Monday, June 16, 2014

Papers, Please

It requires less documentation to get a United States passport than it does to renew your driver’s license in Florida.

Here’s what you need to get a passport:

Passport Docs 06-16-14

That and a photo and $135 and you can travel the world… or Windsor, Ontario.

Here’s what you need to renew your drivers license in Florida:

Florida License Docs 06-16-14

Proof of citizenship includes a government-issued birth certificate, a valid U.S. passport or naturalization papers, plus your original Social Security card, and proof of residential address such as recent utility bills or mortgage receipts.

Gee, I wonder why that is.  The usual excuse is that these heightened requirements were put in place to prevent terrorists from getting false documents and doing evil things.  Except that the State Department rules are pretty much the same as they were when I got my first passport in 1971, and Florida waited until 2009 to change the rules, including adding the proof of residency and citizenship.  (When I got my first Florida license in 2002, all I did was turn in my old one from New Mexico.)

So what happened in 2009 that made the Florida legislature become such hard-asses about letting people have the privilege of getting stuck on the Palmetto Expressway?  Any thoughts?

3 barks and woofs on “Papers, Please

  1. Florida signed on to the Real ID Act – which was passed in 2005. Timing for the adoption is questionable, but perhaps merely despicably coincidental since they’re implementing a federal law that had been on the books for four or five years.

    I went through exactly the same hoops in 2003 and at renewal in 2010 (I think): first time it was just turn in my CA DL (which since Cali has higher standards meant I got a Class D license instead of the usual automobile-grade Class E), second time it took passport, birth certificate, voter ID card, utility bill AND my old license.

    VA, interestingly enough, did not sign on to Real ID. So getting a license here meant pulling out the same ream of documents FL required – despite having from FL a legal identification that was supposed to be recognized as proof that I’d already jumped through all the hoops.

    Looking at the map of states “in compliance” it’s interesting to see who’s bought in and who hasn’t. Seems there’s a tug-o-war between the states that fear Teh Immmgrunt and Teh Terrrrrist, and the ones that oppose a national ID card because of Agenda 21 and black helicopters or something (funny that they hate a national ID, but don’t seem to have a problem with a passport).

  2. My wife had to show our marriage certificate because her last name
    (the one on her old driver’s license) was not the one on her birth certificate. It took us several weeks getting all the required documentation we never needed before.

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