Beware a power-tripping DMV

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Out of nowhere — due to a new law — I received a letter from Idaho Transportation Department, stating my CDL would be downgraded if I did not show proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent lawful presence within two weeks. I called and was told my passport would suffice. I took time off work, took a number, waited an hour and happily showed them my passport. Due to my passport having my full middle name and my license showing only my middle initial they refused my passport and told me I had to bring in my birth certificate, any marriage certificates and divorce decree!

I kept asking why and tried to explain that my other documents would all have my full middle name also! The supervisor kept saying it was ‘federal law’ and they needed all these documents to show my name from birth and how it has changed to my name now! It made no sense then and still does not. I was not happy! I will soon find out that they are the ones in control, the ones who are always correct and that no one is allowed to question them.

The next morning I once again took time off work and brought all the documents they requested of me. The supervisor and employee examined them thoroughly and the employee was actually reading my 15 page divorce decree from 25 years ago! She kept stating to me that my divorce decree says I was allowed to take back my maiden name.

She had in front of her my certified marriage certificates that proved I went from my first married name to my second and final married name-which all had my middle name on them! She scanned all except my divorce decree to Boise and called them (or pretended to call them). She kept repeating to Boise that I was allowed to take back my maiden name according to the divorce decree and also that the divorce decree was not certified. After approximately 20 minutes of being treated like a criminal because my driver’s license only has my middle initial on it she handed it all back to me and said they would not approve my CDL and I need to come back with a certified copy of my divorce decree!

I was treated with utter disdain for no reason and of course I was fuming with indignation! I was not happy and I let them know it. They were literally telling me they will cancel my CDL and for all they know take away my ability to work due to my driver’s license having only my middle initial. It does not make any sense! Or maybe it was because I questioned their authority? I can only imagine the employees and supervisor were on some sort of power trip and wanted to let me know they were in charge and I better never question anything they say or do, no matter how ludicrous it is.

After I left the DMV and had calmed down, I called Boise and explained to them what was going on. The very nice person I spoke with asked me to hold on while she checked what was scanned to my file. In a minute or so she came back on the phone and told me everything was OK and that my CDL was approved! She sounded a bit disgusted — as I was — with how I was treated.

As a side note: I DO drive for a living, but at this time I do NOT need my CDL for my current employment. I was a school bus driver for 14 years and that is why I have a CDL. I worked hard for it and it is not something you want to lose. I may have need of it in the future if I decide to return to school bus driving!

• • •

Kelly Young is a resident of Coeur d'Alene.

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