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Paul Rolly: Renewing a Utah license can drive you crazy

Published July 9, 2014 7:31 am

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This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Anne Mathews went recently to the Utah Driver License Office at the Fairpark to renew her license after she had inadvertently let it expire.

She thought she had all the necessary documents to prove she was a U.S. citizen and a Utah resident. But once she was there, she couldn't find her Social Security card. Alas, she couldn't get a license, but she was given a temporary one to get her by for six months.

Mathews immediately went to the Social Security Office and, after a considerable wait, was told she would get a new card within two weeks.

What did she need to prove her identity to get the new card from the feds? The temporary license she had just received because she lacked the proper documents for a permanent one.

After receiving her Social Security card in the mail, Mathews made an appointment at the Driver License Division's Redwood Road office. When she got there — again with an armload of documents, including her new Social Security card — she was told to take a number and wait her turn, despite her appointment.

After a half-hour, she left to go to another appointment, deciding to come back when she had more time.

The next time she went to Redwood Road, she was prepared to wait. After more than an hour, her number was called and she approached the agent's window with her papers.

One problem: The woman told her the temporary license had been issued at the Fairpark office, so she had to go back to that office to get her permanent one.

After counting to 10, she calmly asked why the offices couldn't share information using a device called a computer.

Mathews was reminded that she didn't have the upper hand in this impasse and would be well advised to walk away without a peep.

She went back to the Fairpark office with all her documents and an all-American smile.

So, on her fourth try, she got her license.

Utah cop earns national award • A Cottonwood Heights police officer was named national law enforcement officer of the year by the International Footprint Association at its recent annual convention in Ogden.

Officer Casey Davies earned the award for foiling a bank robbery while he was off duty in West Jordan in February.

Davies, who was not in uniform and did not have his police gear, was shopping when he noticed a man nervously walking in and out of Mountain America Credit Union and acting suspiciously.

Davies called dispatch and had two uniformed officers come to the scene, where they questioned the man, who, it turned out, was carrying a gun and a note demanding money. The man later confessed that he had planned to rob the credit union.

Two years ago, while on duty, Davies chased down two men who had robbed a bank in Fort Union.

Besides the honor for Davies, the Salt Lake chapter was named best local chapter for the second straight year.

The association is a service organization that supports law enforcement.

In the heat of the night • Graduates of Canyons School District's Entrada Adult High School earned their diplomas by the sweat of their brows.

Literally.

Commencement ceremonies for the alternative school, which caters mostly to adults who had dropped out, were held recently at Draper Park Middle School. The event was scheduled for 7 p.m., but graduates and family members were urged to come a half-hour early so everyone would be seated when it began.

One problem: It didn't begin.

The temperature was in the 90s, there was no air conditioning, and staffers struggled to get the sound system working.

The formalities finally started at 7:34. So the grads and their loved ones had sat there for more than an hour boiling — in more ways than one.

prolly@sltrib.com