We’ve been abroad for 2 Decades
We need State ID
Just a couple of days after arriving in Indiana in mid-January, we went to the Indiana BMV, the Department of Motor Vehicles. Feyma wanted to apply for an Indiana Driver’s License. I would apply for an Indiana State ID.
I am unable to drive
I cannot drive (at this time) due to a serious eye problem that I have. I plan and hope to get my eye issue fixed here in the United States. It is something I have been battling for several years now. I had multiple treatments in the Philippines, and they did help but did not completely solve the problem.
Anyway, that is not really part of this story, but rather an explanation of why I am not applying (yet) for a driver’s license.
When we went into the BMV and explained why we were there, they asked how long we had been living in the State. We told them just a few days, but we were here permanently. Sorry, Charlie. They said we cannot get an ID or a Driver’s License.
They gave us some papers that outlined a new Federal Law. This law requires that when people apply for a new Driver’s License or State ID, they must have lived in the state for 2 months or more and be able to prove it. We were told that the proof would be presenting at least 2 months of utility bills or other such bills which were addressed to us and mailed to the address where we live in the State.
So, no way we would be allowed to get any kind of State ID.
We were told that this law is brand new and just went into effect shortly before our arrival and that it covers the entire nation now.
How about our Passports?
My first thought was that we would not have problems because we have our US Passports, and those should suffice as Government issued ID. Well, they should. But, they don’t always.
You would be surprised at how many Americans don’t know what a passport is. If they have heard of a passport, they often have no idea what a passport looks like. So, sometimes when an ID is needed, we have nothing that will suffice.
The only IDs that I have
Currently, I have 3 different official Government issued IDs.
- US Passport (many don’t recognize it, as mentioned)
- Philippines ACR I-Card (Immigrant Card)
- Philippines Postal ID Card
Obviously, local folks really don’t recognize or accept the Philippine ID cards. The US Passport is acceptable most, but not all, of the time.
Chris was Sick
A couple of weeks ago, Chris was sick. Feyma asked me if I could go to Walgreen’s (about a 5 minute walk away) and buy some cold medicine for him, and I was glad to do so.
I walked up to Walgreen’s, found the Cough & Cold medications and chose one. Took it to the checkout counter. They started ringing me up and said”
Can I see your ID, please?
Huh? ID to buy over the counter medication? Yep.
Apparently, this type of medication is something that people buy and use to make meth, so although it is over the counter, it is monitored and tracked. You must show ID to buy it. I explained the situation and they agreed to try my Philippine ID, but the computer system would not recognize it, of course. After talking with management, they agreed to take my information manually and let me buy the medication. However, they told me that if I needed more of the medicine they would not be able to help me.
The basis of this new law
I was told by the clerk at the BMV that this new law was put into place in an attempt to control the flow of illegal immigrants here in the country. Hey, I am very pro-immigrant (my wife is an immigrant after all), but they should be legal immigrants. So, I am in favor of taking steps to ensure that people are here legally.
However, this law has the intended consequence of creating problems for people like myself, my wife, and our son. We are all US citizens, but even though we can prove our US Citizenship (Passports) we are not allowed to get a State Issued ID here!
It seems crazy.
Other Crazy Things
This is just one of the crazy things we have run into after being out of the United States for a long, long time. There are others as well, and I will be writing about those too.
Just don’t ask me to show you ID. 😉
I am not far from your problem now also. I will need to get a new Indiana State ID card with the same requirements you are talking about because, when my Indiana Drivers license was expiring, I could not read the eye test to get it renewed. I have glaucoma and my vision is deteriorating. My bank didn’t like my expired driver’s license as an ID, but I also had my bank’s debit card connected to the account I was accessing, so I could get money anyhow. Note I’ve live at our present address now for 12 years and this was at a bank branch I regularly use.
Amazing, Larry. Sometimes our government does things without thinking them all through.
I hope your eye condition improves, good luck to you.
Ah yes, the new “real ID” law. In 2020 everyone will need a real ID to fly on an airplane and everything else. When you and family do get your ID’s or drivers license make sure you get the new one. It will have a black star on the upper right top, and intergrated bio-data. Good luck edpecially if your adult children don’t have bills coming to them petsonally. I suggest at least a cell phone bill.
Yep! You hit the nail on the head. I’ve been looking into it more. Crazy law.
Hi Bob!! I’m sorry to read about your problem. I also could not get real i.d. driver’s license when I renewed mine. What caused this issue for me was that my u.s.a. passport identifies me by my full birth name with my married surname. I had my birth certificate, my marriage license, my passport, my soon to expire drivers license, current billing statements with current addresses, my voter registration card & my social security card. I needed 2 pics of i.d. to match my passport identically…non did, so I was denied a real i.d. drivers license. Clerk says, you dont “need” the real i.d. license, you have a passport that wont expire for another 8 years!! S.M.H.!!
Now, to address changing everything (or at least 2 additional pieces of i.d.) to match my passport….grrrrr
Hi Kate. What a pain this is! I hope I have everything I need next month. That is when I will have two months of billings.
Welcome back to America Bob!!!, I wish I could send you some of our liquid snow from New Orleans , please be patient, the new id, with star on it is only to fly in usa
I saw that you can still fly without that kind of ID if you bring a passport.
By the way keep that liquid snow, we don’t need any, we’ve got the real stuff here.
RANDY JOSEPH WEIS
I switched my Fl DL to an Ohio DL shortly after getting here. All I needed was my passport and something with my home address on it, not 2 months worth of bills.
Sorry, not on point, but will you be continuing “live in the philippines?”
Ihhh… No, I just left the Philippines to live in the USA.