One lost drivers license can really ruin your whole day

Written by admin on July 6, 2009 – 5:20 pm -

Sometimes, even the most seasoned travelers can find themselves up a creek without a paddle.

I just had a day like that.

Somewhere, somehow between my going through airport security and boarding the plane, I managed to lose my driver’s license.

Was it in the Red Carpet Lounge? Did I stick it among my possessions?  Did this indispensable piece of plastic fall into a tray as I was rushing to collect my computer, bag of liquids, the bag filled with electronics and more cords than anyone should need?

All I knew was I’d become a non-person and even though I’d reported my losing the license to everyone with whom I’d came into contact at United Airlines, I boarded the plane suspecting it was going to be a day of no good news.

I spent the first hour of the flight tearing through every pocket, bag and the new wallet I recently purchased.

I don’t drink alcohol on morning flights but succumbed this time. The flight attendant brought me a screwdriver, which I quickly downed and went to sleep.

Perhaps the license would surface when I awakened.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. As instructed, I checked with airline officials when I arrived at LAX as well as the lost and found. No luck – no news – no license being transported on the following flight.

You don’t come to Los Angeles and think you can exist without a car. Even though I’d rented cars from the same rental company numerous times, there was a pit in my stomach that this would be a no go. Too bad the car was prepaid and that I had my insurance card plus a newly filed police report certifying I was licenseless.

Oh yes, the details of my driver’s permit were on file but there was no way the agent was going to give me keys. “It’s against California law,” he said and called a cab.

After the cab arrived and the driver was given my destination, he said he didn’t know where we were going even though it was downtown L.A.  This time, I was prepared and whipped out my GPS. People complain they’re frequently taken the scenic route when hailing Paris cabs and watch the meter ticking. Portable GPS’s may be the solution.

Since my arrival, I’ve had a copy of my passport, license, French residence card emailed and printed. The United executive advised me I should be at the airport early  for an extra security check and was nice enough to make a notation about my lack of identification.

If you’re into betting, how many people think someone might have found and mailed the license to the DC address that doubles as Bonjour Paris’s office?

If not, I know how I’ll be spending a few hours this week. And the Department of Motor Vehicles isn’t renowned for its charm.

Has this type of incident ever happened to others? I can’t imagine it hasn’t and want to hear how you solved the dilemma.

Karen Fawcett is president of  BonjourParis

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