Georgia cancels drivers licenses of some married women

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. Principessa

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    Some married women have drivers' licenses canceledName on license, Social Security card must match, state saysBy LATEEF MUNGINThe Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionPublished on: 09/24/07
    Attention Georgia married women: If you took your husband's last name, your driver's license might be canceled.

    In an effort to comply with state and federal laws, the state Driver Services Department has been checking its database against the records at the Social Security Administration. If the name on your license does not match the name on your Social Security card, the state will move to cancel your license.

    That could happen for a variety of reasons. For example, if a newlywed changes her Social Security information but not the name on her license, her information could be flagged by the state. Likewise for divorces.

    The only warning drivers get is a letter sent to their last known address informing them that they have 120 days to clear up the discrepancy. The state concedes that this has caused problems with many people, especially married women. But officials with the Driver Services Department can't say how many of the state's 6 million drivers have been notified during the four-year effort — or how many have had privileges revoked.

    Shermekka Taylor of Suwanee can tell you about one.
    While shopping for a better insurance rate this month, Taylor learned that her license had been canceled in 2005.

    "I was so angry," said Taylor, a stay-at-home mother who said she was cooped up in her house for five days trying to get her license back. "I called a clerk and she said the letter had been sent to the wrong address. I began e-mailing my friends and found about 15 women who went through the same thing. I just wonder how many people are affected by this."

    Two years ago, Driver Services officials said they were sending out as many as 5,000 warning letters a week. They didn't offer an estimate last week.
    A call seeking comment from Department of Driver Services Commissioner Greg Dozier were referred to Jennifer Ammons, the general counsel for the agency.

    "We have had a lot of mail returned," Ammons said. "If somebody does not update their address with us, it is hard to contact them. But we have been doing this Social Security verification process for four years, and we have tried to publicize it."

    The agency has been included in several news stories on the issue, Ammons said. The agency posted fliers and gave handouts at their customer service centers.

    This effort dates to 2003, when the agency started collecting Social Security numbers because of the passage of the Federal Real ID Act, Ammons said. Another intent of the process was to help welfare agencies track parents who owe child support, Ammons said.

    The agency then started checking the names, birth dates and Social Security numbers of drivers against what the Social Security Administration has on file. The state is about 90 percent through the process of checking more than 6 million records, Ammons said.

    In 2005, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin received a letter saying her license was going to be canceled because Social Security files had her maiden name and a name from a previous marriage. Franklin was able to clear the problem quickly.

    Others have not been so lucky.

    "Typically, married women have been the majority of the drivers who have been affected by this," Driver Services spokeswoman Susan Sports said. "People have been stopped by police and surprised."

    Karen Thomas of metro Atlanta got just that type of surprise when she was pulled over in November.

    "I was stunned when the officer told me about my license," said Thomas, who said the officer allowed her to drive home. "I could have been arrested, and I never received a letter."
     
  2. hypoc8

    hypoc8 Member

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    And I thought South Carolina did stupid shit!
     
  3. submit452

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    In the valiant effort to save us from futher terrorism, we have therefore decided to make your life miserable to save us from the big bad terror monster. Thank you Congress for taking our Drivers Licenses away and not ending this fiasco of an Illegal war.
     
  4. Hockeytiger

    Hockeytiger Active Member

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    Yes, people need to be saved from their own laziness. If you move or change names you need to change your driver's license (or in some states, merely inform the appropriate agency of the changes).

    In most states all you have to do is file an address change with the US Post Office and present your marriage certificate to the DMV. For most states, that's it.

    People have always had to do this, but elect not to be bothered. I don't understand why the AJC feels it necessary to imply the state is at fault when it is the driver's responsibility to keep their records up to date.
     
  5. DC_DEEP

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    Illegal. Illegal. Illegal.

    NJQT, do you remember when you first moved to Georgia, and I warned you in PM about several things to "brace yourself" for? This is one of them.
    Could you possibly be more naive? Of course, it is the responsibility of the individual to keep their "official information" up-to-date. It is patently illegal, though, for either the DMV or the SSA to divulge or share any of that personal information. They do it anyway, and people are afraid to refuse to tolerate it.
     
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