PORT ST. LUCIE — The lack of a middle name typed onto his birth certificate decades ago kept a Port St. Lucie doctor from getting his driver’s license renewed under the new federal rules.
Before going to the state Division of Motor Vehicle office to renew his license last week, Jordan Bromberg gathered all the paperwork now required under the stringent Real ID rules that have been in place since the start of the year.
For his primary forms of identifications he brought his U.S. passport and the Social Security card he’s had since he was 12.
Bromberg, 52, figured he’d be in and out of the state’s Port St. Lucie office quickly with a state issued Real ID.
Since the start of the year, Florida, following federal guidelines, has required more backup documentation to get a license, renew the license or change one’s name or address on the ID card. The change was part of the federal “Real ID” Act of 2005, designed to combat terrorism and fraud by toughening ID paperwork nationwide.
Instead, because Bromberg’s name didn’t match on his primary documents, his renewal application was rejected.
Both documents had Jordan Bromberg, his first and last name. His passport includes his middle name, his Social Security Card did not.
After several days making calls with the state Division of Highway and Safety, including getting assistance from the office of state Rep. Adam Fetterman, D-Port St. Lucie, Bromberg has been told he will be able to get the renewal completed. But it’s been “frustrating” and time consuming, he said.
“I went to the computer, followed everything line by line, I had every single piece of documentation that you needed,” Bromberg said. “But it was simply because whoever did my Social Security card 40 years ago didn’t type my middle name on it.”
More than 50,000 Florida Real IDs were issued in the first week in January, which is about half the number normally issued in that time period.
David Westberry, communications director with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, said it’s unknown if the drop off is because of people taking the time to gather the needed paperwork. But he said there has been a learning curve in the motor vehicle offices as they work to handle each unique circumstance, while at the same time trying not to water down the rules.
“The last thing we want to do is take a system that is designed to be very secure and start making exceptions to the point where it no longer has the validity that it needs to have,” Westberry said.
Tax collectors in Indian River and Martin counties, whose offices issue driver’s licenses, knew there would be problems with the new rules. But they mostly expected them to be with women who have changed their last names to reflect marriages or divorces.
Still, they said the process has moved smoothly.
“We do what we have to do to get them renewed,” said Martin County Tax Collector Ruth Pietruszewski. “That has a such a huge impact on someone’s life if they can’t get their driver’s license.”
Compliance with Real ID will eventually be necessary to board a commercial airliner or enter a federal building.
Florida is one of the first states to enact the new law.
By Dec. 1, 2014, all drivers ages 50 and younger must have the Real ID. Those older than 50 can wait until Dec. 1, 2017 to comply.
Indian River County Tax Collector Carole Jean Jordan said the rules may become even tighter following the failed attempt by a 23-year-old suspect from Nigeria to blow up a transatlantic Northwest Airlines flight prepared to land in Detroit in December.
“I think that’s moved off the front pages because of the horrible situation in Haiti, but I think you’ll see other states having to comply,” Jordan said. “And good for Florida for complying, because you can go in a federal building or you can board an airplane with a Florida driver’s license, and once this is implemented nationally your license will be good for that while other states won’t.”
- Examples of primary identification:
- Certified U.S. birth certificate, including territories and District of Columbia
- Valid U.S. passport or passport card
- Consular report of birth abroad
- Certificate of naturalization, Form N-550 or Form N-570
- Certificate of citizenship, Form N-560 or Form N-561
- Examples of Social Security number:
- Social Security card
- W-2 form
- Examples of residency proof: Deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage payment booklet and/or
- Residential rental/lease agreement
- Utility bills, not more than 2 months old
- Florida voter registration card
- Florida vehicle registration or title
- A note from a parent, step-parent or legal guardian of an applicant who resides at the same address
- A letter from a homeless shelter, transitional service provider, or a half-way house verifying that the customer resides at the shelter address
- Transients — Sexual Offender/Predator/Career Offender: — FDLE Registration form completed by local sheriff’s office
To navigate the changes, visit gathergoget.com or call (850) 617-3995.