Wednesday, November 28, 2018


I felt sad when my passport expired.

The expense of renewing it seemed unjustified, considering how unlikely it is that I will be physically able to travel. But letting my passport expire felt like a surrender.

Every now and then in the past 3 years - my passport expired on 8 November 2015 - I've mentally debated the decision. It came down to one question.

Not: "How likely is it that I will use a passport?"

But: "How much value does the option of getting on a plane carry?"

Once when I had a medical appointment in a city I rarely visit these days, an hour away, I stopped at the AAA office and had pictures taken. Just in case.

And one day when I came across my old passport while looking for something else, I put it in a place where I could find it when wanted. If wanted.

Well, on the subject of renewal:

My Massachusetts driver's license is going to expire in December. Hoping to avoid a trip to the Registry, I went online to renew it. It quickly became apparent that the licensing system in MA has changed, and is in the middle of a transition related to federal ID requirements. I read all the instructions two or three times, and after spending an hour on the website, I came to a startling conclusion:

The simplest way for me to renew my MA driver's license
would be to first renew my passport.

Crazy but true.

This morning, I renewed my driver's license online.

Because a few days ago, this came in the mail:

And I feel very good about it.