Today I went to replace a lost Social Security Card. Not because I wanted to but because the state of Georgia requires you present THE card when you “renew” your drivers license. They also require you to have a birth certificate, two utility bills to prove your proof of residency, and your current license for a picture. I.D. I was lacking the SS card so they gave me a temporary license.

I got to the SSI office an hour early and there was already a line. We shuffled through the doors and subsequent roped areas like cattle going to slaughter or mental patients waiting for their meds.

The first thing I see is a sign that said NO TEMPORARY ID.S.! Certainly they aren’t talking about me because that’s the reason I’m here! After a brief thirty minute wait they called me back to a row of windows that strongly resembled the visitors room at a prison.

I explained to the lady why I was there and she asked me for my license. She looked at it and said, “Sir this is a temporary ID.”

“Yes ma’am. Remember that’s why I am here?”

“Well sir we can’t take this.”

I didn’t want to alienate her but I was thinking, ” Why did you ask for it then?” So I said to her, ” I have other forms of ID. Here’s my birth certificate.”

“I t doesn’t matter Sir we can’t take birth certificates for two reasons. One. It shows you were born but it doesn’t prove that you are still alive.”

I put my head down and close my eyes and started counting. One. Two…..I made it to six and realized I had forgotten to take my meds this morning and looked up slowly. I said, Ma’am, it shows I was born and you have a picture ID on my license AND I AM SITTING RIGHT HERE IN FRONT OF YOU!!! (damn I should have counted some more).

“Well Sir I can’t reference the picture ID because it is temporary. The second reason I can’t take the birth certificate is it’s not current.”

Now I am actually experiencing tremors. “No ma’am it is not current because it is a birth certificate AND I AM FIFTY-FOUR YEARS OLD!!!!!!!!!!!

I gave the lady my DD214 with a pay stub attached. I gave her my honorable discharge.

“No sir I can’t take these either.”

“Ma’am that is paperwork from the U..S government, which happens to be your employer, with my SS number on it.”

“Yes sir but they are from years ago. I need something more recent. How about some medical records?”

Ah Hah! I produce a statement from the VA for the meds I take.

“Sir this a bill. Not records with your birthdate on it”

“I gave you my birth certificate!”

‘Yes sir but you have a temporary ID.”

I put my head down and picked up where I left off….seven, eight, nine, ten.

I slowly looked and leveled my gaze and leaned forward so we could look eye to eye. I said as I was putting my medical paperwork from the VA back into the folder in as even and low voice that I could muster, “Ma’am, if you knew what this prescription was for and also knew that I forgot to take them this morning, you would be very proud of me. My doctors would be proud of me. In fact I am proud of me. I am leaving now…but I’ll be back. Have a very good day.

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27 Responses to HUH?

  1. letstalkaboutfamily says:

    I am sorry the new voter ID rules have caught you in a catch 22. You may know the Republicans added these laws to prevent voter fraud. To me it is a solution to a non existent problem. I hope you can get your drivers license without any more issues!

  2. Oh my goodness, you are better than I, I would have been crying!! I went through something similar here in Canada, because I have epilepsy. They sent me to an abusive doc, so they could be sure I haven’t had seizures…a doc who doesn’t know me at all, so all I had to do was tell him I’ve had no seizures. I had proof of that already, after that it was one gov. procedure after another. I think I ended up making at least 6-7 trips to the license bureau and was tuned away again for not having some piece of info. or other. Then I was granted a temporary, while they checked every province i lived in to make sure I could still drive…I did finally get my license. By the end I was in tears. In 5 years I have to prove all over again that I can still drive…!!! Sorry they tortured you. What are you going to do?

  3. The government does not make sense. It exists for its own pleasure, certainly not to serve citizens. Did I tell you about the time I went to DMV to register my electric car and the cleck insisted that I go get a SMOG test?

  4. e1aine says:

    Ah, it’s not just England then!

  5. sandrabranum says:

    I also feel for the workers who are stuck having to work under these conditions hampered by these silly laws.

  6. Missy52 says:

    Whose on First?

  7. Terry says:

    oh how this reminds me of when I moved here to Indiana. I had to prove I was not an alien as the lady stated. I had to show everything but the darn bathroom sink and toilet. After two trips home and back I finally proved I am white and an American citizen. It is complete bull crap in my opinion what they did to you. Sorry to be so harsh, but we were born here for heaven sakes!

  8. Zen Doe says:

    OH! What a NIGHTMARE! I tell ya what… **I** am very proud of you!! I would have blown a gasket.

  9. I went through something similar here, after discovering that my bank details had been entered incorrectly on my account – as in, they’d spelled my name incorrectly.

    Being so used to seeing people spell it incorrectly, I hadn’t even noticed it.

    I needed it to obtain my driver’s licence – I don’t drive, and my previous one had expired years ago. I couldn’t get a new one until my bank card was correct. And I couldn’t correct my bank card without a valid driver’s licence.

    Honestly? I thought Australia was bad – such a nanny state because too many people sue each other.. but what you went through here?!

    I don’t know how you held it together, but I’m damn proud of you!

  10. sally1137 says:

    There is a reason they don’t permit guns in federal offices. You just discovered it.

  11. You obviously have the patience of a saint! How infuriating 🙂

    • Wow! I’ve never been told of my saintly qualities before. I, at the time of the conversation, felt that my “patience” was merging and my old stealthy predatory personality was engaging . THIS is
      the reason we are separated by walls and windows. 🙂

  12. It sounds ridiculous and guess, staffers have some weird way to deal with things in may part of the world. Lovely blog:)

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