As I left Dallas I realized the trip was almost over. “What’s next?” I thought as I drove up towards Oklahoma City, OK.
Later that night I decided I would be traveling up through Kansas. Sounds like a cool place right? So off I went, driving late into the night. I was ready to explore Wichita and Kansas City as soon as I found a place to stay for the night.
At this point I was in southern Kansas, near Wichita. It was near midnight. Out on the country road it was 65mph but as I entered a little town I didn’t see the sign that said 45… oops.
Lights flashed behind me. Even though this was my first time being pulled over after four years of driving (I’m not a bad driver btw) I couldn’t help feel a little discouraged. Was it a speed trap?
As the female officer walked up alongside the vehicle I pulled out my registration and reached for my wallet. “Hello,” she said, “I just wanted to let you know you were speeding. Not by too much, though. Can I see your license and registration?”
I handed her the registration. Opening my wallet I fumbled as I opened up where the license normally is supposed to be. I pulled out the enhanced license slip that holds the license. Opening up, I looked inside… my license was gone.
“Umm,” I awkwardly said, still looking through my wallet to see if it was somewhere else. “I can’t find my license.”
“Ok,” she said, “Can I see maybe student ID or something with a picture on it while you keep looking?” “Sure.” I handed her my student ID.
I continued to look as she went to her car. A few minutes later another police car showed up. This time a man stepped out. He and the woman walked up alongside the car. “Did you find it?”
“No luck I said,” glancing up. I got out of the car and started looking in the back. “Where is it?” I thought. I was so confused as to where it could have gone. I continued to look. “Here, can you use this?” The man officer held out a flashlight. “Thanks,” I said, realizing I also had a flashlight somewhere in the car.
After a little while they told me to pull up a few hundred yards to a little gas station. Shortly after parking they asked me to put the car keys in the car and get out. “Look,” the man said, “from our perspective this whole situation is bizarre. It looks like you’re telling the truth, but it’s taking a lot time for us to look you up in the Michigan Driver’s records.
Finally, fifteen minutes or so later they were able to look me up and get my drivers license number. I wrote it down and we said our goodbyes. The male police officer, George, shared his name and we shook hands. They were very nice and considerate.
Whatever happened that day, I’m very glad for kinder, understanding police officers.
By the way, I did find my license a few days later, but that’s a whole different story. At the end of the day we can take one big lesson a way: Even if you think your license is in your wallet, it never hurts to double check.