Why a U.S. Marine Veteran feels like a prisoner in his own home - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Why a U.S. Marine Veteran feels like a prisoner in his own home

Posted: Updated:

In September of 2012, a U.S. marine veteran walked into the Beckley DMV to renew his license and was denied. 59 News found out why.

Because of the Real I.D. Act, put in place in January of 2012, to get or renew your license in West Virginia, you now have to show 1 proof of identification, 1 proof of your social security number and 2 proofs of West Virginia residency documents. When Murray showed his birth certificate, which said he was born in an American military camp in Germany, it was handed back to him and his renewal was denied.

"I know who I am, I see myself in the mirror every day and nothing has changed. It's just an unfortunate delay in regards to my ability to drive an automobile. I fought for our freedom, now I'm fighting for mine," veteran George Murray said.

There's Veterans Day, discounts for our armed forces and veterans deals at restaurants and movie theatres, but Murray said he's just wanting respect and the same rights as every American citizen.

"If nothing else at least give us [veterans] the same liberties the civilians have, I'm a prisoner in my own home now. I can't go anywhere on my own free will and if I do, I called the State Police and they told me they'll take away my car and fine me."

We spoke with the DMV to find out why, because of this new Real I.D. Act, there's now more hurdles you have to jump through to get or renew your license.

The West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicle's Public Information Officer, Natalie Harvey, told 59 News the Real I.D. act was meant to make the licensing process stronger and more secure. She said the idea came after the investigation of the September 11 attacks, which revealed 19 terrorists had obtained fraudulent drivers license and identification cards.

Harvey also said since January 2012, the number of identity fraud and identity theft cases have decreased.