In 2006, I received an official notice that my drivers license would be cancelled, signed by Mr. Alan Watson, licensing and records for the State of Georgia. The notice stated that the Department of Drivers Services, (DDS) had partnered with the Social Security Administration and “during the verification process we were unable to match one or more areas.” Then gave my date of birth and social security number. The date of birth was incorrect and the record showed a 4-year difference in age.

The reason there was a 4-year difference in the records of the DDS and Social Security is because the office of DDS had made an error and mistook a four for a nine, a number of years prior. At the time it happened I went to a local DDS office in Atlanta and tried to have it corrected, and they would not change the date. Therefore I kept the license as is and renewed everytime it was due, with the incorrect birth date. The error in birth date was not mine but in the office of the DDS, typing in a nine instead of a four.

No problem for me for a number of years until the Patriot Act went into effect. As I understand it, the federal government ordered all states to provide up-to-date records, before qualifying for federal funds from the federal government. Therefore the state went on this witch hunt to check drivers license records and make sure they matched Social Security records. As I understand, this was to ferret out aliens and criminals, who might have falsified records in order to obtain a drivers license.

At the time I received the notice, I had been driving over fifty years with no violations on my record, not even a parking ticket.

The notice required I furnish a birth certificate or a passport or military records. I went to the SS office and obtained a copy of their record of birth date and took to the local DDS office, but it was refused as evidence of correct birth date. Then I presented a military dependents ID, and a copy of my passport. They had expired and DDS refused to accept as having any validity to establish correct birth date, and kept insisting on a birth certificate.

My mother gave birth to me at home and I had no birth certificate. As I recall she had furnished an affidavit attesting to my birth in this country, before she passed, which was sufficient for an SS card, passport and military ID. However, in correspondence back and forth with DDS, they insisted on a birth certificate and if I did not have one, informed me I must “create” one. Which I refused to do.

To create a birth certificate requires a great deal one must do. It would mean going back to county of birth, researching and obtaining all sorts of records, from persons, places, schools and etc. The absurdity of such demands was so unreasonable to me, I simply refused to go that route. I had spent twenty-four years as a military wife, with a husband who had fought in three wars for the Freedom in this country. Spent four years in a foreign country with a passport and had a Social Security card since high school.

I was busy working and about six months later, my son was almost killed by a drunk driver, and my time and attention was on that, when I received a notice to move from an apartment complex I had lived in for ten years in Atlanta, because they were scheduled to be torn down and all residents had to relocate.

I decided to relocate to a town about fifty miles north of Atlanta to be near where my son lived and was recuperating from the accident, in which he was seriously injured. Finding another place to live and all the work and trouble involved in moving was very traumatic, and dealing with the threat of drivers license cancellation was not a priority.

This was in 2006. After completing the move I went to the post office to have my address changed and learned my drivers license had been cancelled. I parked my vehicle in the rear of my new residence and never drove again. After getting settled into my new residence, I began efforts to have my license reinstated. I started with letters to the Georgia governor, Sonny Perdue, which were always forwarded to other departments. Then I wrote to various personnel in the DDS.

Each letter I wrote always came back with instructions as to what I should do. Like furnishing a letter of “hardship” as a result of not being able to drive, then a notice to file an appeal at their office in Conyers, Georgia. Plus continuing demands to create a birth certificate.

I furnished copies of passport, military ID and complied with as many of their requests as possible, but always denied the demand to create a birth certificate. I continued with correspondence back and forth to the governor’s office and various governmental offices, always reminding them the error on the birth date was their mistake and not mine. I wrote letters to the governor up until the day he left office, when he continued referring me to the DDS. He left office in January of this year, 2011.

Which means I have been battling the State over cancellation of my drivers license for five years, and still getting the same run-around and refusal to reinstate. My last letter to Governor Perdue is dated January 2011, and his response was to contact Mr. Greg Dozier, Department of Drivers Services. I wrote Mr. Dozier a lengthy letter on January 29, 2011 and never received an answer.

Continued in Part two




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