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Rolly: Lifelong Utahns forced to prove they belong here
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Rex Gibson experienced flashbacks while reading my Friday column about U.S. citizen Vonetta Fackrell's inability to renew the Utah driver license she has had for 70 years.

To recap: Fackrell, 86, was denied her renewal because the Driver License Division bureaucrats deemed her an "illegal alien." Her parents, both U.S. citizens, had moved in the 1930s to Canada, where she was born. She couldn't prove her parents were citizens because they were born before the Bureau of Vital Statistics began keeping birth certificates.

Gibson can relate.

His problem was getting his passport.

Like Fackrell, Gibson's parents were born in Utah but were living in Canada when he was born in 1928. He applied for a passport through the Davis County Clerk's office and went through endless bureaucratic hoops because his birth certificate was issued in Canada.

He finally proved their citizenship by producing their death certificates, which said where they were born.

The funny thing about Gibson's ordeal: For decades, he has had a commercial driver license, which had to be approved by the FBI, that includes a certificate to drive hazardous material.

More Utah ID problems • Then there is the story from a Davis County woman about her 89-year-old mother, who was born in Switzerland, became a naturalized citizen in 1956, and wanted to renew her driver license in 2010 before her 90th birthday.

That was at the onset of the new ID requirements.

She took all her paperwork to the Farmington driver license office, passed the test and proceeded to the counter to produce her ID documents. She offered the clerk her Social Security card, her current license and her U.S. Department of Justice-issued Naturalization Certificate.

A problem arose when the serial number of the 54-year-old certificate was not compatible with the data required by the state's database.

She was told to get a new Naturalization Certificate with a valid serial number.

The woman's daughter phoned two supervisors who told her there was nothing they could do. Since the regulations were so new, they were still getting used to it themselves.

One clerk suggested the woman use her passport. But that had expired, so they applied for a renewal and put a "rush" on the application. They figured it would be easier to renew a passport than get a new Naturalization Certificate.

Eventually, the state division said it would allow a 30-day grace period for expired licenses due to the confusion surrounding the new regulations. So the woman got her passport and used it to get her license.

Who's on first? • Utah's infamous liquor laws are so convoluted, even the chairman of the state's liquor commission is confused.

Newly appointed chairman David Gladwell, who has been a member of the commission for more than a year and is a former state legislator, had to admit during the commission's public meeting Tuesday that he is at sea when it comes to who is supposed to get what kind of liquor license and why.

While presiding over his first meeting as chairman of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, Gladwell had to ask a staff member the difference between a tavern and a bar.

A tavern in Utah may serve only 3.2 beer while a bar (which must have what's called a social club license) may serve all types of alcohol, including beer.

Now he knows.

Clarification • In Monday's column I wrote about a man who spent five years trying to collect wages that were due to him from a landscaping company that went out of business. I pointed out that even though he filed a complaint with the Utah Labor Commission, he was the one who did all the work tracking his former employer down and letting the State Office of Debt Collections know where the guy was.

The person I wrote about was Cimaron Neugebauer, who is now a staff reporter for The Salt Lake Tribune.

prolly@sltrib.com

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