Englewood resident faces compliance issue with DMV

ENGLEWOOD — Englewood resident Garry Baxter faced a problem at the local Department of Motor Vehicles — a driver’s license renewal rejection with a birth certificate in hand.

‘They’re asking for a birth certificate from the county and they won’t accept a hospital birth certificate, which most people will have,’ Baxter said. ‘I brought my Social Security card, my driver’s license, bills from payments we make, my discharge papers.’

The Real ID Act requires at least one of five documents for compliance for renewal. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, for a Real ID complaint license an applicant requires: a valid, unexpired U.S. passport, original or certified copy of a birth certificate, consular report of birth abroad, certificate of naturalization issued by the Department of Homeland Security, or a certificate of citizenship.

Baxter said in his case they require a birth certificate from the county where you were born.

The certificate from the hospital ‘wasn’t acceptable,’ Baxter said. ‘You had to have the right birth certificate. Despite all the other documents I had. That makes it difficult, because you send for it and have to pay money to get it.’

Baxter said his birth certificate issued from the hospital did not contain the proper seal for compliance.

‘The first time I went there, they told me I needed my birth certificate,’ Baxter said. ‘They gave me a temporary license. When I went back a second time with my birth certificate, they wouldn’t accept that, so that’s two trips I had to make. I guess I’m not an American. This is just frustrating.’

Kim Jones, the deputy chief tax collector of Charlotte County, said there are exceptions made.

‘Florida is Real ID compliant,’ Jones said. ‘We do in some instances take a hospital record depending on what year they were born and everything. It depends on the information a lot of times too that’s out there. Some of them have seals on them. Basically it’s to make sure that things aren’t being forged and everything that we require documentation.’

Some changes have been made in recent years with the act to loosen up the restrictions. One of the changes made is an exception to those born in 1945 and prior.

‘Any changes that have happened go through Homeland Security,’ Jones said. ‘The state works with them, and we have been able to lighten up on some of the exceptions.

‘First, we weren’t even allowed to even use any military forms of ID or Social Security number. We’re allowed to do that now with them showing the Medicaid card. Things like that, we weren’t (allowed) at first. Things evolve continually on it whenever Homeland Security give exceptions on. So we allowed some of the hospital birth records.’

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About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News, Examiner.com, and Tampa Tribune.
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