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. 😉