Off the Grid and the “Real” ID

I’m at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

And my documents go flying out of my folder…

Birth certificate, Social Security card, proof of residence, voter registration card, a W-something form…

I lost track.


I gather it up again.

It was tough to get here.  It’s out in the middle of nowhere, off the interstate, off the bus grid.

I bicycle everywhere.  I don’t drive.   But you know that.

I’m not here to get a driver’s license.  I’m here to get a State ID.  Actually, it’s a Real ID now.   Everyone in the state has to get one before 2017.

A Real ID, which I’d never heard of until I got here, proves you’re not a terrorist.  That’s loosely it.  Read about it at the Department of Homeland Security website.  It’s unintelligible.

I’m a middle-class housewife.

I’m not a terrorist.

I cook vegetarian meals and read a lot.

People used to look at my birth certificate and laugh.  “Of course we’ll renew your library card.”

Now it’s all about the State ID/Real ID.

People should thank me daily for not emitting greenhouse gases.

Instead I can’t go to Canada without a passport.  I can’t get a passport without a State ID/Real ID.

It has gotten beyond ridiculous.

At the DMV we’re all sitting around looking at a giant screen waiting for our number to be called.  Most of us are getting State ID/Real IDs or driver’s licenses renewed.

It takes almost two hours.  An hour waiting, another hour getting it.  My documents are in order, my picture is taken, finally we’re done.  I’m not complaining:  the people at the DMV are very nice and very competent.

It’s the system.

Why do you have to go to the DMV if you don’t drive?  Why don’t they have an office downtown for non-drivers who need a State ID/Real ID?

And as to having to go out there to get your Voter Registration cards…

It ensures a lot of people aren’t going to be able to vote.

It is discrimination.  If you’re not zooming around the highway burning up oil, you shouldn’t be able to vote, get a library card, open a bank account…

Penalize the damned drivers!

No, I’m joking about that.

But it IS discrimination against the rest of us.

And we make a difference.

4 thoughts on “Off the Grid and the “Real” ID

  1. Apart from people not being able to get where real IDs are on offer, there will be many people who cannot get this documentation; this will disenfranchise them — that’s the point, to stop people from voting. As I’m sure you know.


  2. I have no passport and no driving license, so you can imagine the trouble I have – I’m starting to think I don’t exist!


  3. Ellen, it ISN’T easy to get the documentation, I agree. If you don’t work, it’s harder. They make it so hard to get documnents. that many people won’t bother. And nondrivers CAN’T get there anyway without a car, so it’s a moot point, unless you get a ride. .
    Nancy, I’ve never driven!
    Karen, possibly we’re just spirits.


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