My blogging buddy, Helly, was lamenting in her latest post about taking the day off to get her driver’s license renewed. She was wondering if it was just Georgia that was giving its drivers such grief about their renewals. No, California has been vigilant now for a number of years. It’s all post 9/11. You have to be who you say you are, and some of us have more than one identity.
When I renewed my driver’s license in 2004, I was quizzed to the nth degree about all my names in the California DMV’s database. When I got my first license in 1968, my name was Mary Delaine Kissinger. That’s the legal name on my birth certificate so that was the name I used on the license application. But I went by Delaine. Always have.
In 1975, when I got married, I really wanted to keep my maiden name and go on with life as I had known it. If I knew then what I know now, I would have fought the naysayers and gone ahead with that plan. In 2012 it is quite acceptable for married women to use their maiden names. I have a few friends who have done this, even after having children, but in 1975 it was still looked at askance by polite company. So, I dropped the Mary, which I had never used, and added Zody on the end. All my identification became Delaine K. Zody. When I started teaching, it became dkzody, which is how this blog came to be so titled.
But, getting back to the man at the DMV counter. Since my first driver’s license had the name Mary Delaine Kissinger, I had to keep that. Then I had to prove I was really married which meant going home to get my marriage certificate. This is the form the minister signed and gave us when we got married way back in 1975, but by 2004, this government agent didn’t accept it very graciously.
“You need the marriage certificate that was recorded with the hall of records.”
Oh, no. What if it was never filed? What if we aren’t really married? All these crazy thoughts ran through my head.
“For this one time, I’ll allow this form, but I am noting it on your file that you need to bring in the certified copy the next time you renew your license.”
As you can probably guess, I immediately went to the hall of records, got the marriage certificate (it had been filed, we really are married), my husband’s birth certificate, and then went to the next city over, and got my birth certificate. With those pieces of paper, I ordered passports for both of us. Passports are much more legitimate forms of identification in this day and age, post 9/11.
Getting back to the driver’s license and car registration. Mary Delaine Kissinger Zody. Takes up a lot of room. Also, I get called Kissinger-Zody quite a lot at my car dealer where I go for service. They never know whether to file the paperwork under Zody or Kissinger. Should have just kept the Kissinger all these years. Lesson learned. Too late