Hello, it's me
I went to the BMV today to get a new Driver's License. I don't have to renew anything for several more years, but since my address has changed, I needed to update it.
I went there a couple days ago, only to be turned away because I didn't have enough ID. I was perplexed. Wasn't the possession of an Indiana DL proof enough that I was entitled to another one? Especially since my address change was only within the same county? Apparently not. I had to be prepared to prove my identity, my residency, and
my Social Security number. So I went back today, armed with my US Passport, last year's W-2 form, and two different bank statements addressed to me at my current home. This not only enabled me to get a DL, but one with a security feature on it that will now allow me access to federal buildings and so on with just my DL. (Surprise to me: I didn't know that I couldn't just flash a regular ID to enter anyplace in the State. For that matter, time was when nobody asked to see anything: you could just walk in, since as a member of the public you were considered one of the rightful sovereigns of the place.)
I figured all this insistence upon documentation was because of the epidemic of identity theft running through our society and the problem of illegal immigration entangled with it. So, okay. Times change, and we have to change with them. And the problem of fraud is one that has been with us for a long time, though often pooh-poohed by the pooh-bahs. Forty-four years ago, when Deanne and I had taken up residence in our first apartment following our marriage, we went down to the Vigo County Courthouse and registered to vote. I don't remember what we had to show to prove that we were eligible; nothing much, I don't guess. But I remember that later that week, we went to the Vigo County Public Library to get library cards, and when we had to prove our residency in the county, we attempted to use our brand-new Voter ID cards. We were refused. Apparently, being registered to vote in Vigo County wasn't proof that you actually lived there, at least in 1974.
One last wrinkle: they no longer hand you your new license when you go out the door. Nowadays, Homeland Security has to check everything, and they
send you your new DL at home. All I got was a receipt with my info on it and bearing a copy of my new DL photo. I had attempted to smile and look pleasant for the camera, but the man in the photo staring back at me looked so old and grumpy, and so tired -- like he hadn't slept for decades. What happened to me?
Time, like an ever-flowing stream,
bears all its sons away.