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SLOAN COLUMN: Getting a REAL ID is going be a REAL pain

on Tuesday, 03 March 2020. Posted in Columns, Opinions

SLOAN COLUMN: Getting a REAL ID is going be a REAL pain

No one, I mean no one, likes going to the department of motor vehicles. If they say they do, they are either lying or something is very, very wrong with them.

For those wishing to travel by plane or visit a military installation after October, a quick (Ha! Did I say that?) trip to the DMV is likely inevitable. A REAL ID will be required to do either of those two things by the time Halloween rolls around. Some may be able to get away with purchasing a REAL ID online. Oh how I wish I was one those fortunate souls.

My trip to the DMV to get a REAL ID is guaranteed to be a REAL pain. How do I know this? Because I’ve been down this painful road once before.

I will hand over my required paperwork to the clerk. He or she will get a strange look on his or her face after seeing the date on my birth certificate is Jan. 14, 1962 while my Society Security card lists my birth date as Jan. 15, 1962.

“Do you know these don’t match,” the clerk will say?

“Yes, I know,” I will respond rather glumly, knowing what is about to follow.

“But why?” they then will ask.

At this point I will retell the story of how I came to have two birthdays for what will likely be the first of three or four times.

The story goes like this. I arrived in South Carolina in January of 2007. Being a new resident, I needed a South Carolina driver’s license with my new address. I had my State of Virginia birth certificate but I did not have a Social Security card. Let’s just say it had gotten lost or misplaced somewhere along the way. It should have been an easy problem to solve, needing only a quick trip (there I go again) to the Society Security office in Bennettsville.

I filled out the required form, turned it into the clerk at the window along with by birth certificate as proof of ID, and took a seat in the waiting area.

Some 30 minutes passed before my name was called. I returned to the window and was told by the clerk that there was a problem. It seems their records showed my birth date as Jan. 15, not Jan. 14.

I was as befuddled as they were. What do you say when someone says your birthday is not really your birthday?

“I don’t understand,” was all I could manage.

After discussing the dilemma with no less than three people, it was decided that they could only go by their own records. Not knowing what else to do, I said okay. A Social Security card was issued to me with my “new” birth date.

And just like that, I had two birthdays.

After a lengthy wait at the DMV, it was decided the birth date on my new license should reflect that of my “new” birthday. I

I don’t need to tell you that momma was more than a little perturbed when informed that, according to Uncle Sam, her baby boy was not born on the day she delivered me. I laughed and said I guessed all her labor had been in vain.

She was not amused.

I have tried to use this double birthday fiasco to my advantage. Two days to celebrate and twice as many presents, right? Nope. There are no benefits, I assure you.

And for the record, I celebrate my birthday on the same day as I always have. I trust my momma way more than I trust Uncle Sam.

I suspect my ensuing trip to the DMV to get my REAL ID will be as I have pointed out, a REAL pain. I feel pretty certain the results will be the same. They will side with Uncle Sam rather than the hospital and my sweet momma and my “official” birthday according to the state of South Carolina will remain as Jan. 15.

I share all this with you not in an attempt to persuade you not to get a REAL ID. You really do need to get one, no matter how agonizing the process might be. I’m sure it’s really not that difficult - unless, of course, you have two birthdays.

Contact Editor Bob Sloan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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