Real ID sometimes a real hassle
Changes in federal and state laws are forcing a Goessel woman to change her legal name to renew her driver’s license.
Joyce Pankratz filed a petition in district court to change her middle name. The problem is that her birth certificate shows an incorrect spelling of her middle name.
She said she never really noticed that until she tried to renew her driver’s license.
“I just pulled it out to get my driver’s license and noticed it was wrong,” Pankratz said.
The spelling of the middle name she’s always used is “Faye.” Her birth certificate spells her middle name “Fay.”
Pankratz, 75, tried to clear up the misspelling with records from earlier in her life, but none of them qualifies.
“I’ve been on the phone with at least 15 people,” Pankratz said.
The register of deeds even looked through files and found her middle name spelled Fay on documents.
“I talked to Topeka and they said check with newspaper,” Pankratz said.
Her parents didn’t have a birth announcement published.
There’s no doubt “Faye” was the name her parents had in mind.
“I was taught to spell it ‘Faye,’” she said. “I’’m kind of thinking someone at the hospital made a spelling error. I’ve got papers from when I was little that have it ‘Faye.’ ”
She said she’s been trying to get proof for about a month. Now she’s filed a petition in court to change her name so she can get a new birth certificate — all so she can renew her driver’s license.
Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005 to tighten national standards for driver’s licenses and combat forgery. Kansas began issuing Real ID licenses in August 2017.
Everyone renewing their driver’s license is required to have a Real ID, but for women, there can be extra hurdles. If her name has ever changed for reasons such as marriage or divorce, she must provide documentation of that.
Proof in those circumstances could include a certified state-issued marriage certificate or a court-ordered divorce decree that changes her name.
The state department of revenue might already have the documents needed. Their website has a portal to check.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2020