When a New Mexico man presented his state driver’s license to a District of Columbia clerk in the hopes of attaining a marriage license, both she and her supervisor told him he was ineligible because, according to them, he was from a foreign country.
According to the Las Cruces Sun-News, Gavin Clarkson, who was a recent candidate for New Mexico secretary of state, walked into the District of Columbia Courts Marriage Bureau late last month to apply for a marriage license. When he showed the clerk his New Mexico ID, he said the clerk told him that he needed an international passport.
When he and his wife-to-be informed the clerk’s supervisor what was going on, the supervisor sided with the clerk.
“You know you are from flyover country when you are applying for a marriage license, give them your New Mexico driver’s license, and they come back and say: ‘My supervisor says we cannot accept international driver’s licenses. Do you have a New Mexico passport?'” Clarkson said in a recent Facebook post.
From the Las Cruces Sun-News:
Clarkson said the clerk went back to check a second time about whether she could accept a New Mexico driver’s license as proof of identify. After that, the personnel finally concluded New Mexico was in fact a U.S. state and accepted his driver’s license along with the application.
Clarkson, who has called New Mexico home since 2012, said he’s heard about the state’s residents experiencing such incidents when traveling, but “it was the first time it happened to me.”
“She thought New Mexico was a foreign country,” he said of the clerk. “All the couples behind us waiting in line were laughing.”
According to Clarkson’s wife Marina, the clerk complimented him on how well he spoke the English language.
After the story went viral, the D.C. courts system issued an apology.
“We understand that a clerk in our Marriage Bureau made a mistake regarding New Mexico’s 106-year history as a state,” said Leah H. Gurowitz, director of media and public relations for D.C. Courts, in an email to the Sun-News. “We very much regret the error and the slight delay it caused a New Mexico resident in applying for a DC marriage license.”
Featured image via Gavin Clarkson/Facebook