June 3, 2010

The Great State of Utah's Insanity

I'm trying not to get overly impassioned about this, but the Great State of Utah's Department of Motor Vehicles reared its ugly head yesterday with a little preview of where we might be headed in terms of proving who we actually are. I just really can't believe what happened. Joe calls me from the DMV where he has gone to get a motorcycle license so that he can start riding his scooter to work in order to save our family some gas money and save the planet some resources. I had sent him out the door with his social security card and the birth certificate with his two little sweet baby footprints on the back for his proof of identity. He calls and asks, "Do you have any other birth certificate for me in that pack of documents you keep?"

"I sent you with your only birth certificate!" I replied.

"They're telling me that this is just a hospital souvenir and not valid as identification."

What?!?!? Just over a year ago they issued him a regular driver's license with that birth certificate! The name on the flip side of those tiny footprints and below the words "BIRTH CERTIFICATE" matches the one on his Social Security card and his license that they gave him!

We talked a bit more about it when he got home. I asked why the license they issued wasn't ID enough. Joe had asked them this as well and their reply was insanely that they didn't recognize licenses issued before 2010 anymore as they have beefed up their requirements. Now, even when a seasoned Utah resident is there to renew their license they will be required to provide a birth certificate that isn't just a souvenir from the hospital no matter how cute and tiny the footprints are.

Joe, believing this to be the result of our country's increasing obsession with illegal emigrants as the economy tanks, attributed all that's wrong with our country to Americans' obsession with smiting the illegals. Usually this is where I defend the folks on both sides of the debate and tell him that it just isn't so black and white. But this time I just couldn't. It does seem that some one's obsession with weeding out the "them" is making things more than just a little ridiculous for the "us."

The length we seem to be going to in order to clearly delineate the "them" from the "us" is out of hand. Joe, of course, points out that part of what's "ours" was "theirs" before the "us" came in and killed enough of "them" to make it "ours." Man! If only the world were a simpler place. If only we were all part of the "us" and we could see, like in the idealistic Disney version of Pocahontas, that "no one owns the land." All of these lines are man made and subject to change with enough bloodshed.

Okay...I've gotten a little off topic and excited here. I'll try to simmer and not make this a speech on unity and oneness (although it may be warranted).

In order to ride his scooter to work legally, Joe will likely have to personally appear at the county records office in his home town in California (or possibly have his mother do it) because you can't just call and request a fax of a document like that anymore. And I wonder what form of ID they will want there. Perhaps they will have heard that Utah's licenses are bogus and they will simply need a small drop of blood for verification. Anyway, we won't be in California again before September, so another summer will have gone by with us guzzling unnecessary gas and juggling car days with band and choir and culture club.

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