ACLU demands South Carolina allow men to change names on licenses

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COLUMBIA — A civil rights organization is demanding South Carolina make it as easy for men who change their names when they get married to get new driver’s licenses as it does for women.

Jason Scott Clary Baize, of Travelers Rest, took his wife’s name after the couple married in June. He took a new Social Security card with his changed name and his marriage license to the Department of Motor Vehicles office in Greenville, according to a letter written Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union.

DMV workers turned him down, even though he had the same proof that women need when they want to change their licenses after taking their husband’s last name, the ACLU said.

Instead, the DMV said he needed to get a court order to change his name, which would cost at least $150, the group said.

The ACLU gave the DMV 10 days to agree to apply the same name change rules to everyone and assure the organization it would train its employees to handle people of both genders the same way. The organization got Mississippi to treat husbands and wives the same after a similar complaint last month. The letter did not say what the ACLU could do if the DMV refuses.

DMV spokeswoman Beth Parks had not seen the letter Friday afternoon, and the agency didn’t have an immediate response.

The letter said it is critical that the DMV allow Baize to change his name on his driver’s license because he has already changed it with the Social Security Administration. Otherwise, the organization said, Baize might have trouble voting or when he shows his ID at airports or courthouses.

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Little Lamb
Little Lamb 10/06/12 - 06:55 am

From the story:

Baize might have trouble voting or when he shows his ID at airports or courthouses.

In the first place, the courts have not yet approved South Carolina's new voter I.D. law, so he will not have trouble voting in 2012. In the second place, even when the courts finally get around to approving South Carolina's voter I.D. law, he still will not have a problem voting. That is because the name on the driver's license does not have to match the name on the list of registered voters. The whole reason for picture I.D. is for the poll worker to verify that the person standing before them is the person on the list. All you have to match up is the face standing before you with the face in the picture.

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