New York State driver’s licenses are a joke

New York Governor Spitzer has decided recently that his state is going to issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.

The decision is wrong in so many ways that it boggles the imagination. Across the country, driver’s licenses are an accepted form of photo identification. A driver’s license is a valid “ticket to ride” in all sorts of situations, from getting loans to opening bank accounts to getting credit cards to … proving citizenship and voting. And Governor Spitzer wants to give one to everybody, including illegal immigrants.

This in the state where the 9/11 terror attacks were focused, a state that shares an international border with Canada and its suspected terrorist cells.

Not that New York was issuing solid gold driver’s licenses before. I lived there a few years ago, and I think the only ID I had to supply was my marriage license to a local man, and a valid driver’s license from my former state of residence. I was amazed when, a few months later, I went back to ask if I could change the name on my license back to my maiden name. They issued the new license, with the new name, on the spot, no questions asked. What’s with that? I couldn’t believe it, actually, but I was quite happy to leave with my new license and old name.

In contrast, when I moved to Colorado two years ago, I had to jump through a lot of hoops to get a license. I went into the tag agency with my current, valid out-of-state license and my original 62-year-old birth certificate (I was so proud of myself for having such iron-clad identification). Not good enough! The woman insisted the birth certificate had to have the registrar’s certified stamp on it. (It did have the original embossed stamp on it, but she said it had to be a visible ink stamp.) So, I had to write to the state where I was born, send them a copy of my photo ID (read driver’s license), an application, and a hefty check to boot. Several weeks later, the new official birth certificate arrived and I was able to go back to the tag agent and get my new license.

While I was annoyed at having to go to such lengths to get a new license, I could appreciate Colorado’s concern that illegals not obtain this valuable form of identification. Why New York’s governor, in contrast, would willingly give such a document to illegal immigrants is beyond my comprehension.

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