The child’s tale of Rip Van Winkle tells of a man who settled down for a nap and woke up years later, to find the world had moved on around him. One U.S. man and one trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles caused him to become the modern-day version of the story!

It doesn’t matter what city in America you live in, if you have a United States government-issued driver’s license, you are familiar with the extremely long wait times at the department of motor vehicles. It may have even felt like months. But for one man in  Alabama, his visit to the DMV actually was!  

Phil Romano’s driver’s license expired whilst the world was on lockdown. Since all government offices were closed, there was nothing the Midwest electrician and avid gambler, could do. He had to wait until they reopened.

“I won $100 on a scratch off. When I pulled out my license to claim the money, the cashier at the gas station told me that it was expired, and she couldn’t cash the ticket. I tried to go the next day to renew it, but all the offices were closed.”


When the DMV finally opened, the capacity laws only allowed it to serve half of the number of people that it used to on a normal day. Causing the already treacherously slow process to almost cease.

“ Slow, is a word used for fast workers at the DMV! I’ve seen comatose people move quicker!”

Prepping for the arduous wait time, Phil took a number and hunkered down.

“And that’s the last thing I remember. Taking the number. Trying to find a seat that was socially distanced or whatever. I thought I’d catch a few ZZZ’s.”

That was May 15th, of this year. When Phil woke up, still seated in the chair at the DMV, it was September 14th!

“I don’t know what happened! I dreamt I got my license and left. And I dreamt I was going to work every day, that my wife still hated me and that my car was running fine. Normal everyday life. Then I wake up and realize, not only have I been asleep for 4 months, but I am still at the DMV!!”.


Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic’s Sleep Department, who have not examined Mr. Romano, have concluded that this may be one of the worst cases of narcolepsy they have ever seen and want to study the electrician.

The man’s wife, was questioned as to why she didn’t report her husband missing and she said, “ He said to me once, “Honey, if I win the Powerball, pack your bags!” I said, “Where will we go?” And he said, “I’m going to Tahiti and you’re going to live with your mother!”. So, naturally, I thought his numbers came in!”.

Workers at the Department of Motor Vehicles, when asked how a man could sleep in their lobby for 4 months and they didn’t see him responded with this email.

“We have a system here at the DMV. In order to be processed, you must take a number. We call each number 2 times before we move on. Over the 17 weeks, we called Mr. Romano’s number 170 times, to which none of those he responded to! It’s not our fault he lost his place in line.”

When Phil woke up, he left the DMV, which was closed at the time and was immediately pulled over and cited for an expired license!

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