I Just Want to Be Like Everyone Else!

Jacob is going to camp in Canada this summer, so we need passports. Eliz and I pick Jacob up from school, then Jane from her school. We have lunch. It took longer than it should have at 2:00pm. We rush to the courthouse to get submit the pictures, forms, and, of course, the money. We get there two or three minutes before they close. Lady explains that she’s already closed everything out, so we’d have to come back. Not a huge problem, but we’d rather have taken care of it today. Eliz asks if the kids needed to come with us. Yes they do, the lady tells us. She then decides that since we are all there, she’d do what she needed to and submit them.

All is going well. Eliz has organized everything perfectly. Each person’s form is with their pictures, along with a check for the fee (no cash, no credit cards, and can’t do one big check for all the passports,) and the $25 cash (no other form of payment is accepted) for the processing fee. My paperwork doesn’t require the $25 fee since I’ve renewed my passport within the last 15 years (though it was expired now.) The clerk started by photocopying our (me and Eliz) photo ID. Eliz gave her drivers license, while I used my non-drivers license issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I, of course, can’t have a driver’s license because I am legally blind and would most likely hurt someone if I ever got behind the wheel.

Once the photocopying is completed, the clerk gives us Jane’s form to sign, since we’re her parents. We sign, Jane’s is done. Next, we sign Jacob’s. He’s done. Then Eliz’s is completed (she’s a big girl, so I didn’t need to sign hers…) Now, on to me. As the clerk is finishing up my paperwork, another clerk comes over and looks at the photocopy of my ID. She then says, after another clerk has taken our checks and cash to the safe, that ID isn’t acceptable on its own. You need FIVE ADDITIONAL forms of ID. Pardon me? Why? It was explained to me that without a drivers license, a state issue ID requires an additional five forms of ID. So, because I cannot see to obtain a drivers license, I MUST present an additional five forms.

Eliz then asks what the other forms of ID we could present, hoping that I may have them in my wallet. Social security card! Holy cow, I actually have my card in my wallet! As I am digging out my social security card, I pull out my medical insurance ID card. That works too! Maybe this won’t be so difficult after all… Credit cards come out of my wallet next. Sorry, no accepted. My BJsWholesale Club PHOTO ID comes out next. Nope, not good enough. Business cards? No way. What about an expired passport? Yes! Oh, but not the one you are submitting with the paperwork to get the new passport. UGH! What else then? Marriage License, pay stub from work (hey, I own the place, I don’t actually receive any money for working, ) tax returns, and, get this, a newspaper article about you (I have not yet snopes that, but she can’t be serious.)

For the first time in my life I felt I was treated unfairly because of my visual impairment. I have a hard enough time dealing with not seeing, I don’t need someone else throwing fuel on that fire. I just want to be like everybody else. I guess that’ll have to wait until stem cells or bionic eyes. Or maybe never…