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Rolly: Serving country not enough for Utah I.D. laws
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

Here is yet another story of Utah's cumbersome ID laws blocking perfectly eligible citizens from renewing their driver licenses.

And this is my second story about what seems to be discrimination against active-duty military personnel.

I wrote recently about Gaylen Stewart's son, who has a Utah driver license but has not lived in the state for a few years because of his active duty in the Air Force. He got a motorcycle endorsement in California, but when he attempted to put the addition on his Utah license, he was turned down because he couldn't produce two utility or mortgage-related bills to prove his residency here.

Now comes Brendan Edwards, who is in the U.S. Navy and whose home port is San Diego. While trying to renew his Utah license, he produced his federal and state tax returns indicating his father's address as his formal personal address. He also produced Logan City utility bills, which were in the name of his father, Thomas Edwards.

Even though he had his military ID proving he was in active service, his father had to leave work and come to the driver license office to verify that Brendan was his son and that is his official address.

I mentioned Friday that Sen. David Hinkins, R-Orangeville, is planning to introduce legislation that would exempt active-duty military from having to produce two pieces of evidence of Utah residency.

Thomas Edwards wishes Hinkins luck in passing legislation that would reflect common sense, but "I do live in Utah so I'm not too hopeful."

Meanwhile •Tammy Hinckley, of Springville, tells the story of her 84-year-old mother who gets around in her electric wheelchair slowly and painfully.

In July, she moved to a subsidized housing apartment and needed a photo ID to complete her application.

Her driver license has long since expired, since driving is out of the question, and the law states that the photo ID must be current and valid.

It took three trips to the driver license office, says Hinckley, "hauling Mom and her equipment along, and finally having to take her case to the department supervisor to get her a temporary ID card so she could get her housing."

That was three months ago, says Hinckley, "and we're still waiting for the permanent card to come in the mail."

What was the hang-up? Because of health problems, her children take care of her finances and pay all the bills, which are mailed directly to her daughter. So she couldn't produce two bills addressed to her to prove she is a resident.

She does get the Ensign magazine and large-print Reader's Digest mailed to her home, but the bureaucrats have deemed those unacceptable as proof of residence.

"So first the government requires these ID cards of old ladies," says Hinckley, "and then makes it impossible for them to get one."

Rest of the story • I wrote recently about a Layton High School student who thought he could solve the problem of having his Obama signs stolen from his front yard by writing on the third sign: "If you steal this sign I will donate $20 to the Obama campaign."

Well, it didn't work.

The student, Chance Hancey, tells me that sign was stolen, too. So he followed through on his threat and donated the $20 to the Obama campaign.

Perhaps that made the difference.

prolly@sltrib.com

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