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And The Horse They Came In On!

I have to renew my driver’s license this year. Normally it is a minor deal that might kill a couple of hours if you don’t schedule an appointment, and it cost about $25. This year everything changed.

I have already mentioned that Republicans hate to be caught raising taxes, but they have no problem doubling fees, and one of those fees is the driver’s license renewal, which now costs $48. If that wasn’t annoying enough, they lacked the guts to tell the Hedgemony to shove it on the Real ID program, so you have to go to the office and present all kinds of proof.

You need your Social Security card to verify your Social Security number; a birth certificate or passport; and two proofs of your current address.

I don’t have a current passport because I wasn’t allowed to leave the country for an extended period after I left the military, so there wasn’t much point in continuing to pay for one. That means my birth certificate.

Well, they won’t accept my original birth certificate because it was issued by the hospital. The county recorded births and deaths in a ledger, so I have to get a New York State birth certificate that is going to cost me over $50 with all of the extra fees attached because I don’t want to travel to the state to buy an “official” copy. Since I only have 5 months to get it, I have to pay the expedited fees that might get me the copy in a month or so.

In order to get the proof of residence, I have to cancel my paperless billing to actually receive copies with my address on them from the utilities, and then switch back after I get the license.

The Florida legislature is peopled by incompetents who have exactly zero understanding of the real world. They won’t accept my current license as proof of anything, but that is exactly what the state of New York is going to use to send me a birth certificate. You can have utilities turned on at any vacant apartment with a phone call. If you can remember a number, the Social Security Administration will issue you a card.

This is a joke, a very expensive, stupid joke that makes the world a more dangerous place by annoying the hell out of a lot of people.


1 Kryten42 { 12.22.09 at 10:49 pm }

Yeah! It really sux! And it only inconvenience honest people and stupid crooks! The smart crooks know how and where to get fake ID that can pass a hard look at most places it’s required.

It why I keep my security license current. Because it’s a police vetted photo ID, it’s worth 120 points, and most places that require ID need 100 to 150 points (150 is max and needed to get things like passports etc). It’s also very handy when some smart-ass in a store etc wants to cause trouble. 😉 My ID trumps most of the usual rent-a-cops, since I have ‘Control Operations’ and’ Coordinator’ qual’s, with anti-terrorism (Griffin Coordinator), with unarmed and weapons ratings added for good measure (our licenses list all the qualifications, and are color coded). People tend to become very polite when I show my license. 😉

It’s kinda crazy actually. I have tried since about 2006 to get them to drop the weapons rating off my license, and have not gone for refresher or rectification of any weapons in well over a decade. I was told that because I had been highly trained and considered dangerous with a weapon, they add it whether I am currently certified or not, just in case. *shrug*

Bureaucracies… *sigh*

2 hipparchia { 12.22.09 at 11:01 pm }

nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah !!!!!

i renewed mine just before all this went into effect. i don’t have a passport [never have] and the building where my original birth certificate was stored burned down more than 40 years ago. and yeah, paperless billing. i do still get christmas cards by snail mail though…

and proof of address… given the state of the economy, we’re likely to have even more people living in their cars too.
.-= last blog ..Light =-.

3 Bryan { 12.22.09 at 11:20 pm }

I didn’t put up with all that crap in the military to see the US adopt internal passports, which is essentially what this Real ID system is all about. The thing that really POs me, is that I am one of the most verified and identified people in this country, if these people had access to any reasonable law enforcement data base network. Typing in my name should set off bells and buzzers and spit out a gazillion copies of my fingerprints from a dozen state and local agencies.

With the military, intel, law enforcement, and teaching at public college, I am one of the most investigated people on the planet, and they want me to produce a bill mailed to me by the phone company as proof. It’s demeaning.

This will probably go on for a year, and then they’ll cancel the entire thing because of the expense and screams of annoyance.

4 Jack K., the Grumpy Forester { 12.22.09 at 11:29 pm }

…on the other hand, you could live in one of those renegade states like mine, where a legislative refusal to buy in all the way on Real ID means that we constantly live with the prospect of not being able to board a commercial flight or even – and I am actually really, really longing for the drama of this particular moment – get into the very Federal buildings that employ some of us, all because of our state’s failure to be good little Bushie-boys and knuckle under to the unfunded Real ID mandate…

I was actually kind of hoping that Orygun would go all in on that whole Real ID thing, mostly because I longed for the opportunity to sit quietly in a corner of the local DMV office on my lunch break watching the parade of 80-something 4th-generation ranchers deal with the brutal reality of the ‘proof of existence’ nightmare that the Republican party they and their ancestors had so stalwartly voted for over all those generations has visited on them…
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5 Bryan { 12.22.09 at 11:41 pm }

How about the multiple state and local employees who have never been part of the Social Security System, something that is very common in Florida.

I have no idea what some of the people in the small rural counties are going to do, because many people are still born at home, and family Bibles are the only records of their birth. A lot of them have boxes at small local post offices for a mailing address, because there is no local delivery, and situation that is very common in upstate New York.

This isn’t workable. It is going to obscenely expensive and extremely unpopular. The people who work in the driver’s license offices will be going nuts. They will be subject to unbelievable stress over this, as people get frustrated.

I’m just going to rant, and remind my neighbors that the Republicans did this to them at the national and state level.

6 hipparchia { 12.23.09 at 3:15 am }

With the military, intel, law enforcement, and teaching at public college, I am one of the most investigated people on the planet, and they want me to produce a bill mailed to me by the phone company as proof. It’s demeaning.


between being a former govt employee and doing lots of volunteer work with kids, i’ve been fingerprinted once or twice too. and yeah, the phone company msag is like totally reliable.
.-= last blog ..Light =-.

7 Steve Bates { 12.23.09 at 10:14 am }

I’m not in Florida, but I didn’t have to be there to experience a similar outrage on the federal level. I went in to change my physical address in USPS’s records for my post office box. I showed the clerk a copy of my application for a change of address on my Texas driver’s license. Her immediate response was so absurd I could scarcely believe it: “But you supplied them all that information. You may live there, or you may not. Show us something with your new address on, say, a bill.”

I confess I probably sighed… never a wise move… and replied, “All instances of my address, anywhere at all, were ultimately supplied by me. And at this point I haven’t lived in the new place long enough to receive any bills.”

The clerk gave me a look that could set anything on fire, stared at the application again, and said, “Well, OK, I’ll approve it. But I’m putting a note on your record that you have to supply the required identification at a later time.”

I was a state government employee for a decade, so I know it’s not something that automatically happens to government workers after some number of years… not ALL of them suddenly turn into blithering bureaucratic idiots…

8 fallenmonk { 12.23.09 at 11:36 am }

As I heard someone (DFH) say not too long ago…Let’s just get it over with and go get a government approved chip embedded in our foreheads.

It is not that bad yet in Georgia but I am just waiting for it to come since we are GOP controlled. I am in the same boat as Bryan. Multiple top secret codeword clearances, forer diplomatic passport holder, active crew on Airborne Command Posts, etc. etc. and I will still probably be required to show my cable tv bill to get my license renewed. I do have a passport though.
.-= last blog ..In A Nutshell =-.

9 Bryan { 12.23.09 at 12:01 pm }

OTOH, my red official duty passport was pretty much designed to lie from cover-to-cover. I gave that piece of fiction back to the government as soon as I was allowed to. There were excellent reasons for what was in it, but I would have not been happy to have ever been stopped while carrying it.

There’s a good chance that Georgia will decide not to go along now that there is a supposed Democrat in the White House. It will definitely cost money and slow down the process.