Military veteran is not able to get his driver's license renewed - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Military veteran is not able to get his driver's license renewed

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A few years ago, the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles changed its laws regarding what documents you need as part of the Real ID Act of 2005.

One man just wants to be able to do what he's done for decades, get in his car and drive.

59News is Working for You and found out why one military veteran is having trouble getting his license renewed. A military veteran reached out to us for help. He told us everyone in the world has accepted his identification documents for the past 28 years, until now.

"The IRS has accepted it, everybody's accepted it. But now with this new terrorism law, even though I can prove that I was born in the United States and even fought for our country, West Virginia won't accept this piece of paper from California," Richard Goodson of Raleigh County said.

Natalie Harvey, the DMV's Public Information Officer walked through with 59News the reasoning behind these added difficulties. She explained the Real ID Act of 2005.

"For some people, they haven't brought in documents for 4 or so years, sometimes they lose things or get married a couple times and lose the records. One of the key things in the Real I.D. Act is making sure all your identification documents match so we can prove you are who you say you are," Harvey said.

Goodson told us he was denied when he was not able to show his current birth certificate, after he legally changed his last name 28 years ago. Also, he lost the original copy of his legal name change document. When he approached the DMV in California, where he changed his last name, he learned it would cost him $50 to track it down. This was Goodson's response.

"I could possibly do that but there's a chance that it wouldn't be there and then I would be out $50 and I would still have to go through Raleigh County and charge me $150 to get a judge to sign a piece of a paper and give me permission to use a name that I've used for 28 years," Goodson said.

To find out specifically what you're responsible for showing, you can click on the Driver's section of the Department of Transportation's website. Natalie Harvey said the change is to counter terrorism and identification fraud after the September 11th attacks.