I needed my driver's license renewed, so I went to the DMV:
Abandon all hope before approaching.
So there are new guidelines about the evidence you need to produce to prove citizenship … and the arbiters of citizenship are now the dim bulbs who work at the DMV.
I took my birth certificate with me. And I was told that it was not adequate.
The document I produced, an original, issued by the state of New York, fits all criteria issued by the U.S. Department of State for proof of native birth and citizenship:
- Full name of the applicant
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal of issuing authority
- Registrar’s signature
- The date the certificate was filed with the registrar’s office (must be within one year)
It even had the new addition to that list (as of April 1, 2011):
- Names of both parents
But out here in rural southwestern Utah it was not accepted, because it is called a “Certificate of Birth Registration”. Yep, it’s the short form (here’s the copy of the short form that Donald Trump produced this past spring).*
Compared to mine, Obama’s 1961 short form from Hawaii looks like a cheap knock-off.
Mine even has a statement on the back, in bold, that says:
Proof of American Citizenship for a Passport
It also says:
You should preserve [this form] because it is legal evidence of age and citizenship.
We checked those statements against my wife’s long-form birth certificate, and they are identical.
So, my family and I have preserved this scrap of paper for 47 years, and I can still get a new passport with it, but I can’t get a driver’s license renewed with it in Utah.
The solution is to pay New York state $30 to issue a copy of an original birth certificate, rather than an original that satisfies the State Department.
What a scam …
* No, my document is not a souvenir certificate issued by the hospital with cute little baby footprints on it. The person at the counter at the DMV expressed surprise when they couldn’t find the footprints. Perhaps that’s because I was producing a legal document and not a piece of crap.