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Rolly: Utah I.D. laws are unfriendly to soldiers

By paul rolly

| Tribune Columnist

First Published Nov 29 2012 03:30 pm • Last Updated Mar 06 2013 11:34 pm

In what is shaping up to be my ongoing series about how Utah’s ID requirements prevent perfectly eligible U.S. citizens from renewing their driver licenses, here is a story about how we disqualify members of our U.S. military in the name of ensuring patriotism.

Gaylen Stewart, of Spanish Fork, says his son holds a Utah license but has lived outside the state the past few years because he is on active duty in the U.S. Air Force.

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While in California, he passed the necessary tests to add a motorcycle endorsement to his license, but that is only good in California. While in Utah recently, he went to the Driver License Division to add the motorcycle endorsement to his Utah license but was turned down because he couldn’t produce two utility or mortgage related bills to prove his place of residence in Utah.

That is because he is in the military and doesn’t have a place of residence in Utah.

He since has been transferred to Ohio and is changing his residency to the Buckeye State. Not only does that solve the motorcycle license problem, but as an Ohio resident, he won’t have to continue paying income taxes in that state if he is transferred elsewhere. In Utah, military personnel must pay taxes even if they live out of state because of their service.

Sen. David Hinkins, R-Orangeville, is planning to open to open a bill file soon to amend the law that requires two pieces of evidence of current residency in Utah. His amendment will exempt active-duty military who have out-of-state requirements.

"I guess that’s why we have a session every year," Hinkins said, "so we can minimize the damage we did the year before."

Meanwhile » Vonetta Fackrell, the 86-year-old woman whose dilemma with the state Driver License Division was featured in my column Friday, has had her problem resolved.

Fackrell was denied a license renewal based on Utah’s new ID law because she was born in Canada and couldn’t show a document establishing U.S. citizenship when she entered the U.S. with her parents, who were both born here, about 80 years ago.

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She has had a Utah driver license for 70 years, been married to her husband, a World War II vet, for 68 years and worked for several years at the Tooele Army Depot. But times have changed, and when she went to renew her license, she was told she was an "illegal alien."

But Nannette Rolfe, director of the division, has since contacted Fackrell, had her come into the office and, based on other identification Fackrell could produce, was able to declare she had satisfied the proof of her citizenship, so she renewed her ID.

Praying is bipartisan » So now that Mormon Democrats have answered the call of their pro-Mitt Romney counterparts by calling for their own day of fasting and praying on Sunday, it will be interesting to see whom God favors most.

LDS Romney supporters had no doubt whom God favored when they sent emails to followers in several states calling for a day of fasting and praying to help Romney win the presidential debates. He won the first debate, undoubtedly strengthening the testimony of those participants.

But then he lost the war.

The Mormon Democrats have a different message. They want their followers to fast and pray "to help all Americans to render proper respect to those we have chosen to lead us, regardless of whom they personally voted for — and help those so chosen to earn that respect."

What a concept!

The LDS Church, by the way, did not officially take sides in the election.

Causing a laundry emergency? » Roland Brimley is a CPA in Salt Lake City who assists taxpayers with problems they have with the IRS. He recently received this response from the IRS office in Ogden that acknowledged his claim that a late penalty should not be imposed on his client because a proper extension had been filed:

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