The Real ID Act: How good intentions have made a part of our life hell

ddsOne of the greatest challenges I’ve ever faced has continued to dog me since moving to Georgia.  You see, my own wife was adopted shortly after being born, but there is no record of the adoption, nor any source documentation we can find to prove her birth or baptism.  This has been a challenge with the advent of the Real ID Act, a piece of legislation which the U.S. Congress passed with the intent of controlling illegal immigration and combating terrorism.

Of course, with all acts stemming from good intentions, there are unintended consequences and my wife is one of thousands of Americans who are finding it difficult, if not impossible, to secure a new drivers license.

In Georgia, the Real ID statute is enforced in strict fashion.  According the Georgia Department of Driver Services, only a birth certificate, U.S. Passport, Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship, or equivalent record from a U.S. government agency.  “Keepsake” birth records or baptismal records don’t work, and anything short of that requires a special waiver granted by State of Georgia.  As of this point in time we have been able to assemble all required documents except the primary one, and that has required a certain degree of investigative work which has could honestly rival what journalists do when looking for a smoking gun.  Unfortunately, we haven’t found our informational Colt .45 yet, and it has become frustrating, because Georgia’s Department of Driver Services, while empathetic, has been unable and unwilling to bend.

I am now at the point where I am putting out a call to my readers and followers – if anyone happens to know how to find some of these “lesser known records,” or have connections within the State of Georgia who may be willing to help, I would be grateful.  This is a matter which has come about because our Congress, in its zeal to “protect,” ended up doing far more harm than good.  Obtaining a falsified birth certificate is not difficult, but it is a path that my wife and I, as law-abiding citizens, refuse to embark upon.  We would rather resolve this issue through legal channels and then work to adjust this very poorly written law to allow for accommodations to be made to those who are clearly U.S. citizens but, for one reason or another, do not have a birth record on file.  After all, the concept of birth certificates was actually devised as a means of eugenics during the early 1900s, when America was suffering from its first bout of the virus called Social Darwinism.

Just as a matter of record, I have put out multiple inquiries to state-level elected officials in Cobb County, Georgia and have received ZERO response.  It would seem they are more concerned about partisan bullshit than about helping people affected by poorly worded and enforced laws.

Anyone who can help me, please go to my Facebook page, or tweet me @GetinJohnshead.  I look forward to, and will be grateful for, all assistance or guidance.

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