Sunday, January 31, 2010

Jumping through hoops in Florida....

Since when is your driver’s license NOT a proper form of identification?  Apparently. “new rules” have come out and even though you need to have one (or a state ID) for identification, it isn’t any good at the DMV itself. 

First, let me back the story up a bit... My husband needs to change the address on his license so that we can re-establish homestead.  Since we just got married, the property appraiser wants to make sure that we’re still living in the same place that I’ve had homestead at for the past few years.  Now, despite the fact that neither of us own any other homes, they still want to see proof that my husband has moved in and can’t claim homestead anywhere else.  Now, he would have to own a home himself in order to do that… and they obviously have access to who owns what, considering that they are the “property appraiser” and are the overlords of that particular database… therefore, they would have knowledge that he does not have another home in his name.  Also, both of our addresses were on the marriage license, showing where he lived before, and they obviously have a copy of that, since they found out we’re married and need to jump through these hoops.  So they see that he has been living here and they have access to the fact that he doesn’t own a home.  Yet we still have to show proof that he’s moved into my home and this is our place of residence.  Which means, showing a drivers license with this address on it (along with your voter’s registration showing the new address and two bills in his name at this address and whatever else they can come up with for us to show) which brings us back to the DMV….

So, we went to get his address changed on his license, but then found out that you need to have a ton of stuff to prove who you are.  Now, I understand that at other places, you could show a fake ID, but you would think that the DMV would be able to tell a fake ID from the real thing!  But NOOOOO, you need to bring either your birth certificate or a passport, your social security card and two bills in your name with the new address. (there are other options, but these are the most common... none of the options is showing your actual driver's license!)

Now, neither of us have a passport (it takes too long for us to go get one for this particular issue, and we're not going to spend $300+ to go get one at the moment) and how many people can produce their birth certificate on command?!?!  Well, surprisingly, my husband is one of those people!  I’m amazed!  So, now we can go and get his license and blah blah blah and take care of all of this crap before the deadline so we can get the homestead exemption for our property taxes. 

 But the really frustrating thing is the fact that we have to jump through all of these hoops if we show up in person… where they could obviously compare his driver’s license picture with his physical self and tell if it’s him and if it’s a real ID… but if we wanted to (and if we had time) we could simply fill out a form or make a call to an automated line available 24/7 and change it that way.  They would then send him a sticker to put on the back of his license showing the new address. (a sticker?  are you kidding me?!?!)  It would take 30 days (which we don’t have because we need to re-establish the homestead crap before then) but the fact that any shmuck can do this without all the hoops is ridiculous!  The form and the phone number can be found on the Florida DMV’s website… but the huge list of crap to bring for in-person service is not there.  At least, not that I could find.

So, correct me if I’m wrong, but if we were actually trying to get away with something less than legal, wouldn’t we just make the phone call or mail in the ridiculously simple form?  Why would we show up in person in a place swarming with police?!?!  This homeland security baloney has made it harder for the honest people to get anything done and easier for the bad guys to get around the system, in my humble opinion, anyway.  I mean, I just don't get it... maybe I'm too honest to understand why all the hub-bub.

So, is there any sane explanation for jumping through all these hoops when there are easier (and seemingly less secure) ways to take care of this stuff?  If so, I'd love to hear the "why's and wherefore's" for all this. 

What’s your story?  Do you have a frustrating story to share?  Do you have an opinion about mine?  Agree or disagree with my opinion?  I’d like to hear that we’re not the only ones who have to put up with this crap!


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