ABC13: A new Houston resident is upset that she was refused a legal Texas driver’s license.
When Connie Wilson, her spouse, and three kids packed up their life and moved halfway across the country to Texas, the last hurdle she expected was getting a Texas driver’s license. She was in for a surprise when she went to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) branch office in Pasadena.
Wilson presented her California marriage license to DPS employee as a secondary form of identification. She and her spouse Aimee were legally married in California, and Connie took Aimee’s last name, Wilson. “The employee asked, ‘Is this a same?’ I knew what she meant, and I knew I would have a problem,” recalled Wilson
Texas doesn’t recognize same sex marriage. The DPS employee told Wilson even though she and her spouse are legally married, the certificate cannot be used to authenticate who she is. She was denied a Texas License.
Reached in Austin, DPS officials sent Eyewitness News the following statement: “To receive a Texas driver license or identification card reflecting a name change from a same-sex marriage, a court order is required.”
Wilson says she doesn’t understand why she needs to spend money on a court order when the license already states her legal name. “I’m not asking for a name change, I’m just asking for a new resident driver’s license,” said Wilson.
In addition, Wilson is worried the closing on her house could have been hampered, and her inability to vote in the upcoming election. “As of right now, I can’t vote in the elections, which may be part of what they’re after, I don’t know,” she said.
Frustrated, the Wilsons reached out to Texas State Senator Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston), who is looking into the DPS decision. “This is something that deeply concerns us, and we’re looking at this, because we don’t want this to happen to anyone else in Texas,” said the Senator. “This is not the way to treat someone who is relocating to our state, we need to make sure they can buy homes, get jobs, and register to vote.”
Wilson doubts her license issue will be resolved in time for her to vote in a Texas election. If DPS will not relent, her one alternative is to renew her passport. Once she has the federal passport with her name, Connie Wilson, on it, she should not need a secondary identification to get a Texas driver’s license.
“I love Texas and I just want to be a Texan,” says Wilson, who is moving with her spouse and their three children into a new home in the next two weeks.
Maybe if Ms. Wilson had looked into Texas State requirements, she would have had a better understanding of the process. And she can easily renew her passport in time to vote.
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