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Check your driver’s license expiration date

Sometimes your state doesn’t remind you to renew your driver’s license, leading to a nasty surprise. The time this happened to me, I noticed it by sheer luck just a few days before it was going to expire. I had food poisoning, so I had to rush to renew it. In the picture, I looked like death warmed over.

Closeup of corner of drivers license

This has happened to friends of mine, too. Only some of them didn’t notice until the license was expired by 90 days, at which point you can’t renew it (in some states). You have to apply for a new one. And the fact that the state didn’t remind you doesn’t matter. If you got pulled over with an expired license, that would be your problem.

It’s your responsibility anyway

It seems most states regard that notice as a courtesy anyway. You’re supposed to be aware of when your license is expiring, and make sure it gets renewed one way or another before it expires. That’s a tall order when you’re talking about remembering an expiration date that’s several years in the future. Fortunately, computers make this really easy.

Set a reminder

The solution I’ve come up with is to use an electronic reminder system – one that can hold onto an item for years and notify you reliably when the time comes. Apple users have iCal built into their systems, and Windows users have a number of free options like Gmail’s calendar. There are apps in the Windows and Android stores that can set a reminder that will pop up on your devices at the time set.

Look at your license right now and set a reminder for the expiration date. Or set it a month in advance of that date, or even longer. If you switch reminder systems, remember to transfer that date over.