Today I went on my lunch hour to the County Administration building to see about renewing my driver’s license. To my surprise the line was not as long as I remembered. How wonderful! Perhaps I could be in and out before my hour was even up? An administrator came out to help the people in line and when she came to the woman in front of me she explained that in order to apply for a driver’s license she would need the following forms of identification: choosing one of the following – a state certified birth certificate, passport, certificate of naturalization, consular report of birth abroad, Alien registration receipt card or green card. If the current name is different from the name on the birth certificate, passport or the other forms of id, then a certified copy of name change must be provided. In addition, a social security card, W-2 form or paycheck showing the social security # must be presented. Along with that two proofs of residence must be provided in the form of a voter registration card, deed to the home, vehicle registration form or title, utility bill . . . and the list goes on. My thought after hearing all of that was, “Wow, I’m glad I am only getting my license renewed.” Little did I know that in order to renew a license, a license that I’ve had for years in this state, I still needed to show that I was whom I claimed to be and I had to follow the same guidelines and provide the same proofs of identification. My dumbfounded expression gave me away and she proceeded to explain to me that the regulations were necessary and were put into place after 9/11. If my memory serves me, 9/11 occurred in 2001, the last time I renewed my license was in 2006. Those regulations were not in place at that time, but who am I to argue with protocol, after all I have nothing to hide.
The thing that really gets me though is the fuss made over requiring identification to vote for the President of these United States, the most powerful man or woman in the country; the Leader of the Free World. In my humble opinion, that is quite a decision and all citizens of the United States should have a say. What’s wrong with requiring identification to show that you are a legal citizen, that you are who you say you are? Such an important thing requires no identification, but a license to drive a motor vehicle requires nothing less than four forms of identification including a voter registration card. I’ve given up on trying to figure it out. It only frustrates me and I don’t like being frustrated. Thankfully, I have all the items required and I will go dutifully on Monday to stand in line with my packet of precious documents to renew my driver’s license. Thank goodness I won’t have to follow the same procedure to vote next month! But just for he heck of it, I think I will bring my new identification card. After all the trouble I had to go through to acquire it, shouldn’t I take the opportunity to flaunt it a little?