I did it. I got my “real” official U.S. legal driver’s license that’s an official ID. Today, I proved I’m me.
It was a close call. Getting a car loan or a mortgage was far, far easier. In the process, we all went through periods of significant confusion. For example, I had two marriage certificates, both of which were for Garry and my wedding. One came from the Town of Hempstead. The other was from the state of New York. They looked entirely differently and both were official.
“Did you marry him twice?” they asked me.
“No,” I said. “Only once. They are the same marriage. Once certificate is from the town and the other from the State.” I didn’t want to mention that I had a another one from the church because we were all confused enough. No need to make it worse.
I will be eternally grateful to New York for putting all my information on one piece of paper, including my maiden name, my first married name, and my second married name. When we finally got that straightened out, they gave me the license.
You are supposed to have two identification papers, neither of which can be a copy and they are very specific about what you need. Original BILLS (not receipts). No copies. With one exception, all our bills are in my name and delivered electronically. Like most people.
I believe the Registry of Motor Vehicle workers were equally confused. I had my oil utility bill. That was okay. But they needed two original paper bills. They wouldn’t accept receipts or copies of bills paid online and never mind that all our bills are paid automatically online because that’s pretty much how everyone does it now. Unlike other states, they won’t accept expired passports or my medical cards, the ones which identify the serial numbers of the three medical implants in my body. Personally, I think the workers had no reasonable explanation for why one thing was acceptable but another — very similar thing — was not. It seemed almost random.
At one point I looked up and said: “This is REALLY confusing.”
The guy I was working with said, “Tell me about it.” I have never had a weirder paperwork experience.
The whole point of this is that you have to prove you are you and you live where you live. I have been living here for 22 years, so I brought my mortgage plus the deed to the house. Neither was acceptable. Nor would they accept the receipt for the new stove we just bought or the wildly expensive new windows for which we are contracted. For inexplicable reasons, it has to be a current original PAPER bill from -within the previous 90 days. Receipts aren’t bills and don’t count. I pointed out that the bill for our new windows cost me a lot of money and were being installed in the house they want me to prove I live in and why would I install windows in someone else’s house?
I also pointed out I pay my bills electronically — like everyone else — but since they won’t accept copies, how was I supposed to get the paperwork? I had my old driver’s license. I had my mortgage and deed. I had my medical ID cards (three of them). I had two Medicare cards — the old one and the new one. I had my Social Security card. But no one except the heating oil company bills me on paper.
I think in the end they were so confused they let me have the license. It was easier than sifting through any more paperwork. Not only was I ready to give up, THEY were ready to give up. I can’t believe every state is as bad as Massachusetts. I sure hope not.
I had many kinds of proof, but nothing was the right proof — except the oil utility bill. Everything else was a receipt, a medical ID, the deed, or the mortgage. I don’t understand why the deed and the mortgage are NOT proof because a rental agreement or lease IS proof as is a bill from Medicaid or Medicare.
Whoever made up these rules was living in a different world than the rest of us. They didn’t make any allowance for reality, like how few people pay paper bills and no one mails them — and haven’t in years. Moreover, many companies — like AT&T — won’t send them even if you beg and plead. Also, why will they accept a bill for your mortgage payment, but not the actual mortgage or the deed to the house? Especially since a lease agreement is okay. Huh?
Finally, when they decided my marriage certificate from New York state would do the job (never mind that I didn’t have my original marriage certificate for my first marriage which should have been mandatory), they were baffled by my lack of a middle name.
RMV: “Did you ever have a middle name?”
RMV: “Why not?”
ME: “My mother didn’t give me one. My sister got one. My brother got one. I didn’t get one. I am one name short.”
RMV: “No middle name ever?
ME: “No middle name. Ever.”
By the time we skated past my missing middle name, they were glad to see me go and I was glad to go.
Now that I have proved I’m me — I am pretty sure that’s what I proved — I would like to know who I was for the 75 years that preceded today. If I wasn’t me until I proved it, who was the person wandering around with my name? Working, raising a child, paying taxes and mortgages and car payments. Who WAS she? Does she have the missing paperwork?