Back in November and while I was still in Mary’s Meadow rehab center, I applied for a temporary disability placard. Since I needed a walker to get around, we figured it would be helpful to park closer to stores, doctor’s offices, etc.
Following the guidelines for MassDOT RMV (Massachusetts Department of Transportation Registry of Motor Vehicles), I mailed in my application dated 11/20/17. When I didn’t hear anything for a couple of weeks, I called on December 8 to check on the status. I was told that the processing time is two months. Since I applied the end of November, I should hear something in February. If I wanted to present it in person at the Boston RMV office (90 miles away), I could receive it that day. Figuring I would no longer need it by the time it arrived, I gave up and forgot all about it.
On Wednesday, I received a letter dated January 26, 2018 from the Medical Records Division of the RMV asking me to surrender my driver’s license because I had a medical condition making it unsafe for me to drive. (They took two months to process my application, but wanted me to return my driver’s license in ten days.)
I immediately called their office to find out what this was all about. I was told that the doctor who signed my initial application checked the box saying that I was medically unqualified to drive. I tried to explain that that was three months ago and things had changed. Unfortunately, I was talking with a rather defensive, argumentative agent. She told me I needed a note from a doctor stating my condition had improved. I tried to explain that the doctor who signed the form was the attending physician at the rehab center and I had no contact with him. She reiterated that rules are rules and I needed a note from a doctor. It could not merely say I was ok to drive. It had to acknowledge my previous condition and that it had improved.
After hanging up, I called New England Orthopedic Surgeons, the doctors who performed my surgery, and asked if they could write a letter for me. They did so gladly and I picked it up this afternoon. The note was short and to the point saying I had been cleared to drive. It may not be the verbiage the RMV wanted, but hopefully it will satisfy their red tape quotient.
Unfortunately, I spent most of the night distracted and worrying about what would happen if … So I asked a handful of friends and family to pray it would be resolved quickly. And praise God, it was!