Driver’s License Update

Last week I wrote about my first attempt at getting an Illinois drivers license. It didn’t go well, and I planned to return with a college transcript as proof of my birthdate.

On Thursday I got my transcript in the mail. Transcripts are only official if they are still sealed in their original envelope so I took it to the DMV without opening it. When it was opened by the nice woman behind the counter we discovered that my birthday was XXX’d out. Two calls to my college confirmed that despite what I had been told by the last person I talked to, the school actually never prints anything with a student’s birthday (or social security number) on it under any circumstances. Ever. Specifically so that we cannot use anything from the college as proof of identity.

So I was again turned away by the Illinois DMV. There is no way for me to prove my birthdate.

Luckily I have a permanent address in Wisconsin. In fact, since I moved to IL specifically to become a student, I’m not a resident of IL really. I don’t get resident tuition rates, I’m allowed to vote in WI, etc.

So I ordered a new driver’s license from WI with my permanent address on it. My old ID had a many-years-ago address that I cannot use. This process took $14 and 15 minutes. I love Wisconsin so much.

Now I have to wait and see if the federal agency that required me to have a DL with my current address on it will accept this. If they do I’ll be fine and I can keep my job. If they don’t I will loose the job, as I have completely run out of other options. Now I wait and see.

I am also starting the process of changing my name through the courts so that I can get a passport. That is incredibly expensive though, so without this new job I won’t be able to do it any time soon. But I will do it in Wisconsin as soon as I’m able so that I can get a passport and never have to deal with this whole ordeal again.

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Benny Vimes

Benny Vimes

Benny Vimes is a queer polyamorous transman, curious skeptic, and enthusiastic seeker of knowledge. He's an undergraduate student in his 30's and loves teaching people about alternative sexuality and gender issues.


  1. November 3, 2014 at 10:04 pm —

    Wow, that’s incredibly shitty. I hope the Feds are reasonable. Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren’t.

    Good luck.

    • November 4, 2014 at 12:17 am —

      I really think they will be, in part because I have had clearance from a federal agency before. However, if they decide I need to have a DL in Illinois since that is the state I am WORKING in (instead of my state of permanent residency) then I’m kind of screwed.

      • November 4, 2014 at 3:36 pm —

        I’m hopeful! Also, try calling your federal representative’s office, and/or your state representative. They may be able to help also, whether by smoothing the way at the agency level, or maybe shoving a rider on a bill going through congress for a special exemption.

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