The reality was actually very different. It was in a small office in a public building downtown with two bored looking officials, a woman and an older man. The man was processing someone else, so it was the woman who helped me. It was pretty much the basic show ID, give address, (current) legal name, yadda yadda, then have picture taken. When she was entering it all into the computer, she actually debated whether she could mark me as M under gender rather than F, but was afraid that would screw up the paper work and cause the whole thing to be rejected. As much as I would have liked it if she could, I had to agree. Just the fact that she considered it meant a fair bit to me. Then I made sure it was all today's version of correct, and signed. At some point in here I did pay my $30.00 fee, confusing her with the relative orientation of my debit card (I love my bank, vertical card design and all.)
Next came the part that I was actually pretty excited about: the fingerprinting itself. By this time the other guy who was there for fingerprinting had left. The man who had been helping him had already set up the ink pad and such the way he liked it, so he did the actual printing. It went pretty quickly and easily. Ink and roll each finger, all fingers together, thumbs, done. I'm honestly not sure whether I'm relived or disappointed that the ink came off my fingers so easily, but it did and there it is. He folded up the sheet and handed it to me in an envelope. And that was it, I was done.
So now I have a very official sheet with my fingerprints on it, waiting to be brought back to the registration agency with the rest of my paperwork. It's actually pretty neat to look at - comparing the swirls on the fingers of my left hand with those on my right - I'm actually thinking of scanning a copy just for myself. The artist in me can't resist, really.