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Letter to the Editor: State too fussy about proof of birth

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

To the editor:

It is time to renew my driver's license. I was denied a renewal because all I had for a birth certificate was a certificate with a background of the U.S. Capitol that said, "United States of America, Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Notification of Birth Registration." The certificate shows the date of my birth and testified that a record of it is preserved under a file number in the office of vital statistics in Des Moines, Iowa. It is signed by the census director and a special agent of the census bureau.

On the back side, the certificate says, "This certificate should be carefully preserved as a record which in future years may prove valuable evidence regarding the birth of your child." "Except in Missouri" should have been added to that statement.

That certificate was good enough for the Department of Defense and U.S. Navy in World War II, but Missouri insists that I send $10 to Iowa for some clerk to send me a piece of paper telling me when I was born so I can renew my driver's license. Then Missouri can collect another $10 for a three-year driver's license, because I'm over 69 years old and considered a teenager again.

If the current administration in Washington grants immunity to illegal aliens, I would like to also be included.

JAMES HOCHBERGER, Jackson