Susan Keene Author

Reading gives you wings to fly everywhere and anywhere

Keeping America Safe

Posted on May 18, 2022 by   1 Comment | Posted in Uncategorized

Keeping America Safe

My driver’s license will expire next month. I decided I would renew it with a Real ID.

It is a gold star on your license which means you have had a background check and are considered safe to fly domestically, enter nuclear power plants and access federal buildings like federal courthouses and military bases.

Getting one is easy so they say. I went to Marshfield to the license bureau with my birth certificate, two bills addressed to me at my home, my current driver’s license and the post card they sent telling me I needed to renew.

The girl who waited on me had on a thick mask, I guessed two layers of material with a filter in between.
She has every right to wear a mask; I wore one for over a year. This young lady had hers under her nose and I had to fight the urge to explain to her that her nose and mouth were connected and she could breathe in as many germs through her nose as she could through her mouth which had the mask covering it. My better judgement told me to let it go.

The place was a mad house. Five or six people wanting to register a new vehicle, six wanting to renew their plates and several more waiting to get their Real ID.

My turn came about twenty minutes after I arrived.  I had everything ready and in order. Alas, it wasn’t enough. Here’s how it went.

“You need two forms of ID, including your driver’s license and your birth certificate and proof of name change if you have changed your name at any time during your lifetime,” she said.

“Sure, I have it all right here.”

She looked over the papers, all of the time shaking her head as if I couldn’t follow directions.

Ellen, as her name tag identified her said, “The bill

Passport from the United States of America on white background. Clipping Path.

s you have here are not good enough. You need utility bills. And I see your divorce papers here, but where is proof you were married?’


I said, “The utilities at my house are not in my name, but these bills are obviously mine. It is difficult to get divorced if you have never been married, but if you look at the first page it gives mine and the grooms full names, birthdates, the day we were married and the day we were divorced.”

She moved on to my birth certificate. “This is not a birth certificate. It is a record of birth. You will have to get a registered copy of your birth certificate.”

“Ellen, I said as calmly as I could, the birth certificate is from California. It is legal. I can see the seal of California from over here. Missouri birth certificates do not look like this.”

“Well, I just can’t take it,” she repeated.

“Listen Ellen. I went to school with that birth certificate, I went to college with it. I got married with it and used it to get my passport.”

“This is different,” she said, “this is the Federal government we are working with.”

I asked, “Who do you think issues passports? I’ve also been cleared in two states for a conceal and carry permit.”

“That is all well and good,” she said, “but we are talking about the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. They will not accept your birth certificate. It is not valid.”

I leaned back in my chair and let out a sigh I’m sure could have been heard all over the building. I turned around to a noise from behind me. The lady waiting was laughing.

“Do you have a supervisor?” I asked.

She didn’t answer me but got up and walked to a little office and knocked on the door. She stayed in there for about five minutes and came back. “I’m going to put it through but I’m going to send a note with it because I don’t want to get in trouble with the Federal Government for sending the wrong papers. All the rules have changed,” she said.

For the next several minutes, she wrote notes on post-its and ran them through the scanner to add to the packet she would send in to the authorities that be.

Thirty minutes from the time we started, she took my picture and collected $13 from me. I left much older and more tired than when I went in.

Another day in small town America.

By the way, today, my approved Real ID came in the mail today: Approved.


1 Response to "Keeping America Safe"

Comment by Shirley McCann
May 19, 2022 5:39 pm

I never tire of hearig this story. it’s SO stupid. Hard to believe they don’t train their people better than that. That’s the government at work.

Leave a Reply