Rules are rules, of course. But how about a little common sense in enforcing them?
Apparently there is no room for that in administering a federal law that forces states to adopt new requirements for issuance of driver's licenses.
As we have reported since last year, those obtaining or renewing licenses in West Virginia must present forms of identification not required in the past. We have heard horror stories from area residents telling about the nearly-impossible hoops they are forced to jump through in order to renew their licenses. However, few of those stories can match the nightmare a 90-year-old Wheeling woman went through in her recent attempt to renew her diver's license.
As reported in the Wheeling News-Register last week, the 90-year-old woman went to the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew her driver's license, with all of her documentation - including an official West Virginia birth certificate with the state seal - in hand. She was informed that because one letter had been inadvertently omitted from her name on the 1922 birth certificate, the document was not acceptable.
Another 1922 birth document was deemed unacceptable because her first name was listed on one line and her last name was on the line below. Both names had to be on the same line, she was told.
Later, it was suggested the woman ought to have her father sign a paper clarifying the missing letter on her birth certificate.
Really? The woman explained - not very politely, we hope - that her father was not available to sign a paper; he had died in the 1970s at the age of 91. Eventually the woman sent all of her documentation to Charleston where state workers did some manner of bureaucratic hocus-pocus to make her document a legal one and she received her new driver's license.
Good heavens. The new requirements are intended to keep terrorists from obtaining official identification documents such as driver's licenses. Does someone at the DMV believe a 90-year-old woman is a threat to security? Unfortunately, judging from what we've heard from residents in our area, this woman's plight isn't an isolated incident, but something residents go through nearly every day.
What a fiasco.