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
With protest over, Shell prepares for Arctic Ocean drilling Lawsuit over lease for Shell Arctic drilling fleet rejected Higher wages a surprising success for Seattle restaurant Court denies Medina millionaire’s release from Montana jail Prosecutors charge man in fatal Bonney Lake crash Woman, 87, goes missing while picking berries in Skamania County New wildfire burns at least 8 structures in Mason County Judge tosses lawsuit seeking Kurt Cobain death-scene photos
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.