The Identity Crisis

It started several weeks ago on Bethany's birthday, with an application for a learners permit.

We gathered up all of the neccessary documentation. As it turns out, Bethany has A LOT of documenation since she was born in Panama while John was serving there with the army when she was born.

However, regardless of the ream of official paperwork proving her identity, the DMV couldn't issue the permit. A typo on the report from the US Consular meant that she didn't have three forms of ID that matched. Never mind that both parents have the same last name and that the birth certificate and social security card matched. The extra "N" inserted into our name on the very official US Consular's report of "live birth abroad" rendered it all useless. The DMV actually suggested that we get her social security card changed the wrong spelling to match. Sigh.

After figuring out what it would take to correct the consular's report, talking with an attorney about getting a name change (yes, that was possibly required), yada, yada....it appeared that we were at the mercy of the Passport office. If we could renew Bethany's passport (the Army hospital made sure she got one at just a few days old so we could get her out of the country when we transfered) then that would be all of the ID she needed. We pulled out the passport. AAARGH! It had the same typo as on the consular's report.

I don't completely understand why dealing with the agencies that handle such things has to be such frustrating business. Why couldn't anyone simply look at the report and say..."Oh, clearly there was a typo."

To shorten the story, I spent a day at the passport office and had to fill out an affidavit that she'd been going by an alias (which just happens to be HER REAL NAME) for sixteen years. Silly I know.

Yesterday, Bethany got her passport in the mail--which I told her she can never, EVER, let expire--and she went to get her permit.

There was joy and dancing in the land.
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall