G was born in early 1942 in rural SC at home by a midwife. Growing up in a small community, she never needed to prove who she was, pretty much everyone knew her. She grew up, got married and had her children in this small community.
Eventually, she and her husband moved to FL and started a new life here. This was still a time when you could just show your old ID and get a new one in your new home. After the passage of the Real ID Act, that was no longer the case, and we all had to show proof of who we were with our birth certificate, Social Security card, marriage record if applicable and proofs of address. Being a capable woman G ordered her birth certificate and dug out her marriage record when it was time to renew her license. Imagine her shock when SC sent back a letter telling her there was no record of her birth. As far as they were concerned, she did not exist.
This started a long process for G of trying to compile the required documents to prove she did exist. After she had everything the State of SC required, she sent all her certified documents to the state’s Vital Statistics and waited. What she got back was a rejection letter. It seems that there is a requirement that all the documents must be in 100% agreement with the vital statistics. G’s documents were a perfect storm of misfortune. On her school records, her birth date had just the 7 instead of 17 for the day. Her Social Security number had her place of birth misspelled. Her marriage record had a typo on her maiden name. The list of unfortunate mistakes went on. No three documents matched perfectly. Her only course of action was to go through the courts. At this point G was overwhelmed she didn’t know how to do this nor did she have the resources to do it, so she made an appointment with IDignity Seminole. That was a year and a half ago.
After a year of collecting supporting documents and certifying documents, IDignity Seminole made a motion for an evidentiary hearing. G and our volunteer attorney appeared before the Court and presented all her documents. The judge made the determination that she is who she claims to be and entered an order for SC to issue a delayed birth certificate. At the age of 80 and 2 weeks G finally received the document that declares she officially exists. She is once again able to be the independent woman she was before she had to start depending upon others for rides, banking services and all the other things that having no ID kept her from using and participating in.