The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up  Green editions icon Green editions

Oregon woman, 94, gets driver's license after snag

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
Associated Press
Published:
GOLD HILL, Ore. -- A 94-year-old Southern Oregon driver who had problems renewing her license because of anti-terror laws can now legally get behind the wheel after four months of uncertainty.
Helen Mary Thomas of Gold Hill was born in rural Tennessee, no doctor was present and no birth certificate was issued.
But since 2008, as a guard to prevent terrorists from getting phony IDs, the state of Oregon has been requiring drivers to prove citizenship to renew their licenses -- generally by presenting a birth certificate or passport.
After Thomas couldn't show she was a natural-born U.S. citizen, the Medford Mail Tribune published an account of her difficulty.
State transportation officials first issued a temporary license and then accepted census records from 1930 and 1940, state voter registration records and her old driver's license to prove citizenship, the paper reported Wednesday.
"Mom is back in good spirits," said her son Douglas, who lives in Boise, Idaho. "She sounds like a huge, weighty concern has been lifted from her."
Thomas said that she hopes to drive for another year.
"I drive a lot less now, but I'm still a good driver," she said.
The state legislation followed the federal Real ID Act or 2005. The law was aimed at stopping terrorists from using illegally obtained driver's licenses to access airports and government buildings.
Now that license renewals are on an eight-year cycle, Oregonians are beginning to confront the citizenship requirement, said David House, spokesman for the Driver and Motor Vehicles Services Division.
It is unusual for a natural-born U.S. citizen not to have a birth certificate, but the department tries to work with residents in such circumstances, he said.
Thomas is in the final steps of getting a delayed birth certificate from the state of Tennessee, her son said.
------
Information from: Mail Tribune, http://www.mailtribune.com/

More Northwest Headlines

NEWSLETTER

HeraldNet Headlines

Top stories and breaking news updates

Calendar

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus