Monday, April 12, 2010

Missing paperwork holds up ID card


FT MEYERS - Patsy Richey, 75, needed a state ID so she could do her banking and cash her Social Security checks in the name Richey. The name matched the one on her driver's license, but it expired and she no longer drives.

Her son, Rick Richey, said he mailed a request to Atlanta for a copy of his mother's marriage certificate and they said she must mail it to the county where she was married. Patsy Richey said she was married in Valdosta, Ga., but it wasn't in the records there, because it was obtained in another county. Patsy Richey couldn't remember where. Her husband, whom she divorced in 1976, died four years ago.

The credit union shut down Richey's bank account, moved the money to savings and wouldn't let her have access because she didn't have a valid ID and, without a marriage license, no way to get one.

"This is crazy. What is happening?" Cooper asked.

Richey is not the terrorist or undocumented immigrant these new rules are meant to thwart.

And the Department of Motor Vehicles recognizes this, I'm sure, which is why Ann Howard, its press secretary, assured me they will help Richey get her ID card.

Other people who are having problems also can get help on a case-by-case basis by contacting the department, Howard said.

"We knew this would be a learning curve with bumps involved, but we're doing well in Florida with hundreds of thousands of citizens getting this done properly," she said in an e-mail.

If you need a new license or ID, visit to see what documentation you will need.

I don't know how many are getting turned away from license bureaus because they don't have the proper paperwork. Although Richey's case is extreme, I doubt she's the only one to become entangled in the bureaucracy of national security.

- For more columns and reader forums go to Contact Tell Mel at 2442 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Fort Myers, 33901; 344-4772;

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