Federal Bureaucracy at its Best
By Bob Branco
March 2, 2019
Within the year, we are required to obtain a new federal identification card. In my city, this ID card will be offered by the Registry of Motor Vehicles, as long as we give them the necessary paperwork required. When you apply for your new ID card with the Registry of Motor Vehicles, you must bring a copy of your birth certificate, two documents proving where you live, such as a bank statement or a bill, either a driver’s license, passport or picture ID, and a nonlaminated copy of your social security card. Where I live, I have to pay 25 dollars for the new ID, plus an additional 15 dollars for my birth certificate. In other words, I have to spend 40 dollars to do something required by law.
This morning, I visited my local social security office in order to get a nonlaminated social security card to give to the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Since I couldn’t produce a driver’s license because I’m blind, I brought my laminated social security card with me, along with my other ID card. When I arrived, a security guard asked me to hand him my watch, my wallet, my keys, my belt, and even a few life savers that were in one of my pockets. He said he needed my candy because it was wrapped in tin foil. I told him he could keep some, but he refused to take it because he’s on a diet. The guard placed all of my items on a tray for examination.
Although I understand why I had to go through this rather tedious process, I thought to myself how I would likely be spending more time having my belongings examined than why I really went to that office. At one point, I jokingly offered the security guard my handkerchief. If my shoes had metal in them, I’d likely be forced to take them off as well. Fortunately, my feet don’t stink.
After the guard examined all of my contents, I took them back and proceeded to get my nonlaminated social security card. No such luck. The man refused to give me a nonlaminated card because he said that my picture ID card expired. Well, I still had my laminated social security card. You would think that would be enough proof of who I really am, being that it distinguishes me from every other person in the world. Nobody else has these 9 digits except me. Again, no such luck. Instead of taking my laminated social security card in order to get a nonlaminated copy, the man asked me to get a medical document from my physician, and that it had to be on his letterhead. Now what does my personal medical information have to do with social security? Why couldn’t they just take my social security card and just copy it, leaving out the lamination?
Personally, I found this whole process very unnecessary, tedious and frustrating, especially when they won’t accept my social security card as proof of my identity. As I said, nobody else in the entire world has my combination of numbers. I know that one of the most important reasons why we have a social security card is for tax purposes, yet how many times are we asked for our social security numbers no matter what we do?
I was telling people about the confiscation of my belongings in the lobby, suggesting that if there ever was another act of terrorism in the United States which required this process to become stricter than it actually is, we may have to get naked. Why not? They might as well ask us to take it all off. Furthermore, if they want a medical document on my physician’s letterhead rather than my own laminated personalized social security card in order to get a nonlaminated copy, they might as well take my fingerprints. Perhaps I can strip the lamination from my current card in order to have it nonlaminated. It would be a lot simpler than what we now have to go through in the name of fraud, scams and terrorism.