Friday, September 3, 2010

The Scary Photo in My Wallet

I need to warn you all about renewing your driver's license. Changes have been made here in Oregon (and in other states as well) and luckily, the state DMV sent me a postcard outlining what was required a month before my birthday.

First, you have to take every official paper you have concerning yourself from birth to now, if you can find them. Finding them if you have not lived in the same house all your life may prove to be difficult. More difficult will be finding proof of your various names and marriages, if those things have changed in your adult lifetime. If you cannot find the necessary official documents or are sure you never had them to begin with, you must order them, which costs money and takes time.

Although I found what I needed pawing through various piles and files, the most difficult for me was finding something to prove I live at this address. Most of the bills come in my husband’s name and we use a post office box, not our house address. The house belongs to him so not even the tax bill is in my name. Finally, I found the PUD (electric) bill with my name on it and our house address. Whew!

Next, after showing the clerk all your papers, and he or she verifies each one is valid, he or she stamps the additional form you have filled out while waiting for your number to be called. I didn't know about the additional form until the clerk started yelling at everyone for not have one filled out and told us all where we could find one.

After paying your $40, then you must sit in the special chair facing a camera lens and remove your glasses. I asked why I had to remove my glasses and was told for the face recognition software to work. I didn't understand that my picture would actually be taken that way and was startled by the 1-2-FLASH!

Scary ugly photo.

In it, I look like a felon with a Shar Pei face, chicken neck and no teeth. No way do I look like that in real life and no police person stopping me will think so either. I hope.

I remember writing years ago to one of my favorite columnists telling him I thought the sketch accompanying his by-line made his neck look like it belonged on a chicken. I got no response but I noticed that soon the sketch had improved. Now it’s me with the chicken neck and no staff artist to fix it. Karma?

I am going to have to show that for ID for the next--how long is it before the next photo?—four years? ten years? Great. After seeing that photo, I came home and ordered some makeup.

Just warning you.

Here are the facts, straight from Oregon DMV:

Even if you've had your driver license or ID card for years, or even decades, you must bring documents that meet new state requirements each time you renew or replace your card.

All applicants for Oregon driver licenses, instruction permits and ID cards will be required to show DMV the documents that provide:
• Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful presence in the country – such as a government-issued birth certificate or U.S. passport, or foreign passport with U.S. immigration documents. DMV will electronically verify U.S. immigration, naturalization and other U.S.-issued documents that non-citizens and naturalized citizens use to prove lawful presence in the country.
• Proof of Social Security number – such as a Social Security card, employment document or tax document. DMV will electronically verify that your Social Security number, name and birth date match the records at the Social Security Administration.
• Proof that you are not entitled to a Social Security number, if you do not have one and are not eligible for one – such as immigration documents that do not include permission to work in the United States.
• Proof of full legal name – such as birth certificate, or a combination of documents that create a link proving current full legal name, such as a birth certificate and government-issued marriage certificate.

Facial recognition software

Since July 1, 2008, Oregon DMV has been using "facial recognition" software, a new tool in the prevention of fraud and identity theft. The law, created by the 2005 Oregon Legislature, is designed to prevent someone from obtaining a driver license or ID card under a false name or under multiple names.

In order to use facial recognition, DMV has changed from over-the-counter issuance of cards to centralized issuance in 2007. Customers who qualify for driving privileges or ID cards get an interim card at DMV and then receive their final card in the mail within five to 10 business days.


Wanda said...

Pretty frickin' amazing, isn't it? You didn't scan the picture for us?

Martha Goudey said...

Scary is right. But not your photo. Even though I haven't seen it I just know it's not as scary as arcane government hoops.