Neither Kim nor I have passports or our Real ID.
And time is growing short. If you want to fly domestically, or enter a Federal building, or perhaps even a nuclear power plant, you have to have your Real ID – indicated by a star on the upper right hand corner of your driver's license – by October 2020.
Thank you, Homeland Security.
On Friday, we put the wheels into motion. In addition to a certified birth certificate, Kim also needs her certified marriage certificate to prove that her legal last name is no longer Martin, but Wehrle.
So it was off to the Register of Deeds on Friday afternoon. I expected to be behind a ton of people at the counter, but there was no line and it all turned out to be a relatively painless process. The only identification Kim needed to get her copies of her certified documents was her driver's license – which has yet to have its Real ID stamped on it – and a 20 dollar bill.
Huh? I found this to be rather ironic. All she needed was her driver's license to get the documents she needs to prove she is who she says she is in order to get her security conscious Real ID that basically gives her access to anywhere in the nation?
Outstanding. Multiple levels of bureaucracy. Is this a great country, or what?
While Kim's quest was relatively easy, mine could be a bit more problematical. My certified birth certificate is presumably on file with the Register of Deeds at the Lehigh County Courthouse in Allentown, PA, the city where I was born 68 years ago.
So now I have to put those wheels into motion. Can I get a copy of my certified (stamped with a county seal) birth certificate online? Or with a telephone call? A written request? And how do I prove that I'm me to get the document I need to prove that I'm me when I'm 500 miles away? This all seems a little loopholish to me.
Please tell me I don't have to make my third trip to Pennsylvania is six months to make a personal appearance to get this done.
I can see all kinds of crevices I can fall through.
I guess I'll find out soon enough. I'll be calling the Lehigh County Register of Deeds tomorrow for instructions.
Then the real fun begins: making an appointment at the driver's license office to get my Real ID. I can't wait.