I never won the lottery, but getting an invitation to "Skip the Trip" this month made me almost as happy.
My driver's license was due to expire in September. A friend had promised to take me to the Motor Vehicle Commission office in South Plainfield and I was pretty sure I could assemble my six points of identification.
But then the Skip the Trip letter arrived! All I had to do was fill out the form, enclose a check for $24 and drop it in the mailbox. The MVC promised that within ten days a new license would then appear with the photo and signature from my old license. It came even earlier and now I am set until September 2020.
Never mind that I don't really look like the image from 2012 and will totally not look the same in 2020.
I wondered whether the MVC figured out that I no longer have a car or perhaps anyone my age was exempt, the way a person 75 or older can opt out of jury duty.
It turns out that as of August 2013 all drivers are eligible to Skip the Trip except for these categories:
If you possess a Commercial Driver License (CDL) or Graduated Driver License (GDL),
have an active suspension, have a Temporary Visa Restriction (TVR), have a boat license
or boat endorsement, if you are required to have an ignition interlock device on your
vehicle, or the MVC requires a new photo to be taken in-person, you are not eligible to
renew through the mail at this time.
The program began in December 2012 for drivers born on or before Dec. 1, 1964 and was then expanded in August 2013. I'm not sure how this jibes with recent reports of long lines and waits at the MVC offices.
You still have to be "invited" by the MVC to use the Skip the Trip option, which is what made me think it was special. Anyway, it happened to me, I sent in the form and the check and now all I need to do is win the lottery so I can afford either a Smart car ... or a Tesla ... maybe a Viper .... or all three!