Thursday, August 02, 2012

The Metamorphosis, Part Two...

RE: My seemingly doomed quest to get myself a New York State-issued photo identification card.

I left this tale, oh gentle reader, in that most precarious of states; at a point where I had planned to pin my seemingly ever-fleeting hopes to the possibility that it would be possible to use the bureaucracy in order to fight the bureaucracy.

Here's what has transpired since.

I sent an e-mail to my city councilman, the Hon. James Oddo (R-Staten Island), and asked if it would be possible for his office to use it's considerable influence to cut through some of this bullshit bureaucratic red tape, or perhaps to just get in touch with someone at the NY State Department of Motor Vehicles so as to discover why it is that the DMV seems to have been overrun by unionized baboons.

Imagine my surprise when the councilman's office returned my communication the very same day! Talk about constituent services! If all levels and departments of government responded to a citizen's request for help and information this quickly, this country would be humming along just fine and dandy. I really must thank the councilman and his staff for their prompt attention in this matter.

Be that as it may, however, the story takes a turn for the bizarre, once again.

According to the councilman's office contacts at the State DMV office in Albany, someone at the local DMV here has been woefully misinformed. The issue is NOT that a photo identification is required in order to get a state identification card, it's only that it would be most helpful in establishing identity. One need only bring a collection of identity documents that represents six (6) points of identification, with various documents worth a defined number of points.

For example, a birth certificate issued by any state or municipal entity in the United States counts as two (2) points. A Social Security card, likewise, counts as two points.  There is an entire list of documents which will apply, at varying point totals.

You'll be surprised to know, for example, that presenting a copy of your high school diploma of GED certificate counts as a single point of identification.

Likewise, your ATM card, credit card, or a bank statement, counts as an identification, too.

The list, however, gets quite strange the further down you go. For example, the following items may be used to establish identity (incidentally, some of the items on this list do not appear on the Official List of Papers-that-count-or-whatever-it's-called available as public information at the DMV itself):

A pay stub with your name on it.

A Tax return form, a W-2 or 1099.

A letter from your Parole Officer (one surmises that by extension, a copy of your rap sheet also counts as a valid identification?).

A Medicaid or Food Assistance card.

Note: some of these, however, do not count as valid proof of address. That's a whole 'nuther ball of wax, and another six (6) points, so far as anyone knows.

Now, upon discussion with authorities in Albany, it would appear as if some dickheads lower down the food chain has not gotten the message that a valid photo identification is not necessary in order for the DMV to issue a state identification card. I don't know whether to be ecstatic over this development, or dismayed.

Dismayed because while I might be a Native-Born American, entitled to the card by virtue of my citizenship, one begins to wonder how easy it must be for non-native-non-citizens to obtain such a thing when no one really needs a photo identification, and then use the card for other purposes, like signing up for welfare benefits, getting driver's license, and -- perish the thought -- registering (illegally) to vote.

Somehow, my elation at not being required to present a valid photo ID is somewhat tempered by the fact that...well, no one else needs to, either!

As to WHY no one at the DMV seems to know this, there is no clear answer. Perhaps management hasn't told the drones, or maybe there's an unwritten rule to make life difficult for white men who speak proper English, but why it should have taken this long to get even this tidbit of information to me is inexplicable.

My application to the State of New York to acknowledge my existence is making it's way through the meatgrinder of Boss Tweed's Statewide Tammany Hall Enterprise, as we speak. Stay tuned.

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