The first time I got my driver's license, I was 16, like most American teenagers. In Alaska your license is good for four years from your next birthday, so mine expired the day I turned 21. I waited until the day after my birthday and went for my new license (because of course I didn't want the "UNDER 21" stamped on my license that would be good until I was 26). Even though I was living in Idaho at the time, since I was still in college I didn't want to change my residency.
I lived in Idaho for a year after graduating from college and still didn't change my license. After all, why give up residency in Alaska (where I might be eligible for a PFD again one day) when I wasn't sure what I was doing or where I was going with my life?
Then I moved to Poland for three years, returned to Alaska at age 25, and of course, renewed my driver's license the following January. And then I moved to North Carolina, where once again, I didn't get a new driver's license.
My last Alaska driver's license.
A year later I got married. Shannon was a resident of Alabama, me (myself?) a resident of Alaska. Should I get a NC driver's license, since that's where we were living? I'd heard it was a big pain to switch to a NC license, and that still wouldn't make us residents of the same state, so I decided to wait. (Enter my using my passport as i.d. for two years, since it was the only piece of photo i.d. I had with my correct name on it.)
And then this past spring, right at a year ago, I took the plunge. I changed my residency for the first time in 30 years. I got a new driver's license and am now an Alabama resident, along with my husband.
Notice that 10-pound weight gain between the ages of 25-30? I'm totally blaming it on Lane!
The question is, does it make me a Southerner that I have a Deep South driver's license? Or can I still claim Northerner status since that's where I was born and raised and lived most of my life? (Notice how that question is raised: it's not "Do I still claim...," it's "Can I still claim....") I don't think of myself as a Southerner, even if technically I am one now.