By Betty Berry, Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Q: During the past few months, I have been helping a friend get rid of clutter in her home. We’ve come across items that may be collectibles or antiques and are looking for a good source to evaluate them. Do you have any resources?

A: An upcoming event could be the answer to your need.

Goebel’s Antiques and Collectibles Bazaar is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Goebel Senior Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks.

There will be three antique evaluators to answer questions about items, and there also will be antique vendors.

In addition, there will be door prizes and a silent auction. If you get hungry, jumbo hot dogs and pulled-pork sandwiches will be available.

General admission is $5, and evaluation of each item is $5. Call 381-2744 for more information.

Q: It seems like I’ve been renewing my license by mail forever, and now I have a notice telling me the current renewal must be at the Department of Motor Vehicles office. Why? Also, I’m sure I’ll have to take a written test. Any suggestions for success?

A: You’ve asked two very good questions.

Many of us have enjoyed the luxury of renewing our license by mail. However, according to the DMV, several conditions can preclude a person from having that opportunity.

If you have a probationary license or a “failure to appear” on your record in the past two years, you will not be issued a renewal by mail. Also, if you have been suspended from driving due to an illegal blood-alcohol content level in the past two years or if your record has a violation point count greater than 1, you’ll be invited to the DMV office for renewal of your license.

You also will be asked to renew your license in person if you are over 70 or have received two consecutive four- or five-year extensions.

When renewing your license in person, be prepared to take an eye test and the written test. You also will have to have your picture taken and give a thumbprint or fingerprint.

Whether you want to believe it or not, the DMV wants you to pass your test. However, you have the responsibility to be prepared.

If you are due to have your regular vision checkup, arrange to do it before it’s time to renew your license. If you need new glasses to improve your vision, you’ll be wearing them when you take the test. If you do have new glasses, make sure you are accustomed to them before taking the test.

To prepare for the written test, get the current California driver handbook from your local DMV office. Everything you will be tested on is in this manual.

You will need to study the entire handbook. When studying, you may want to make notes in the margin or underline certain points. Reading aloud sometimes helps. Take a sample test or two after reading the book. For questions missed, go back and review the section.

Don’t try to study while doing another task that requires concentration or for long periods at a time. Take a break after about 30 minutes.

Get a good night’s sleep the night before and arrive in plenty of time for your appointment. Make sure you have your license, a working writing instrument and your glasses, if applicable. If you wear a hearing aid, make sure the batteries are good.

Go in with a positive attitude, and you will do fine.

Betty Berry is a senior advocate for Senior Concerns. The advocates are at the Goebel Senior Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362; phone 495-6250 or email (Please include your telephone number.) You are invited to submit questions on senior issues.

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