Licence to print money
My driving licence expires in a week’s time.
I first got a licence back in ’66. That was just for a motor bike under 150cc which was fine as I only had a 50cc autocycle.
Then in ’71 I passed my car test and got my full licence. Wopee! The freedom of the open road in my little Mini.
For years I carried my little red plastic booklet around, dutifully renewing it every ten years. Somewhere around joining that fucking EU my licence was replaced with a little pink bit of paper with my photo on it. It didn’t feel the same. it looked cheap and shoddy. A couple of years ago I noticed that my ten year licence had been truncated and was only valid for nine years [though I still had paid for the full ten. It was because I had reached 70.
At seventy, a few things change. The first is that I have to renew every three years instead of ten. The other is that they had to scan me. This involved having to do a sixty mile round trip to get the scan. My licence had now shrunk into a little plastic card. At least it was more durable than the paper one.
My three years are up in a week or so’s time so I checked online to see what I needed to bring with me to renew the licence. They bragged that I could apply for the whole thing online so no sixty mile round trip. All I had to do was log into MyGov.
Now MyGov is one of those little websites the gubmint dreamed up a couple of years ago to make all government services available online. I stuck in my details and everything went well. I now had an ID but it wasn’t verified. To verify it I would have to go into the Welfare Office in Skobieville and show them my mobile phone to somehow prove I owned it. The logic there escaped me completely. Why not just send me a verification number like the bank does?
Yesterday I decided to try renewing my licence. Fine. All went well until it told me I had to connect via MyGov. Bugger! I had forgotten that bit. I logged into MyGov and to my surprise it said I was verified. I don’t know how that happened. Anyways I scrolled down to the “Renew a Driving Licence” bit. I clicked the button marked “Proceed”.
How could I possibly proceed when the Proceed button didn’t work?
I tried various tricks [such as looking at the source code]. Nada. Nothing. Dead button.
Then I had a brainwave. I fired up Chromium which is the Linux equivalent of Chrome. The fucking thing worked perfectly! I clicked on the Proceed button and in I went to the Licence section. I answered a few dozen questions and suddenly an image appeared showing my new licence as it will be. Even better it is free. That hasn’t happened before. I just have to wait for them to post it to me.
So the gubmint’s brilliant brainwave site does work but not in Firefox? One of the most basic rules in any web design is to make sure it works in all browsers and all platforms, yet they never tested it in Firefox? By my stats, the third most popular browser behind Chrome and Safari?
I have it on good authority [did I ever mention I have my own Deep Throat in the gubmint?] that the website cost a six figure sum and that they are paying out further six figure sums to an agency to run it.
And they can’t even design the fucking thing properly?
A similar thing happened to me while trying to book a hotel didn’t seem to work in Firefox but worked fine in edge.
I then got 4 confirmation emails some 4 hours later! it seems in Firefox, while hanging on the payment page, it still made the booking and took my money… just refused to do anything to tell me it worked.
Getting the refund wasn’t to bad once I had convinced the girl on the phone that four bookings for the same room on the same nights was an actual mistake!
In the normal course of things I generally have no problems with Firefox. Sometimes they do something daft in which case I switch to Waterfox [a fork of Firefox] until the problem is fixed. Luckily I haven’t yet bought anything four times over……
In the UK, a licence only needs to be renewed on reaching 70 and that’s free of charge.
To be fair to the UK Government (which comes hard at times), the system’s excellent – last Tuesday I completed the online form to renew Mrs M’s licence and by Friday it arrived in the post, a plastic card including her photo auto-snatched from her passport record.
The only flaw, of course, is that she had absolutely nothing to do with the process, I did it all without any input from her whatsoever, so much for on-line security. . . . .
Our lot would charge you for sneezing if they could find a way to do it. I was amazed at the “no fee” to be honest, but then a lot of things seem to be free once you hit a golden age. I have yet to see if the licence appears in the post though.
I may have mentioned this before but Firefox seems to get a tad less usable and reliable with every so called up-date. I now have four sites unreachable. Enter user name, hit proceed… dead.
I’ve tried every ‘Security’ and cookie setting with no joy.
All sites ‘work’ in Chrome but, interestingly, one of the four is also unreachable in Edge.
And don’t get me started on the new Google News layout…
As I said to Pete J bove, I switch to Waterfox if Firefox screw things up. The two are virtually interchangeable – Iirefox profile into Waterfox and carry on where I left off. I first discovered WF when FF did an upgrade that screwed up all my add-ons. WF did the trick and restored everything.
I don’t like Chrome/Chromium. It just looks wrong!
What’s the betting that your gubmit are getting backhanders from Google, and part of the deal is to (try and) force people to use their own browser? Also, have you looked into the “Web Components” aspect? I’ve been finding a number of sites are now reporting “Your Browser Is No Longer Supported”. I use Palemoon, and their forum says this often involves sites created/hosted on Wix, who seem to be jumping ahead with this Google inspired technology. Have a look here:
You’ll see that Firefox are having to “Spoof” their User Agent string:
I haven’t come across the “browser not supported” thing so far. I rarely have problems which is why I was slow in trying Chromium. The only other site I know of that I have a problem with is RTE. Even in the days I worked there, their video streaming has always been shite. They were probably the last in the world to use Real Player. Their videos don’t work at all in Firefox – just a black rectangle…
I think I paid for your licence (and a few more besides) – it cost me €55 to change my British licence back to an Irish one last yaer, despite the fact that I had an Irish one up until 2017
That’s what you get for migrating so often. 😉
I have to renew mine every two years.I need to be examined by a Doctor (at my expense) to certify that I am still warm and breathing and that I can still recognise a sight chart on the far wall of his office.After having a licence for the last 65 years i hope I can still carry on for another 20 or so.
I’m fairly sure that my next renewal will require a doctors certificate of fitness but no eye test. That’s no problem. Any time I need something signed by a doctor [or garda or solicitor or peace commissioner etc etc] I just leave it with the receptionist. She gets him “to witness my signature” and I collect it next time I’m passing.
I had exactly the same experience as Mudplugger, very easy and the free update licence came back within 24 hours. Even more surprisingly I also had to apply for replacement EHIC health cards (now a GHIC) and not only could I get both our cards with one login, a friendly button asking if other family members needed one, those cards also turned up in less than a week. In other news attempts by a local charity group I’m involved with to change online banking access due to a change of treasurer are still ongoing after some 3 months, after being told by the bank that local charity trusts should not use online banking (so how to pay the bills!) they now want a legal deed to remove the existing treasurer’s access before they will add a different person – this is a major bank who have held the account since the 1960s! Complaints to the regulator are now on the horizon.
The IT systems in this country are a joke. Our health service was hacked two years ago and the whole system had to be reloaded from scratch [took nearly two years]. That’s what happens when you have an ancient system [Windows 7 ????]. Official websites aren’t much better. Even my own insurance company had me driven demented – three policies with the same company – have separate logins for two of them and I can’t access the third at all.
Government sites don’t need to bother about Browsers. If it doesn’t work you change it to something that does or they fine you for not updating your license and it didn’t work in Firefox won’t be seen as a valid excuse. They simply don’t have any competition so why should they care. And if you haven’t worked it out already I can assure you they don’t care.
You mean to say they don’t care? I’m gutted.