So I had to go in and get my new drivers license the other day.
Now, if you haven’t had to get a new “Secure I.D.” then when you renew your license, you are in for a bit of a shock….You have to provide much more documentation than you did before. Apparently, the State wants to make sure you are who you say you are, in order to make the whole drivers license as ID scheme better….
I had not traveled outside of the US for several years, so I had, foolishly let my US passport expire. As this is one of the documents that will satisfy the State that you are who you say you are, it was one stumbling block. for me…As I did not have (or at least could not find) a certified copy of my birth certificate either…
Thing is, there is no proof required to obtain a copy of a birth certificate…I did the whole thing online, and a few days later, at a cost of $34, I had a certified copy of a birth certificate in my name….
Same thing with the other documents. While they did not require that I prove my citizenship (why, I don’t know, as it would seem to be a part of the ID security…..mapbe because I don’t look hispanic?), I did have to provide “proof of residency”….which was a couple of bills in my name and with my address (They kept asking for a water bill, and I kept explaining that I had a well and didn’t have a municipal water hook up, but they didn’t seem to understand). I ended up using a gas company bill and an electric company bill. It did take a supervisor to approve these, since I couldn’t produce a “water bill”. Strangely, they refused to allow an Indiana CHL, even though it is on the list. (and at least that document means that someone has checked out my fingerprints!)
The third thing you need is a social security card. (again, I couldn’t find mine, so I had to go to the local Social Security Adminostration office to get one…What do you need to get a copy of your Social Security card? Nothing. Just fill out a form…DOB, Name, and SSN. I did have to also show my W-2.
The point of all this is that despite the big hoopla there is no more proof that I am who I say I am than there was with the old drivers license. I could literally be anyone. All it would take is about a months work to get documents in anyones name who has a birth certificate and a Social Security number.
But they get to charge mnore, and they get to make you jump through a whole lot more hoops, for no apparent gain.
I am tempted to collect a series of documents and change some bills around in order to get a “secure I.D” in someone else’s name, just to prove it can be done….If I have the time.
Oh, and I hope that the employees of the Indiana BMV are better quality than the TSA, as they have enough information (and copies of all relevant documents) to do some serious Identity theft should they want to.
If you need to renew, and your state does “Secure I.D.” then start early.
Especially if you want to have several ID’s to vote early and often. Not like it would be hard or anything.