him the title.
I rushed back and forth in the allotted 40 minutes, and presented him with the title. He got everything ready for me to go to the next window where they would issue me my new paperwork. I thanked him profusely many times and told him how he makes the world a better place. I really wanted Tom to know how much I appreciated what he had done for me.
I went to the next window and was issued my new papers.
It definitely felt like Tom was the instrument of an “everyday” miracle for me.
Thank you, Tom.
By Jewel Safren